A new toy that inspires STEM learning (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) was just released this past December and made available for sale online to consumers.
Growing up with toys like Lincoln logs, Legos, K’nex, Tinker Toys and so many other connector toys, there was a desire to have more from a toy that would inspire ingenuity and the creative process. Not only did the creators design the toy, but they also created an elaborate backstory that consists of grand adventures carried about by characters, Leo and Lele, the “brand ambassadors” who will potentially have their stories available for viewer entertainment online. Their elaborate back-stories open the ambassadors up for being cartoon characters who overcome various obstacles using the Bokah Blocks.
The premium toy is made of basswood for the creamy color, strength, physical softness and lightweight convenience. Made in the US, it is harvested from a basswood distribution company in Pennsylvania and milled and hand crafted here in Southern California. It is gender neutral and hopes to inspire both boys and girls in endeavors of creating and honing their engineering skills.
“Girls are so often left behind and neglected when it comes to STEM education and we wanted to inspire everyone to be able to grow through playing with Bokah Blocks,” says owner Vinh Phamdo.
The toy currentlycomes in four specific parts (Longs, Halfys, Smalls, and Tinys) for the construction and design aspect, while the connectors are the key element of Bokah Blocks, called bendys because they are extremely elastic and bendable with their rounded wooden ends that function as joints that can be organized and layered with only the creators imagination to limit its functionalities.
“Beauty was emphasized in the creation of the product so that the designs could be treated like works of art: able to be displayed anywhere,” said Phamdo.
The idea is to be able to use this toy forever with their “grow with me” mentality. “It’s like a very advanced 3D puzzle,” said the creator, who hand makes every set in their warehouse.
“These Bokahs will keep you guessing on what you can build next. With enough of them, you really could build anything. Your imagination is your only limit,” said William Walbourne, an engineering student at Palomar College that I approached with the toy in order to test his mental creativity and the products intrigue.
“You could even use the toy to help hang products if you were ever going to work a convention or expo. Either create a display wall with the Bokah Blocks or use the bendys and pieces to allow you to hang products for yourdisplay,” said Micki Reynolds, a local sales marketer in Escondido that took a moment to try the hands on experience of playing with the horse from Bokah Blocks.
So far, there is one set for purchase that includes 219 pieces that are packed into Leo and Lele’s travel backpack. This encourages children to take the toy with them anywhere they want to go, and it conveniently makes it easy for parents to have the toy available for kids on outings and long trips.
One featured creation is the toy horse, which is one of the many creative builds that the official website walks engineers through putting together. The master set can make eight of these horses. It is measured by the company that one set is enough for an entire classroom to utilize. There is also a 60 piece bendy pack featured on the official web page that allows for expanded layering and engineering with the original backpack set that comes with 100.
The toy is designed to be played with by children ages 4 and up. Adults have proven to have just as much fun and challenges utilizing this new invention. The product exercises your reasoning skills; problem solving, creative thinking and can help with levels of dementia, cognitive skills and memory loss.
“You might be interestedin reading the education section of our website. It gives you lots of insight into why this toy is remarkable,” said Najen Silven, branding specialist and design consultant for Bokah Blocks.
The company hopes to become successful enough to give back to the community by being able to provide Bokah Blocks to schools in the near future. There are activities provided on the official web site in order to motivate child and adult engagement as a family activity and social interaction. As stated in the educational section of the website, “Playing is the “work” children do in order to discover, understand and navigate the world around them. For that reason, the nature and quality of their exposure to play scenarios matters. Having hands-on building experiences while growing up helps them develop critical skills that can benefit them throughout their entire life.”
“It provides the opportunity to endlessly create. It’s the toy that plays with people. It moves, it bends, it stays the way you want it to. It interacts and is made to interact and be alive,” said Phamdo as he was working directly with the building set to present the material, “It’s as creative and complex as you are.”
Visit bokahblocks.com/ to learn more about the product, which can only be purchased directly from the official website at this time.