Hold onto your hats because I think I have found the best child's toy ever invented. It's fun, it's educational, it builds relationships, it uses technology to create real connections, and it's super cute!
Meet Turtle Mail, a wooden letterbox that can deliver real-time printed messages to your children. It contains an embedded thermal printer and is WiFi connected, so family and friends can send the children they love special messages from their mobiles or computers.
For us, this would be amazing! Mr B works very long hours, and is most often at work before our children wake up, and home long after they are in bed. Both sets of grandparents live a long way away, and the kids adore them but rarely get to see them. To enable parents and grandparents to surprise the children by sending little messages to their own "postbox" at any time during the day would be incredibly special, not to mention a lot of fun for the kids.
For security, parents have complete control over who will be allowed to send content to their children. They can send both text and images, and there are other apps that extend the play experience, like interactive Turtle Mail activities and characters, and a super-cute function with which you can "register" your child's favourite toy, and the toy can then send them messages.
Turtle Mail is part of a crowd-funding campaign that's about half way through, and half way towards its financial target. In case you don't know, crowd funding is when you pledge to make a donation to help a great idea achieve fruition - in this case the manufacture and distribution of Turtle Mail - but you only actually pay the money if the full target is reached within the stated timeframe. In return for your pledge, you also get a number of rewards.
Mr B and I made a pledge as soon as we saw this campaign, because we could easily see how incredible this toy would be for our family. So I really, REALLY hope the campaign reaches its target, so we can get our hands on our own Turtle Mail! If you want to take a look and maybe help support this exciting new, interactive toy, all the details are on their Kickstarter page (but be quick because there are only a couple of weeks left).