Parents who have been waiting eagerly for these STEM inspired dolls will have to wait as the company faces some manufacturing challenges.
If you have been looking forward to getting your hands on the much awaited Anna or Andy, you will have to wait.
The Kickstarter campaign for these dolls could not reach the intended goal. And so, the production of the dolls is going to be delayed. But you need not worry. Because, according to a Facebook post by the manufacturer – Little Boffins, they are already working on a plan B!
The anatomic dolls
Many parents are looking forward to this marvellous innovation. However, if you have missed the news, let me tell you what the hoopla is all about.
A mum of 4 from UK was looking for something fun to teach her home-schooled children about STEM, particularly anatomy. They had already learnt a lot from a dissection session, presumably of a lower animal, and the kids were looking forward to exploring human anatomy.
Sadly, she did not find anything interesting. The only things available were the dissection models, the ones used by medical students. Needless to say, they were quite boring! Luckily for us, the mumpreneur came up with an idea. After a lot of tweaks, Anatomic Anna and Andy were conceptualised!
STEM inspired Anatomic Anna and Andy
Anna and Andy look like any other regular dolls. They are about a foot and a half in height, come with smart clothes and Anna has lovely chestnut hair. But once you begin to change their clothes, you will notice what the dolls have to offer.
Anna and Andy are STEM inspired anatomic dolls meant for children aged 4 through 12. You can remove and replace the major organs of the body like the heart, lungs, intestines, kidneys, stomach, pancreas in their correct anatomical position. This is particularly important because there is a gap between the spoken English and Anatomic English. For instance, children often imagine that the stomach takes up a major area of ‘tummy’, whereas it is not the case.
The dolls come with a chart that tells us fun facts about the human body while letting us know which organ goes where. The dolls, true to the principle of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics are successful in imparting knowledge while stoking the curiosity of the child.
The prototypes of the dolls are ready. However, to bring the doll to production while still keeping it reasonably priced, the company decided to raise funds using Kickstarter. The company had an ambitious goal of raising GBP 200,000. However, it fell short of the goal and so the project was not funded.
However, despite all the odds, the company is optimistic. There are always different ways to start manufacturing the dolls. I hope they start it soon as I am looking forward to gifting a couple of the dolls to my niece. For now, you can register your details on their website for updates.
Why every child should own it
The human body is fascinating. Unfortunately, the means to study it are quite limited. Before the dolls came along, children had to learn either through books and illustrations or through anatomically incorrect toys and games.
Your child needs an early introduction to all aspects of STEM. Sadly, biology is the most underrepresented aspect when it comes to educational toys. These dolls do not just plug the gap, they, in fact, raise the bar altogether! But this is not the only reason why your child should own the dolls. Here are 3 more compelling reasons why he/she should do so.
- STEM helps later on. According to recent research, children are capable of understanding complex aspects of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics quite early in their life. And, an early introduction of these subjects helps your child learn better later on in life. Anna and Andy provide an excellent opportunity to your child. Who knows, he might just be inspired to become a doctor when he grows up!
- Toys lead to a better learning experience. Use of toys in education starts right from the preschool. It speeds up the cognitive development, betters the motor skills and helps the child reach milestones in time or even faster. Human anatomy is complex and the dolls make it easier to understand the role of each organ in the human body.
- They are better than animation! There are definite advantages of using animated educational films. However, there is still a lot of imagining involved when it comes to watching videos. With Anna and Andy, your children can take apart the organs, put them back one by one, and understand the position of one organ with respect to other. This helps them with the basic concepts of organ functioning and they can build their learning from there.
So mums and dads, watch out for the plan B because these dolls may just change your child’s life!
Want to know more about STEM? Read STEM education in Singapore: What you need to know.