5 startups to entertain your kids and allow you to WFH in peace
By Anais Masetti - 19 March 2020
Okay. You’ve checked the wifi connection is fast, your headset is working, you have removed all embarrassing photo frames at the back of your makeshift office room. Meanwhile next door, books and crayons are on the coffee table, Peppa Pig is doing her thing on TV, straws are stuck in the juice boxes – you even set up a rainbow playdough cake making station.
You feel like the best freakin WFH-ing parent on the planet.
Except that two minutes into your very important video-call with a client you’ve begged not to reschedule, your four-year-old barges in “your office” in quest for their Aquaman gold trident (not the silver one, the gold one!).
Chances are you won’t even go viral with this – “BBC dad” beat you to it:
If it can make you feel better, you are not alone in this. As Covid-19 containment measures are rolled out throughout Europe, both working parents and kids have to learn how to reach a balance of productivity and happiness at home. Now more than ever we can appreciate the ingenious solutions startups have created to make our lives easier. At Early Metrics, we have had the chance to discover and assess brilliant tech businesses that could help your children stay entertained and engaged while homebound.
Here is our pick of 5 innovative startups that will allow both children and parents who are WFH to stay sane during the coronavirus quarantine period:
1.Set up a healthy routine with Octopus
Ensuring your child structures their day and sticks to a schedule is very important, especially when they don’t have their school teacher reminding them throughout the day. The American startup Joy has developed the Octopus Chart and Watch to help children gain autonomy in setting up and following a routine. The Chart involves a kit of 500+ magnetic icons to showcase on your fridge the day’s plan as well as reward kids for completing these tasks. On the other hand (pun intended), the Watch is specially designed for children. It acts as an icon-based reminder of the schedule (handwashing included!), has fitness tracking features and also helps children learn how to read the time.
2. Making tablet time educational with Marbotic
It’s inevitable that your child will request longer iPad or tablet time if they can’t leave the house to play. With Marbotic however, the kids can put that time to good use. Indeed, the startup has designed wooden toys that can be used on a touchscreen to play app-based educational games. These games include learning shapes, letters and vocabulary as well as numbers and basic math. Brothers and sisters can also share that screen time by doing multiplayer learning games. Less fighting and shouting “It’s my time now!” guaranteed.
3. Storytime sorted with Lunii
If you are tempted to park your child in front of Dora or Little Baby Bum for a few hours (days?), we can’t blame you. These are desperate times and these shows have a magically pacifying effect on the little ones. However, if you are looking for a no-screen no-wifi alternative, Lunii’s Fabulous Storyteller is a wonderful option. It looks like a little radio set and has pre-uploaded stories for your child to listen to. Enhancing their vocabulary skills, this toy is also great for creativity skills as it allows children to select the hero, secondary character and topic of the story. Available in English, French and Spanish, this toy could also serve as a language learning tool for the older kids!
4. Receive a monthly activity kit with Pandacraft
While it is only available in French so far, we thought Pandacraft deserved a mention in this selection seeing as it offers a genius solution to entertain and educate children at home. Indeed, this monthly subscription service ensures your kid has a new set of interesting activities on a regular basis. The kit always includes a manual project (like building your own 3D rocket, dinosaur or Inuit igloo) as well as a magazine on various educational topics with games and exercises. The startup also creates online content and videos to complement the other activities.
5. Gamifying recycling and groceries with Eugene by Uzer
If you want to keep the kids entertained, make them do chores willingly and teach them about sustainable and healthy eating (yes all these things) Eugene is your guy – or rather your app. Developed by the rated startup Uzer, it allows people to find out how to recycle products as well as learn about their nutritional value. Thanks to the Eugene device, your children will have a great time scanning the barcodes of each food item and will gain a better understanding of both the environmental and health impact of what they eat. The app then allows parents to rack up points and convert them into discounts for online grocery shopping when they reach recycling milestones. A win-win for parents and kids alike.
If all of these options fail to entertain your children during your coronavirus self-isolation, you might want to consider investing in the next generation earplugs developed by the rated startup Loop. These will at least make the racket bearable.
All jokes aside, we know how difficult the situation is and hope all our community of investors, entrepreneurs and innovation leaders are safe, as well as their families. Early Metrics is at your disposal to help you keep innovating and connecting to the startup ecosystem in these troubled times. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be delighted to discuss how we can support you.