Remember the old days, when kids could turn a boring piece of wood into a “toy” that entertained them for hours? Neither does your kid, who could operate your phone before they could operate a toilet. If you appreciate the role of connected toys but are still lukewarm about your kid staring at a screen, German toymakers Vai Kai have you covered with handcrafted Avakai dolls.
Billed as “intuitive connected wooden toys,” Avakai are handcrafted wooden dolls that encourage free play, imagination, and sensory stimulation without any screens, instructions, or rules. Each set of twins is preloaded with 12 expressions and 7 interactions that respond to motions like rolling, shaking, and waving. They can laugh, sing, and blow kisses to each other from up to 50 meters away via Bluetooth, or from across the world through a connected app, which also updates and adds new behaviors to the dolls. (Totally optional though, Mr. No Screen.)
Kids can invent games based on their Avakai’s individual behaviors or interaction with its twin. As one gets closer to another, their heartbeats intensify, enabling hide-and-seek, treasure hunts, and more. Avakai are available for pre-order now, and if your kid dismisses them as boring pieces of wood, remind your kid that their predecessor — the lowly stick — is in the Toy Hall Of Fame and to show some respect.