Reading Time: 5 min | Jun 2021

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Editorial

Clever Gadgets For Young Kids

Technology and sustainability influence children’s toys and household items to turn life more smoothly and enjoyable for parents and kids.

Having children can be one of the greatest joys in life. Especially when children are in their early ages, their curiosity knows no boundaries and they spread laughter and love like wildfire – that’s something adults can probably more often take a leaf out of their book. However, having kids also presents a wide range of challenges to parents’ everyday stress level. Having a few things you can rely on in your day-to-day routine can simplify a lot of that and helps you being more relaxed and happy – emotional states which then also have a positive effect on the relationship with your child.

iF AWARD-WINNING DESIGNS 2021

Non spill sippy cup Mio | Manufacturer: Mepal BV, Lochem, Netherlands
Learning to drink independently goes hand in hand with spilling. That's why this cup is designed to not leak. On both sides, there's an opening for drinking so that your little one won't miss a sip. In addition to that, the cup also has another special feature: short spouts that allow for healthier mouth and teeth development.
Wireless Baby Dryer | Manufacturer: Xiamen Chipsun Science & Technology Co. Ltd., Xiamen, China
This is the first hairdryer specially designed for babies aged 0–3 years old. With a built-in lithium battery, it can be used wirelessly, allowing the baby more room to move. Considering the skin and hair quality of infants, this device ensures a constant temperature and gentle airflow. The low sound and low noise also ease babies’ fear of devices and protect their sensitive hearing.
Mi Kids Sonic Electric Toothbrush | Manufacturer: Xiaomi Co., Ltd., Beijing, China
Mi Kids Sonic Electric Toothbrush features an interactive app-based brushing animation that teaches children good brushing habits. The packaging is a key component of the product, featuring cartoon elements and children's illustrations. Once open, the packaging has a second use as a game box, offering children a continued fun and interactive experience.
Dino Daily Reading Pen | Manufacturer: Future VIPKID Limited, Beijing, China
This learning tool is designed to support a child's independent learning and allows children to focus on learning itself. A more natural human-computer interaction, which simulates the experience of using a mechanical pencil, gives children a sense of ease and familiarity. The surface design is streamlined to the pen holding position, supporting a good holding posture.
MY THEATER EDU | Manufacturer: EM-Tech, Dongan, Anyang, South Korea
This educational neckband speaker is designed to help children enjoy sound in a healthy way. Its organic shaped, light weighted and soft to touch. The product has speakers facing the user’s ears, allowing kids to experience a clear and vivid sound. During outdoor activities, the product frees both the user’s hands and allows children to hear surrounding sounds for their safety.
Maxi Cosi Lila XP | Manufacturer: Dorel, Helmond, Netherlands
This stroller provides all-terrain wheels, soft suspension, and an easy front-wheel modulo-drive system. It allows you to maneuver any surface that takes you where other strollers haven’t gone before, ensuring comfort for your little one as you go.
KIDFIX i-SIZE | Manufacturer: Britax Roemer Kindersicherheit GmbH, Leipheim, Germany
This car seat features side-impact protection SICT, neck and chest protection XP-PAD, and abdominal protection SecureGuard. Markings on the headrest help parents set the right height for the growing child, while the ventilation holes in the seat shell aid air circulation for comfort. The KIDFIX i-SIZE family also offers recycled fabric covers and redesigned packaging with sustainable materials for a reduced carbon footprint.
färska Creative Cot series | Manufacturer: Grandoir International Ltd., Miyoshi Aichi, Japan
This baby furniture adapts to human growth from infancy to adulthood while solving two problems - that babies quickly outgrow the products and that living spaces in Japan not large enough for multiple items of baby furniture. This makes it a sustainable product that is friendly to both humans and the environment.
Sento Kids | Manufacturer: Eczacibasi Building Products Production Department, Bilecik, Turkey
For this bathroom collection, age, sex, height, weight, and knee heights of children between the ages of three to five and five to six were taken into account as their toilet behaviors were observed. The provided color palette was chosen to encourage children to see the bathroom as a safe and friendly environment.
SCOOP | Manufacturer: ILOOM, Inc., Seoul, South Korea
The Scoop Series are children’s beds that allow kids to hang various items on the bed panel. It mainly targets the child (3–10 years of age) who begins to sleep independently and allows them to customize their bed, thereby reducing reluctance to sleeping independently and instead stimulating their creative energies.
SMARTBOX | Manufacturer: Shenzhen explore home Industrial Design Co., Ltd., Shenzhen, China
This modular educational toy with a basic math algorithm is made for three to nine-year-olds and aims to help children rapidly improve their cognitive ability. The toy is based on the form of traditional building blocks, with four NFC algorithm modules. When the blocks are arranged in a certain pattern, the display module will display the answer of the corresponding algorithm and play an answer tone.
LEOLEO | Manufacturer: Leea Toys, Magurele, Ilfov, Romania
This chair consists of a few parts that can be recombined in many ways, thus obtaining different functionalities. The activities Leoleo promotes are based on adult-child cooperation and aim to develop skills, promote physical movement and encourage children's independence.
AlphaEgg SmartPen Q3 | Manufacturer: iFLYTEK Co., Ltd., Hefei, China
With its fast query speed, scanning and translation functions, and multimedia teaching, this speech learning tool has solved the problems with traditional paper reference books of having long browsing time and an inability to teach pronunciation; and when compared with smartphone apps it is far more accurate and effective and allows users to be more focused.
Ergobaby Aerloom Baby Carrier | Manufacturer: Ergobaby, Los Angeles, United States
Aerloom by Ergobaby is a first-of-its-kind, engineered knit baby carrier that is made to move, stretch, and fit parents and their daily lives. Drawing inspiration from the activewear industry, Aerloom features an innovative FormaKnit construction made with seamless knitting technology and post-consumer recycled polyester for reduced environmental impact.
pixsee App | Manufacturer: Compal Electronics Inc., Taipei City, Taiwan
The pixsee app connects parents’ smartphones with their pixsee, a baby monitor with AI that automatically recognizes and captures meaningful moments, like a baby’s smiles, big body movements, and family interactions. Parents can use the app to access photos taken by pixsee, which are sorted and archived on the cloud by date and specific events. The app’s security features alert parents in real-time when the baby cries and offers tips on childcare.
TAN | Manufacturer: INFANSY'S Enterprise (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., Shanghai, China
TAN is a modularized wearable solution for fine motor skills training, designed for toddlers, preschoolers or children with special conditions like autism. It contains a learn-to-dress T-shirt and expandable components, designed to be easily and safely attached to the T-shirt by PUR dot bonded plastic buckles for dedicated muscle and nervous system training. Digital Printing allows for interactive bright color graphics with training instructions.
Baby stroller of filtering air and preventing nois | Manufacturer: Yunbo Industrial Design Co., Ltd., Shenzhen, China
As our cities get larger and larger, living conditions for many people and the natural environment are on the decline. Harmful air pollutants increase in conglomerations. For babies with weak immune systems, good air quality is essential. This device filters air while a baby is in the stroller, and as such helps ensure a healthy development of our smallest family members.
heycode | Manufacturer: Hangzhou Youbixue Technology Co., Ltd., Hangzhou, China
Heycode is an educational hardware product designed to help children learn to code at an early age. With its patented physical programming technology, this product teaches programming through game-based tasks. The design of Heycode takes into account both the child's sense of technology and interest, and perfectly interprets the concept of "learning through play".
Konny by Erin | Manufacturer: Konny by Erin, Inc., Seoul, South Korea
Babywearing in hot weather has always been an arduous task, usually ending in sweat and frustration. With the Konny Baby Carrier SUMMER, the parent and baby both stay cool and comfortable thanks to its breathable air mesh fabric. Not only does it enable more comfortable outings with the baby, it creates invaluable harmony that has lasting positive effects on the baby's development.
Self-feeding Pulp Feeder | Manufacturer: Beijing Shenchuang Century Information Technology Co., Ltd., Beijing, China
Infants love to suck, chew and try out new foods. This innovative feeding and chewing device allows infants to suck, chew and try out new foods at once. After the bite compartment is filled with soft fruit or vegetables, the silica gel elastic parts contract around it. As the baby chews and sucks, she automatically breaks down the food inside the silica compartment and sucks out the tasty nutritious juices.
Night Light™ Baby In-Sight® | Manufacturer:
This travel mirror with dimmable LED lights is made for nighttime car rides with babies. Under its LED cover, there are four warm white LEDs that can gently light up the baby's face and reflect onto the driver's rearview mirror without causing harsh glares. The mirror can be mounted with attached buckle straps, and the angle of the mirror can be adjusted easily.
Breast-feel baby bottle | Manufacturer: Dongguan Fusheng children's products Co., Ltd., Dongguan, China
This bottle is designed to look and feel like a mother's breast. It allows the baby to directly adapt to the breast milk bottle, reducing the mother's anxiety and the baby's uncertainty. The ergonomic design optimizes the bottle form in order to mimic the experience of breastfeeding as much as possible.

Balancing the needs of young children against those of yours can be daunting. From learning new things to navigating the world, young children are constantly on the move and parents have to be after them, even more when one lacks childcare support. Add to that the usual household chores and life at home doesn’t get any easier. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Among this year’s iF DESIGN AWARD winners in the category of Babies / Kids are many products designed with the understanding that the first few years of a new life can be especially exhausting. Designers have come up with clever ideas to invent new gadgets for the littlest of little ones.

The keywords here are once again: technology and sustainability. These two areas also influence modern children’s toys and household items to create gadgets that are as forward-looking as possible – practical everyday products paired with a playful approach. Take the "Non Spill Sippy Cup Mio", for example. An ingenious way to give your baby something to drink without spilling, thanks to a never-before-seen cup design. Or the "Wireless baby dryer", which uses new technology to dry a baby's skin and hair even when he or she is sleeping, as it is very quiet. Or what about the tedious brushing of teeth? "Mi Kids Sonic Electric Toothbrush" is the playful answer to a tiresome task thanks to its cartoonish design featuring a game box as a container.

PåHoj

PåHoj | Manufacturer: PåHoj AB Malmoe, Sweden

There is also a range of products specializing on the parents’ needs – solutions like the multi-functional furniture "färska Creative Cot series", the breathable baby carrier "Konny by Erin" and the travel mirror with dimmable LED lights "Night Light™ Baby In-Sight®", to name just a few.

The overarching theme of these iF award-winning designs is the ability to not only help parents, but to get children to explore the world around them with all their senses. Since playful learning has proven to be successful in areas such as foreign language courses and primary education, it’s not surprising that designers translate the concept of learning through play into many of their products. "Dino daily" is a smart reading pen that recognizes the words on a page and reads them aloud to support independent learning. The "MY THEATER EDU" is an equally groundbreaking device that allows children to listen to music or audiobooks without the need for headphones, which is healthier for the youngest. And if you want to boost your child’s cognitive ability, try out "SMARTBOX", a modular educational toy with a basic math algorithm.

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