Children are learning the joys of sending and receiving letters through a new toy, Turtle Mail.
The small wooden mailbox comes in several bright colors and prints messages sent by friends and family through a Wi-Fi enabled app.
Turtle Mail was created by Alysia Finger and Albert Niko Triulzi, two Carnegie Mellon University who wanted to give children an alternative to electronic devices.
“What I heard over and over during my interviews with parents and caregivers is that they were exhausted with screen time, apps and video games,” Finger told Wired magazine last week. “[M]any expressed how hard it was to get their kids off of computers and tablets.”
Parents can use the app to “give voice” to their children’s favorite characters, sending messages from the likes of Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.
Finger and Triulzi also hope the toy encourages kids to write more and send real mail.
“After all, letter-writing is an art, and not even a toy mailbox can replace the intimacy of a handwritten note,” Wired noted.