Lyka plush reading aide heading to UK in 2015

Film director Lance Weiler plans to launch his plush alien creation to the UK to encourage kids to read and engage with the world around them.
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Filmmaker Lance Weiler is heading to London to encourage children of the UK to step away from their tablets and embrace reading.

Weiler plans on running a series of labs in the capital designed to champion storytelling as well as helping kids develop an appreciation of the natural world around them.

But Weiler won’t be undertaking the task on his own. In fact, he will be bringing his Alien companion, Lyka, along for the ride.

A plush reading aide, Lyka is a small robot scientist from another planet, who having travelled to Earth in an effort to save her own home, learns about the planet from a “fish out of water perspective.”

“Lyka’s fish-out-of-water perspective provides a unique foundation for teaching and encouraging children’s curiosity to explore the world around them,” Lyka’s creator and co-founder of Connected Sparks, Weiler told ToyNews.

Lyka made her international debut in a book series published by Penguin entitled Lyka’s Adventure and plush interactive toy that encourages kids to read via an iOS app.

Weiler has since then ran a total of 1,500 labs for students aged between six and ten, focusing on the core subjects of science, technology, engineering, art and maths.

“The more that the students read and learn, the more Lyka comes to life,” continued Weiler.

“Her smile, welcoming arms and large heart on her chest resonate strongly with children.”

The labs, coming to London in 2015, engage with children by encouraging them to work in teams to solve problems and design solutions to aid Lyka on her adventures.

“By enabling the students to step in to Lyka’s world they are given the opportunity to become heroes in her journey,” Weiler explained.

“And word of the labs is spreading as schools and after school programmes have been contacting us.”

Lyka is the first character in a planned line of toys from Connected Sparks and Lyka’s Adventures is currently in development as a television series in the US.

“We strive to place storytelling at the center of everything we do. Connected Sparks creates toys that are smart and connected,” said Weiler.

“We are currently prototyping a line of next generation toys that utilise snesors and data visualization to place children at the center of the storytelling experience, while enabling them to customise the storyworld in new ways."

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