Heather Bays' Etsy Store
Heather Bays' Etsy Store

20 Delightfully Geeky Baby Toys

Heather Bays' Etsy Store
Heather Bays' Etsy Store

Just because you were lucky enough to forgo pop music and trash television doesn’t mean your little one will be so lucky. But if you want to start your baby off on the right path as soon as possible, you can always help push him or her into geekdom with one of these great baby toys.

1. Vampire Pacifier

Whether your little angel is an Anne Rice, Bram Stoker, or Twilight fan in training, ThinkGeek’s pacifier fangs are a great way to make him grow to love his inner vampire.

2. Handlebar Mustache Pacifier

If your baby was just born to love Victrola records and Penny Farthing bicycles, then this fantastic handlebar mustache pacifier from appropriately named Etsy seller BabyHipsters is a must.

3. Golden Snitch Rattle

Just because your child probably won’t receive a letter inviting him to Hogwarts doesn’t mean that you can’t train him to be a professional quiddich player from an early age. If you want a champion seeker, start him out with this golden snitch rattle from Etsy seller ThreeDegrees.

4. Yoshi Egg Rattle

Teach your child the value of old-school games so they can appreciate why Yoshi, Tetris, and Pac-Man are so fantastic. Start your babe young with Etsy seller HandmadeMonster's rattle that looks like Yoshi’s egg.

5. Dr. Mario Pill Rattle

Etsy seller 72stitches' Dr. Mario rattles are great because they will not only get your child interested in classic Nintendo games from an early age, but they may also inspire your little angel to go into medicine—and who doesn’t want their baby to grow up to be a doctor?

6. Mario Baby Rattle

Etsy seller Mama24Boyz sells a PDF pattern of these designs for anyone interested in crocheting their very own Mario Bros. baby rattles. Yarn, needle, and intermediate crochet experience sold separately.

7. Eye Ball Rattle

Have you sworn to train your child how to survive the zombie apocalypse? Then get her started early with Etsy seller HandmadeMonster's eye ball rattle so she can become desensitized to the inevitable violence and gore that will take over the world in those dark days to come.

8. Cthulhu Rattle

Prefer your horror to be a little more psychological than a typical zombie gore-fest? Then interest your child in Lovecraft and the Cthulhu mythos with this cute little crocheted Cthulhu rattle by Etsy seller HeatherBays.

9. Death Star Rattle

If your baby Jedi is ready to destroy his first Death Star, start him off easy with this adorable baby rattle version by Etsy seller SincereCostumes. Sure, it will take a lot of spit, dirt and vomit to destroy this soft version, but like all Death Stars, it has its weak spots.

10. Lightsaber Rattle

Etsy seller Geek-a-Bye Baby sells all kinds of great geek baby goodies. This lightsaber rattle, for example, is a great way to accustom your child to using the Force from an early age.

11. Yoda Rattle

Similarly, Geek-a-Bye Baby’s Yoda rattle provides an excellent chance for you to expose your youngster to the light side of the Force before she ever learns that the dark side likes to bribe young recruits with cookies.

12. Doctor Hoo Owl

For geek parents who prefer the TARDIS to the Millennium Falcon, Geek-a-Baby’s adorable plush “Doctor Hoo” owl, based on Number 11, can help introduce your little companion to the wide world of Whovianism.

13. Dalek Plushies

These pastel yarn Daleks by Etsy seller fassbaby may not destroy the world, but be careful—they might just steal your baby’s heart. Aside from being adorable, they also feature a jingling bell inside so even before your little one can really grasp what it means to be The Doctor’s greatest nemesis, she’ll understand why the Daleks have been a fan-favorite since the sixties.

14. The One Ring Teether

This One Ring teether by Etsy seller averyrayne won’t make your baby invisible, but it might help the pains of teething disappear. Just make sure you take it away before she is old enough to start calling it “my precious.”

15. Nintendo Controller Teether

NinTeeth-o might not be as popular as Nintendo, but when your baby is teething, he’ll certainly appreciate this wooden controller by Etsy seller 3PrincessStore over the plastic game controller he’ll grow to love as he gets older.

16. Batman Teether

If you want your kid to grow up ready to take a bite out of crime, then get him started on the right path with this Batman teether by Etsy seller TeethME. It’s a much better way to start him on his road to superherodom than letting him become an orphan.

17. Superhero Rubber Duckies

It’s important to make bath time fun for your young ones or else you’re going to have a hard time getting them to scrub up as they get older. If you want to help make your babe’s bath fun and geeky, then grab one of these superhero rubber duckies.

18. Scrabble Building Blocks

Some parents want to teach their children the value of a dollar, but for others, the value of Scrabble letters can be just as important. These Scrabble blocks by Etsy seller TheBlackSpot are a great way to get your child familiar with Scrabble tiles before she can even spell the word “Scrabble.”

19. Presidential Building Blocks

Get your little one addicted to history from a young age with these Presidential Building Blocks that feature images and facts about all 44 presidents. When stacked in the proper manner, the blocks come together to form an American flag.

20. Periodic Table Blocks

Just because your little one is too young to read doesn’t mean she’s too young for science. Now you can begin to instill elemental knowledge before elementary school with these periodic table building blocks.

I regret that I can’t weigh in on the effectiveness of such great geek goodies as I don’t have any youngsters yet. But do any of you Flosser parents have any other useful tips on how to get your child interested in geek culture before they can even speak?

Build Your Own Cat With These LEGO-Like Blocks

It’s one thing to commission a custom portrait of your pet, but it’s quite another to build a life-size sculpture of them yourself with more than a thousand LEGO-like bricks. That’s exactly what you can do with the cat sculptures made by the Hong Kong-based toy-brick-makers at JEKCA (“building blocks for kidults,” as the company describes itself).

The pet sculptures, which we spotted over on Bored Panda, come in the shape of various breeds and colors that allow you to choose one that looks uncannily like your own pet. As long as your cat looks like a typical orange tabby or tuxedo shorthair, Siamese, Persian, or other garden variety cat, at least. They come in different colors and are available in multiple positions, whether it’s sitting, walking, pouncing, or playing.

Made of more than 1200 individual bricks each, the cat sculptures run about a foot tall, and between about half a foot and a foot long, depending on whether they’re sitting, standing on their hind legs, or walking. They come with instructions for assembly and can be taken apart and built again as many times as you want. But you don’t have to worry about them falling apart, according to JEKCA, since the blocks are secured by screws. “These cats are like real sculptures and will not collapse or break apart,” the company writes on its Facebook.

Six different calico cat sculptures in different positions

You could build one that looks exactly like your cat or adopt one of the brick animals as a pet itself. Buy a whole team of them, and it’ll look like your house is overrun with a cat gang—minus the extreme litter box cleaning that comes with being a traditional crazy cat lady.

The cat sculptures cost between $60 and $90, plus shipping, depending on the size of the kit and how many bricks it requires. You can see them all here. If cats aren’t your favorite pet, the company also makes dogs, birds, and other animals as well. Although, sadly, unlike their domestic pets, their dolphins and deer don’t come in life-size versions.

[h/t Bored Panda]

Aflac's Robotic Duck Comforts Kids with Cancer

Every year, close to 16,000 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with cancer. That news can be the beginning of a long and draining battle that forces kids and their parents to spend large amounts of time with medical providers, enduring long and sometimes painful treatments. As The Verge reports, a bit of emotional support during that process might soon come from an unlikely source: the Alfac duck.

The supplemental insurance company announced at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that it has partnered with the medical robotics company Sproutel to design and manufacture My Special Aflac Duck, a responsive and emotive sim-bird intended exclusively for children undergoing cancer treatment.

When a child cuddles the fuzzy robotic duck, it can cuddle back. It reacts to being cradled and stroked by quacking or moving its head. Kids can also touch special RFID chips emblazoned with emoji on the duck's chest to tell it how they’re feeling, and the device will mimic those emotions.

But the duck isn’t solely for cuddling. In “IV Mode,” which can be switched on while a child is undergoing IV therapy, the duck can help the user relax by guiding them through breathing exercises. Accessories included with the toy also allow children to "draw blood" from the duck as well as administer medication, a kind of role-playing that may help patients feel more comfortable with their own treatments.

Aflac approached Sproutel with the idea after seeing Sproutel’s Jerry the Bear, a social companion robot intended to support kids with diabetes. Other robotic companions—like the Japanese-made seal Paro and Hasbro's Joy for All companion pets for seniors—have hinted at a new market for robotics that prioritize comfort over entertainment or play.

My Special Aflac Duck isn’t a commercial product and won’t be available for retail sale. Aflac intends to offer it as a gift directly to patients, with the first rollout expected at its own cancer treatment center in Atlanta, Georgia. Mass distribution is planned for later this year.

[h/t The Verge]


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