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Monthly Theme Poll


Discuss Your Project Ideas in the Comments Below!


Three First Place Winners Earn a Shopping Cart of $100 (from element14 sites) to Buy Something Useful!



Toys give children an outlet to play and allow them to practice growing up. They are used to help children discover their identity, make their bodies stronger, learn cause and effect, explore relationships, and practice skills they'll need as adults. The earliest found toys date back to prehistoric times and are dolls representing infants, animals, soldiers, and various tools. The earliest toy found is a 4,000 year old doll.  While we don't know where the term for "toy" originated we do know that it's usage dates back to at least the 14th century.


Children playing with toys can be found in every culture, on every corner of the globe. Even in places where they aren't mass-produced or mass-marketed, children find creative ways of turning everyday objects into toys such as games, puzzles, or pretend friends or enemies. Toys are equal part frivolous and essential.  transformer-camera.jpegToys such as Lego's and building blocks help children develop math, science and problem solving skills.


Playing pretend with dolls or figurines help children develop empathy, conversational skills, and practice observations they notice in adults. Toys can be objects of solitary attention or centerpieces of social interaction. In keeping with the world around them, toys are becoming more electronic and are increasingly used for interactive digital entertainment.


Toys aren't just for children of course. Many adults are avid toy collectors for monetary as well as emotional reasons. A toy may conjure sweet childhood memories, quench a longing for a simpler time when life was a lot easier, and bring back a joy that may otherwise have been forgotten as the world forces you to live by the rules and responsibilities as adults.  Some adults never stop playing with their toys and you can see this for yourself by going to a Lego convention which is made up of mostly adults.  Others keep toys at their desk in their cubicle to add more life to an otherwise dreary workspace.


Maybe you have old toys scattered around the house collecting dust.  Toys your children no longer play with.  A toy you could never part with because it reminds you of a time when life was a lot easier.  As a child growing up in the 80s I relish memories of playing with Transformers, Star Wars figures, Voltron, an E.T. doll, Legos, Tonka trucks, and anything that seemed mechanical or robotic. You know what would be really fun?  Taking some of those same toys and giving it a new techy life like this guy did with an AT-AT:





Here are some Example Project ideas for Techno Toys to help you think of your own idea:soundwave.gif

  • Stuff a red light into E.T.'s chest and finger
  • Build an electronic Rubik's Cube with lights that change color when you touch the squares.
  • Make a lap timer for Hot Wheels cars
  • Turn shockwave into a smart digital music player


How do you get help with a project you are working on?

  • You can ask for help in the comments section of the current theme  (EX: Techno Toys)
  • You can ask for help on something in any of your blog entries related to your project submission in the current theme space  EX: Techno Toys
  • You can start a discussion thread on the Project14 and ask for help
  • You can comment on another project if you have a question about how a community member was able to do something.
  • A Jury of Peers (element14 community members as well as element14 staff) will actively monitor Project14 to help people with questions related to their projects


How are finalist determined?

  • Members can discuss their project in the Project14 and any activity such as "liking" or responses marked helpful is taken into consideration as being related to level of interest for the project.
  • Members can indicate which project idea they like by liking, marking helpful, or responding to a comment in the project theme  (EX:Techno Toys )
  • Members can indicate which project they like in several ways such as “liking” a blog entry related to a project submission, commenting on a blog entry related to a project submission, and rating a a blog entry related to a project submission.  (EX: Techno Toys )
  • The projects which receive the most positive feedback from members of the community automatically have their projects submitted as finalist to win prizes


What criteria is used to determine what finalist win prizes?

  • A Clever Project Name
    • How good is your idea for a name?
    • How would you market this?
  • How Well the Project Sticks to the Theme        993166a13b261fc5ef7ce47e4a849f7b.jpg
  • Video Proof that it works
    • Video is an informative way to learn.
    • Seeing someone work on something instills confidence you can do it.
  • Originality
    • How good is your idea for a project?
    • Is this something that's never been done?
  • The Steps - how well did you document the steps to complete the project
    • Images and Video are weighted heavily


What kind of prizes do you win?

  • Small prizes will be awarded for projects that use video to demonstrate they are working
    • Don't worry if you are not able to complete your project as there will be a new competition every month
    • If you put in the effort to try your hand at a project you will meet people in the community willing to help you
    • You'll gain confidence as well as experience by trying and set yourself up for winning future Project14 Monthly Competitions
    • You'll put yourself in a good position to compete in Design Challenges for the chance to win even bigger prizes!



Step 1:  Log in or register on element14, it's easy and free.

Step 2: Post in the comments section below to begin a discussion on your idea. Videos, pictures and text are all welcomed forms of submission.

Step 3:  Submit a blog post of your progress on your project by the end of the month.  You are free to submit as many blogs Techno Toys  until the beginning of the next theme. We'll accept blog posts until 12:00 am CDT June 14th, 2017. If you're looking for inspiration check out the projects on the  element14's The Ben Heck Show or on  Design Challenges.