Press Bits

Two kids using the Press Bits, Azraq Town, 2020

As a makerspace manager in Azraq, I often got requests for toys for kids from caregivers and nurseries. The nature of the town and it being 40 minutes away from the closest city, along with the financial hardship of residents there, made it hard to find affordable educational toys for kids. In addition, the pandemic has made creating a simple toy for kids to play with safely at home a necessity.

From this, I started sketching and playing around thinking: “how can I design and make a building-pieces kit that can be used in any household while staying cost-driven?” I tried to make different shapes and sizes using materials I knew we had in stock in the makerspace and the local market. I ensured that the pieces could be produced on machines that were accessible during those tough times.

To keep the number of needed joints to a minimum, I designed the pieces to join together in a press-fit. The end result was the Press Bits, a laser-cut, easy-to-make alternative to traditional building blocks that introduces STEM education to young kids.
A medium/small Lego set costs around $25 in addition to shipping, while a similar size Press Bits set costs less than $4.

This kit is an open-ended toy for endless possibilities. These parts promote fine motor skills and spatial thinking for children.

Go back to my Home Page, or view The Fortress Set =)