Simbrix and Friends Toy exhibition Hangzhou, China

Behind the scenes interviews at the Cultural and Creative Industry Expo in China.

I recently took a trip to China in order to attend a toy exhibition. It was a 5-day event and so I took this time to interview attendees. Many were locals and many were from the town of Nottingham. It was great to get other people’s views on the event as well as their opinions on Simbrix. Will it be a success in China?

The Toy Unboxing Phenomenon

Our goal within this podcast is to see what all this excitement is about. We want to understand what it is that everyone seems to be loving! The podcast mainly focuses on L.O.L dolls and also mentions toys such as Kinder egg, where the enjoyment appears to lie in the unwrapping and reveal of the toy.

Children explore their inner creativeness at Forest Town Primary School

In this podcast, I came back to Forest Town Primary School to discover what teachers and most importantly what the children think of Simbrix. I want to find out how students are using Simbrix in their day-to-day learning and the benefits teachers have seen with children at all levels of learning.

We find out that Simbrix isn’t just a toy, it’s a building block for children to learn and explore their inner creativeness. Visiting Forest Town Primary School I had the pleasure to talk with the students who use Simbrix as learning tools.

I learn how the school has employed using Simbrix to grow and develop students learning and the other benefits for special needs children to relax and maintain focus in lessons.

Is Simbrix better than Lego? – We talk to the Leader of innovative teaching

We asked the question about whether Simbrix is better than Lego, and in this podcast, we discuss with Sean Brass, a teacher from Neil M. Ross elementary school about how he transformed Simbrix pixel art beads and gave them an educational purpose than just a ‘creative puzzle’.

As the ‘thought leader’ of innovation and education of his district in Alberta, he always wants the best for his students. In this interview, we get to meet Sean and find out how education has become more of a passion to him, than just a career choice.

Don’t know your STEM? Crammer class from leader in the STEM movement

For parents and educators, it’s really important to keep up to date with what children are being taught and the effects on their future career paths. The term ‘STEM’ is currently very popular in education circles – but what does it mean? Where is it from? How does it affect children’s education and careers?

In this podcast, the inventor of Simbrix, Assim gets a valuable insight into STEM from Andrew B. Raupp, the CEO and founder of the thought leader and educational training company STEM.org. This is a ‘must listen’ podcast for parents, educators and suppliers to the education industry.

The inventor of a new pixel brick toy gets interviewed by the 4th grade children at the Neil M Ross Catholic Elementary School, Alberta, Canada.

In an effort to help his pupils make the connection between the lessons at school, need for creativity and resilience, Mr Sean Bass their teacher and leader of innovation in teaching for the Albert school district, invited Assim Ishaque, the inventor of Simbrix over to talk to his class via video conference call.

In this fifth podcast, Minecraft – what non players need to know!

As a parent of three fanatic Minecraft players and inventor of toys that this community seem to love – its time that I got into this game and found out why they love it so much.

Minecraft is one of the most popular online games, creating a virtual world from little graphical blocks. Created in Sweden in 2011 by a clever chap called ‘Notch’ it was bought by Microsoft making him very rich man!

I’ve seen my children build log cabins, fly around castles and farm animals. Whilst they clearly enjoy inside Minecraft, playing for far too long, my wife and I have sometimes struggled to get them off for dinner time and ‘living’. So I wanted to speak to some experts of this phenomenon to understand why its so absorbing.

Not only is it so immersive for so many people (of all ages), schools are also adopting it with an educational version of Minecraft in their teaching of science and technology – so its important that I know what they are doing. As it’s a ‘social’ game connected with many millions of players around the world – I also need to know that it is a safe environment and that my children know how to stay safe.

If they were spending as much time learning and instrument or being in a team sport, I would certainly know a lot more than I do about their time on Minecraft – so this has to change.

In this podcast, you will hear me talk to my 12-year-old daughter, Sara about her fascination with Minecraft. I talk to her (nearly 18 year old) brother Haris – on why he still playing with it – most importantly – HOW TO GET HIM OFF IT FOR DINNER TIME!

Finally, you will here me speak to Jarrid, Simbrix Creative Director, who has been playing with Minecraft since it was in ‘alpha’ mode – before it was even released to the general public.

I learned a lot from these conversations and have feel more comfortable about ‘parenting’ with Minecraft taking up a part of their time.

The Simbrix podcast with Michelle is a Teaching Assistant at Primary School in Nottingham:

Michelle is a Teaching Assistant at Primary School in Nottingham, married with two children.

She explains how Liam was drawn to Simbrix in a Harry Potter theme ‘comicon’ festival and found something that continually brings him moments of calm – especially important for him as he is being assessed as being on the Autistic spectrum.

In this second episode, Michelle explains how she has been using Simbrix to help some children open up about their emotions.

The shapes and colours of the brix engage her student and help to break the ice and build trust between the educator and pupil.

We get to hear how Simbrix is not just a toy, but as an important tool in Michelle’s kit bag to help the students become their best and find inner calm – a real ‘connect and wow’ moment

In the third podcast, We talk about the fidget spinner craze came and went in 2017. Michelle tells us how pupils at her school reacted to them and why they were liked. We discover that ‘craze toys’ are not always useful for growing curious minds.

She explains how Liam, her son and self-confessed super fan, found comfort in Simbrix during a short hospital stay and how they provide a lovely calming effect for the parents as much as the children.

We often get asked about the ‘instructions’ for Simbrix – or lack of them, but it seems that children have their very own unique view on instructions….fascinating. Hope you enjoy this as much as we have.

In our final podcast with Michelle, a teaching assistant and mum of two boys, we talk about what drew them into Simbrix and how we compare with Lego.

As a Tiny toy startup, we have a learning about the importance of ‘creative play’ for children all abilities. In busy modern demanding lives, we often forget that children need time to ‘discover’ and build the skills that set strong foundations for lifelong learning.

In this final part of our conversation with Michelle, we get to hear how Simbrix has become ‘more than a toy’ and playing an active role in learning, creativity and even improving ‘fine motor skills’. We end with the big question – what do Michelle’s students prefer – Lego – the legendary multinational toy company or Simbrix – toy start up…. Hmm