Fund This! My Magical Adventure, HidrateMe, and Avakai!

Welcome to this week’s Fund This! Check out a customizable story book, a smart water bottle to keep you hydrated, and gorgeous wooden tech toys for a magical sensory experience!

Happy Funding!

Photo courtesy of Crayon Crunch

My Magical Adventure: Personalized Children’s Book

There’s nothing kids love more than to see themselves in a fantastic adventure, which is the premise behind Crayon Crunch’s new project. The story itself seeks to encourage imagination and the idea of believing in yourself with beautiful illustrations and personalized text. The real magic is in the book’s adaptability for any child. To be inclusive of a diverse array of ethnicity and disability, the lead character is highly customizable. I also checked with the company about being gender expansive, and their response was this:

While we do categorize the clothing under boy/girl, parents have the option to choose any clothing items, hairstyles etc. We already have two cases, in which parents want a book, in which the boy wears a skirt. Picking boy/girl primarily helps us choose the correct wording. For example, “said the little boy” or “said the little girl”. Alternatively, if parents don’t want the gender specific wording, they can leave us a comment and we exchange “he/she said” with “the child said.”

I’m really glad they thought about this, because for a book to be truly inclusive and customizable, it must respect the diversity of its audience. Choices around appearance and pronouns seem like a little thing, but they are not. Seeing themselves accurately reflected in a book can be powerful for a child. And maybe spark their next great adventure!

Photo courtesy of Hidrate

HidrateMe: Smart Water Bottle

This campaign is timely for me. I am trying so hard to increase my water intake! Like many, I know I am not drinking enough. I tried the rubber band method, but I keep forgetting to take off the rubber bands when I finish drinking the cup and go for a refill, and I also tried pre-measuring a pitcher for the day but I was inconsistent and my kids kept drinking out of it anyway, which threw off my count. This smart water bottle syncs to your smart phone and/or Fitbit (or similar device) and glows to remind you to drink up. If this can’t help me out, nothing can.

Photo courtesy of Avakai

Avakai: The Magical Play Companion

I may not personally agree with Waldorf’s views on technology and screen time, but the one thing they do absolutely get right is the importance of sensory experience–particularly in regard to toys. That’s what these remind me of: beautiful wood toys that feel good in the hands and are gorgeous to look at. Add in a tech component that is teaching through open-ended, multi-sensory experience instead of a guided screen experience and I was hooked. These are a little pricey, but worth looking at as an example of the direction I think tech toys could go in.