Two young entrepreneurs in the city come up with Flinto, a monthly subscription-based box of activities that help enhance child development

When you want games that are fun and tickle the mind of your three-year-old at the same time, who do you call? An eight-legged, orange octopus called Flinto. The brainchild of Chennai-based entrepreneurs Arunprasad Durairaj and Vijaybabu Gandhi, Flinto is a subscription-based monthly box of activities that aims to address different aspects of growth in a child.

Started early this year, Flinto was an idea that took shape when Vijayababu couldn’t find anything in the market that would help his child learn while having fun. “Vijay has always wanted to do something connected with children, and so we thought, why not,” says Arun. “We started doing some research, and figured that the octopus is one of the most intelligent creatures in the world. (Incidentally, they have used the eight legs to represent the eight skill enhancements they target). And it would also be easier to reach out to children through a character like Flinto.”

Flinto promises different themes and activities each month, so that the child doesn’t lose interest. “Our first fun box was an underwater adventure with Flinto. We gave the children a book, where we introduced a set of characters. Then a goodie pouch they could customise with stickers. This pouch helps them get organised. We also provided the materials for them to create a hand painting the parents could hang on their walls,” says Arun. Other themes that the group plans to work on are space, transport, family, community and so on.

Flinto hopes to enhance early child development by working on motor skills, creativity, social skills, cross motor skills, language skills, emotional skills and memory. “Children between the ages three and six absorb everything and learn from around them. We want them to ask questions and create meaningful conversations with their parents. When they paint the sea blue, they will want to know why the sea is blue. When Flinto listens to the sound of rain, they will do so too. Allowing them to create their own games brings about a sense of ownership and responsibility. We also try to make sure the games are multiplayer so that they learn to share,” Arun adds.

Apart from this, parents will also receive a newsletter every week on how to maximise the products inside the box. “Children don’t want to listen to the same stories every day. So, we will tell parents how to build on a story. The other activities that will be in the box can also be improvised upon,” explains Arun.

A team of child psychologists and experts who have worked in play schools is on board to formulate the theme and activities. “They bring us ideas, and we will short list what works best. So far, the feedback we’ve got has been heartening. Parents who were struggling to have conversations with their child are telling us that they’re now able to interact better with them.” Flinto, in a span of two months, has garnered over 500 customer,s and plans on launching in Bangalore soon.

The Flinto box will be delivered home every month and can be subscribed on for one month, three months and six months or can be bought at Vanilla Children Place in R.A. Puram.