Let This Clever Kids' 'Watch' Do the Nagging for You

watch for kids to tell time Octopus watchEver find yourself exhausted simply from reminding kids to brush their teeth, pack their lunches, and do nearly every other thing required in a daily routine? If you're nodding "yes," the good news is you're not alone. The even better news is that the first icon-based watch, Octopus by Joy (now in development), will keep kids on track -- and do the prompting for you -- while simultaneously teaching them how to tell time. Genius, right?  


The water-resistant device comes in bright, eye-catching colors, is pre-loaded with 600 icons, and can be easily programmed from a smartphone. Octopus is designed to teach kids good habits by conceptually linking time to events, as in: "It's 7:30 a.m., a toothbrush appears on my watch. I'd better brush my teeth!" Or, "It's 5:30 p.m., I see a plate, fork, and knife on my watch, it must be time to set the table for dinner!"

Sam Hickmann -- dad, cofounder, and chief executive officer of Joy -- shared with CafeMom how this brilliant idea has come to fruition. The inventor explains that when his now-12-year-old son was much younger, he didn't always want to cooperate when it was time to get dressed or feed his fish.

More from CafeMom: 7 Things You Still Can't Trust Your Big Kid to Do

Tired of the power struggles, and realizing they weren't the only ones locked in these daily battles, Hickmann and his wife brainstormed with other parents and educators to come up with a device that would serve multiple purposes but still be appealing to little guys and gals. 

"We knew that in order to empower kids, we needed to come with something visual, wearable, and that can grow with them," he says. "It has to be fun so kids want to wear it."

With the Octopus, when it's time for your child to complete a task, the watch flashes and vibrates. Once the job is done, little ones push a button and reward themselves with points that can translate into a treat designated by Mom and Dad. 

"Some parents don’t want to reward their kids for chores, so it's an optional feature," Hickmann notes.

More from CafeMom: 7 Mom-Tested Tips for Taking the Struggle Out of Toothbrushing

Though parents may have great intentions of creating routine within the household, as many work longer hours (and often have trouble disconnecting from their jobs even after they arrive home), establishing good habits can be challenging for all. With Octopus, parents can even set up reminders for themselves to program and prioritize their children's daily routines.

The watch is geared for kids ages 3–8. If you're wondering what are some age-appropriate tasks you can give your tot, Octopus can help there, too. The watch provides templates for routines based on age and gender.

Sounds perfect, right? Well, we're not the only ones who think so. The Kickstarter campaign launched by Hickmann and cofounder Omar Alaouf was met with resounding enthusiasm, reaching its $50,000 goal in just three hours. With just about two weeks to go, the campaign has raised over $600,000. Backers can expect to receive their new timepieces in March of 2017. 

Hickmann says the outpouring of support for the product initially caught the company off guard.

"We have to admit, we are surprised," he says. "It's a personal story first. We were convinced it would help our kids, and the more we talked about, we started to realize, 'Maybe we might be on to something.'" 

Establishing a community of families and educators who tested the product and provided value feedback allowed the founders to realize how Octopus could also benefit children with special needs, and possibly even senior citizens. 

More from CafeMom: 11 Heart-Melting Images of Siblings Meeting Baby for the First Time (PHOTOS)

Hickmann says he's proud of what the company has accomplished in creating the Octopus and is tremendously grateful to all those who helped by supplying valuable insight and input as it grew from merely an idea into a device that will help children become more independent and responsible. 

"Our mission is to reinvent how parents share time with their children: no more stress, no more power struggles, only precious moments spent focusing on what really matters -- quality family moments," he says. 


Image via kickstarter.com

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