Due to their general non-durability and potential for toxic ingredients like phthalates and worse, many eco-conscious parents will try to avoid accumulating cheap plastic kids' toys at home as much as possible. It's a difficult task indeed, and some may find some plastic toys sneaking in anyway (myself included). So it was a pleasant surprise to come across Infento, a DIY kit for kids and parents to make a range of kid-sized rides, from balance bikes, scooters, to tricycles, recumbent bikes and sleds (and there's even an option to add an electric motor).
Created by Dutch designers Spencer Rotting and Sander Letema as the "world's first real constructible rides," the name Infento is derived from the Latin phrase for "infinite makes," and that's the idea behind this kit, which is a cross between a set of LEGOs and Meccano, but larger. All the models are built from a series of three progressive kits, Junior, Creator and Master, which can be assembled and disassembled into different designs as your child grows older, until age thirteen.
The materials consist of sturdy, machined aluminum metal bars, plus sturdy modular connectors, stainless steel bolts, reinforced plastics and rubber components. Best of all, they can be put together with only a simple Allen key -- the same that one might use to put together IKEA furniture.
The emphasis here is on a modular design that promotes ease of use and assembly, and do-it-yourself goodness that sure to inspire curious youngsters to tinker and make more of their own stuff. It's not dirt cheap, with the Junior Kit starting at $299, but the versatility and the durability of the kit and materials may be well worth it. Infento has already surpassed its crowdfunding goal on Kickstarter, with a little over a week left to go, so check it out before the deadline. More over at Infento and Kickstarter.