Kubo: How to teach complex things to children

IoT, Electronics, 2017

Kubo is an interactive tot that I created for my Bachelor’s project in 2017 at l'Ecole de Design Nantes Atlantique.

Brief

The aim was to carry out a project from conception to prototype while following the design methodology. I decided to focus my project on a topic that fascinates me: how children can learn complex notions really young such as code, maths or letters.

Inteviews

By interviewing specialists, I learnt that the best techniques to teach children are to make them touch and watch. Indeed, they learn by handling and experimenting. Also, everything need to be clear and real because abstracts notions are complicated to understand for children.

In UI/UX, the best way to attract children are to rely on simple interaction and animations with colorful guidelines. For instance, only one element should be put forward, with a limited number of colors and simple icons.

Famous specialist Serge Tisseron also wrote on how children should behave with technology. Technology should be a way to make them more creative and encourage them to collaborate and explore. To do this, children should be able to switch between devices and games and play for a limited time to allow to do other activities.

I also got really inspired by Montessori concept in which children choose what they want to learn and work by themselves, using tangible wood toys.

What already exists

In the actual industry, digital devices are designed for older children, mainly because of the fear around technology and education. Anyway I believe that with a rational use, technology can have a really positive impact on children education.

Observations

I also noticed that many children love to mix their toys to create multiple universes: Legos and Kaplas, Barbies and Playmobil… But also that they can give up really easily on their toys after a few uses when they are not able to imagine something with it. This is why the best toys are often the simplest ones.

Problematic

How to help young children aged 3 to 6 learn colors by experimenting with a tangible toy? My idea was to encourage children to collaborate and use their creativity to make them learn faster.

My goal was to design a fun toy that would evolve according to the child level of understanding.

What is Kubo?

Kubo are interactive construction cubes. Each Kubo is lightened with a RGB color. By connecting two Kubo, colors change and merge to show how RGB mixes work.

Learn and have fun, evolve with your children and transform into something new.

Each Kubo represents a value of R, G, or B from 255 to 50. You can easily switch from RGB to CMJN mode, once children have understood how it works.

To help parents keep up with their children creativity, the Kubo app will help them create new games and follow their level. The concept of Kubo is simple enough to work with any kind of lessons: learn how to read, how to count…