Snap Swaps, collect them all!

Kristen, the Co-Creator of Snap Swaps, has kindly provided me with an assortment of Snap Swaps for review.  She has also been a wealth of information about the evolution of this product.  This is Kristen with her fiance Shaun.

Kristen came up with the idea for Snap Swaps after noticing the way children were focused on computers, cell phones and tablets instead of interacting with each other and enjoying the world.  She wanted to come up with something that would get kids out of the digital world and back into the real one.  What she came up with, with the help of her husband, was Snap Swaps.

Snap Swaps are little links that can be connected together to form bracelets or necklaces.  Each one has a fun face painted on it.  Kids can trade links with other kids, or just admire each other's collection.  They encourage kids to interact with each other.  But they didn't develop these adorable links over night.  For about a year and a half, Shaun would work 10 hours per day at his shipping and receiving job, then go home and work on the links for about 4 hours each night.  He was slowly working out how to connect the links and the design for them.  They wanted the links to snap together and keep the bracelet securely fastened, but they also wanted them to challenge the kids so they would have to work at the snaps to master them. 

This a the first rough prototype that Shaun made our of wood. This design would grow and evolve many times.  Eventually, he would sculpted the first working piece out of sculpting clay, and used it to create a silicone mold.  Then he cast it with fiberglass resin to create the first Snap Swaps and had them hand painted by a locol nail artist named Casandra Bartrum.   

The picture above shows the first working hand painted pieces.  During this time, Kristen was taking classes and learning how to handle the business end of their venture.

Snap Swaps was intended to encourage kids to interact with each other in order to compare their own with others' or make trades.  The main goal being to get the kids away from computer or phone screen.  But there has been other surprising uses found for them as well.  They have heard from child psychologists telling them that they are using Snap Swaps with their patients as feeling checks.  And they've also learned that some pediatric nurses are using them to communicate to some extent with children who find it difficult to communicate.  I think that is amazing!

The 3 photos above are some of the prototypes for future lines that they are working on.  I really like the dolphin one.   As for my own 3 children, they love Snap Swaps!  They've divided the samples I received among themselves and use them as a barter system with each other.  They are showing them to their friends and telling them where to buy them so they can start trading with them.

Snap Swaps are suggested for ages 5 and up.  You can purchase them from their website .      

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