Cody Rauh is a designer who works in the 3D Print and Digital Industry. He also volunteers at a children’s hippotherapy camp in Colorado Springs that uses horses to help children with autism and other developmental disabilities. After working with these children for several months, he realized that many of them had motor difficulties that made it challenging for them to use the therapy tools and toys used during their sessions.
Cody used his professional expertise to create three puzzles that are designed to be sensory-friendly and easy to use for individuals with sensory issues, cognitive, or physical disabilities. Each 3-D Zoobit puzzle is carved out of wood and finished with a hypoallergenic food-safe sealant. He consulted with a team of speech and occupational therapists to construct the puzzles in a way that will be understandable and easy to use for children with disabilities.
The Keylock Puzzle consists of eight rotating discs that contain various symbols. The discs can be turned to play various games that teach children to identify objects, test memory, and learn to follow instructions. The symbols on the discs can be letters, shapes, numbers, arrows, or any other small picture. The puzzle works like a combination lock.
The Dial Puzzle has knobs with extruding tabs that look like gears on a wooden base. Each tab will have pictures or symbols that can be matched up with the tabs on the other knob. This puzzle can be used to teach matching and other math problems.
The Ring Puzzle consists of a base ring with eight pegs that can be inserted around the base. The pegs can be rotated in four directions and placed into any of the eight holes. This game helps to develop the pincer grasp, hand-eye coordination, memory, and following instructions.
Rauh has designed the Zoobit puzzles and created models that have been evaluated by speech and occupational therapists, who agree that these products have the potential to enhance current therapies and to help children with disabilities with motor and academic concepts.
He is running a campaign on Kickstarter.com to raise money to fund the development of these Zoobit puzzles. The project will be funded if he can raise $3000 by Sunday, July 21. Donations start at $1, and all donations over $25 will receive a wooden decorative gift. Donations over $75 will receive a Zoobit puzzle, and $250 donors will receive wood carved decorative dinner set including 4 plates and utensil sets.
All donations will go towards machinery, equipment, and finishing tools. If the project moves forward, the puzzles will be printed and tested by therapists and children with disabilities, to determine the which modifications will be most beneficial.
Rauh hopes that these puzzles can be used to help children with various physical and cognitive disabilities, as well as stroke victims, war veterans, and others who are suffering from traumatic brain injuries.
To learn more, or to donate, visit the Kickstarter page at www.kickstarter.com/projects/codyrauh/zoobits.