To my nieces, screen time is like water. Without it, I think they’d go all limp and cockeyed. So I love discovering apps for them that encourage both tech literacy and imaginative play.

The two come together together beautifully thanks to the brand new Get Qurious Maker Box, which we think parents will be really happy to discover.

Related: The coolest birthday gifts for 4 year olds | The Ultimate Birthday Gift Guide

You may have heard about its super successful Kickstarter campaign last year, and now that the box is finally out, I think that Get Qurious is going to be a fantastic gift for…ahem, curious kids. And their parents, who love giving educational gifts that kids will enjoy.

There’s essentially a free iOS app you download creating an augmented reality play world around the story of The Three Little Pigs (other stories will be along soon, no doubt). Within the box, you get lots of smart, hands-on activity tools like story cards or a puzzle, all designed to bring kids into that virtual world and help create it and control it in a totally hands-on way.

That’s making the best of how kids learn.

 

Get Qurious Maker Box from Amazon started as a successful Kickstarter campaign to combine digital and imaginary play.

Related: Cubetto: A robot that teaches preschoolers to code

While I was sure my 4-year-old niece would just abscond with the pig mask and sticker book in the box, she turned out to be genuinely curious about the way these items interact with the companion app. Choose the right sticker or story card for each scene and suddenly she’s an active part of storytelling — a fantastic, and important skill for preschoolers.

Her favorite activity, though, is the double-sided puzzle that comes to life after you snap a photo of your completed masterwork with your iPad. She discovered all on her own that if she flipped a few puzzle pieces, she could create a totally different house with new animations to explore.

A cool tech trick a preschooler figured out all on her own. Imagine that.

Thanks to the folks at Get Qurious for sending a sample box to try. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next. You can order Get Qurious Maker Box at our affiliate Amazon. The app works with iOS version 8 and above.

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