Toy Design: SkipDraw*

*(the name of the toy is still under consideration)

A classic toy reinvented for the active kid of today.

Wear the SkipDraw on your ankle and spin it on the floor around your feet. As it spins, the LED lighted cross will rotate independently. See it draw images of light in mid air as you skip in the center.


  • Encourages kids to play outside of their rooms.
  • Promotes physical exercise.
  • Can be played indoors or outdoors.
  • Compact storage when not in use.
  • Is still engaging in daylight or without the batteries.
  • Entertaining to watch.

skipdraw_overviewFor our first Toy Design Workshop assignment, Marco, Paul, EJ and I were tasked with “designing a toy based on the concept of image creation”. This was a one-week development cycle, so there wasn’t much time for brainstorming and fabrication. After one quick meeting we generated four ideas: a pixel -based stamp drawing kit, a flashlight projector kit, wearable animal/monster feet “stamps”, and a spinning drawing toy – similar to the SkipIt. We set out to each research the feasibility of the ideas.

I’ve previously been interested in spiral and spirograph drawing, so Paul’s idea to have a second spinning device on the end of the long axis of the spinning device intrigued me. A quick animated sketch helped with the pre-visualization.

skipdraw_lapseWe met up again to discuss which idea to pursue and the spinning toy got the nod. We were still considering whether to make it a wearable, skipping toy or a smaller, hand-operated tabletop toy. I was more interested in the former, so I made a push to begin constructing that version of the device. We were still thinking about drawing with chalk, but haven’t figured out the delivery system for it. In the end we decided that we could get a working model to display the drawing pattern using LEDs and taking advantage of persistence-of-vision.

Eventually, using parts found on the junk shelf at ITP, some basic electronics and two hours we had a prototype to play with. It turns out to be quite fun, although it needs a bit of space to operate. Video below.






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