We are so excited about the range of science and technology toys that are being created for our kids these days. I love that my kids are using their minds while they play, learning the whole time without realizing it, and the newest player hoping to make it into this game is the Lyka’s Adventure, currently an IndieGoGo campaign aiming to bring plush robot Lyka and her array of science and environment focused activities to market.
I am intrigued that the brand, created by a really really impressive roster of developers, filmmakers and Ivy League educators, aims to bring books, toys, apps, and interactive play all in one engaging experience that teaches kids about earth science , how they connect to it, and why it’s important to be responsible citizens of this world, something we certainly need more of.
Can I get an amen?
The story goes like this: Lyka is a friendly robot from planet Ahmee, which is dying. She must travel through space to Earth to find the answers that will save her home from deadly climate change. (See the metaphor?) In the process, she travels to all seven continents and find hidden symbols that will unlock the secrets she needs to heal her planet.
There core of the effort seems to be the plush doll that holds your iPhone–though I will say we have never recommended sticking $400 pieces of machinery into a plush anything for kids to toss around. I know a lot of parents feel differently, but we’re hoping it’s not essential to the experience. Fortunately, what I think kids will really be drawn to is the iOS app (Android if they hit a $200,000 fundraising goal) which includes a read-along version of the book, songs, and some activities.
I have confidence knowing Penguin is publishing the series of eight chapter books,which have all been reviewed by scientists and science teachers plus the Cloud Institute for Sustainability in Education. The books will follow Lyka’s adventure through earth accompanied by some pretty great illustrations. The books are designed for kids ages 5-10, according to their site–although at 176 pages that seems a little long for all but the most science-engaged five-year-old.
The last part of this endeavor is the Lyka Adventure Labs, which are STEAM-driven (like STEM, but adding in A for art), curriculum-based, live experiences for kids. In other words, a van full of science education experts will travel around the country bringing this interactive experience to schools so kids. It looks like a lot of fun and you can recommend any school to be part of their tour.
I love that start-ups like this are thinking creatively about ways to get kids excited about science and math, letting them have fun while they solve problems and think critically.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Lyka’s little adventure could be the next big innovation in how kids learn across platforms.
Donate from $5 to $10,000 to support Lyka’s Adventure on IndieGoGo to help bring STEM education to kids at home and in schools. A $50 donation will get you the Lyka doll and paperback book launching in November in North America.