Children Need To Build Their Creativity
Parents have always had to balance the free time their children spend with toys, and that’s especially true of young children, for example ages 3 - 7. In recent years storybooks and building blocks have given way to LCD screens — meaning smartphones and tablets — taking over as the entertainment being given to children. And which even the youngest of children are now demanding to spend time with. While there’s no doubt that play time is important for young children, it’s questionable whether letting them tap and poke their way around an LCD screen is the best use of their time — or the best way to further their growth. A child’s imagination can do anything and go anywhere, but having them look at a screen limits them to what is being seen and doesn’t allow for imagination to take flight. So it would seem that traditional methods of play would seem the best, although there’s no reason not to take advantage of the 21st Century where its impact can be beneficial. So into the fray comes the Jooki.
A Screen-Free Player
Now because the name doesn’t convey what it is, let’s describe it physically to start. The Jooki looks sort of like a nicely contoured TV tray, in that it’s basically an oval composed of rounded plastic. There’s a visual appearance with grills on each side — which makes sense since it’s a speaker that will be playing music, audiobooks, podcasts, personal recordings, basically any audio coming out of it. Two control knobs exist, one on each side, and they’re big and easy to grasp because Jooki is designed for kids after all, and so let’s them turn it on/off, adjust volume and switch audio tracks. The final thing is the depression at its center; here special tokens and figurines can be placed and they do things. Because the whole idea of Jooki is to have a screen-free device that children can hold and listen to, as well as interact with (which is not to say that parents should just leave them alone, after all kids want/need their parents to participate too). We’ll get more into the specifics once we’ve navigated around the tech.
Here Comes The Audio
So if audio is going to emanate out of Jooki, then there has to be a system or systems for getting that audio from the audio source to it. This is done through streaming (meaning WiFi) and local storage (meaning a memory card going into a slot in Jooki). Bluetooth also plays a part as well as it does the job of providing wireless headset use. And since there has to be power to make all this tech work, and plugging into a wall outlet doesn’t make any sense whatsoever — Jooki has a rechargeable battery using USB-C for quick charging and an 8 hour functionality (over 6 without fail nicely designed for long sessions).
Now about those tokens/figurines and the tech they employ. Called ToyTouch, it uses the same NFC that lets devices do things. In this case, placing one of these in the center depression triggers an audio file — a specific audio file that has been pre-set by the parents. The parents associate a token or figurine with content (music, an audiobook) which is then triggered and played. The child doing this quickly learns what token/figurine does what — and certainly it’s up to the parent to keep the content rotating and fresh (yes we all know how children love to hear the same story over and over again and this will happen here too — but that’s okay).
Jooki works with Spotify and also has local playback ability through the removable memory card (in which case it’s the parents responsibility to fill up the card with content — sort of like back in the days of the MP3 players). Obviously the parent decides what content is to be played so there won’t ever be any unwanted surprises
So the Jooki is actually a gen2 model, but what’s important is that it has been improved upon and is guided by Montessori education principles. It comes in a number of variations (as regards the number of tokens/figurines). For more details go to https://jooki.rocks/pages?cid=homepage