France's Open Toys project could make vegetables more enticing for kids by using 3D printed parts to turn them into playthings.
For kids, toys are hugely more entertaining than any of the serious and boring tasks their parents make them do. But can parents use them as a tool to teach them good habits? We already wrote about Hope Soap, the South African project that encases toys in soap to force them to wash their hands in order to get them. Now France's Open Toys project could make vegetables more enticing for kids by using 3D printed parts to turn them into playthings.
Created by France-based leFabShop's Samuel Bernier, the idea initially involved using 3D printed accessories to make old bits of scrap wood and cork more fun by turning them into planes and cars. Unfortunately, not every household has those materials available. What they're likely to have however, is vegetables and fruit. Bernier tweaked his designs so that they could easily be slotted into the food to turn them into toys — much like a literal Mr Potato Head. For example, an eggplant could become a submarine, while a parsnip could turn into a drag racing car.
Although parents usually tell their kids not to play with their food, the idea could actually enable parents to introduce different healthy foods outside of the context of the dinner plate. By getting them familiar with funny-shaped vegetables, they could then encourage them to try eating them. In face, the instructions for the 3D printed parts each come with a recipe to cook at the end of playtime. Kids can download the files at Thingiverse, as well as some instructions from Instructables.
Are there other ways to make chores more fun for kids?