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Design and Concept Talk – Is there a right way to play Octobo?

Design and Concept Talk – Is there a right way to play Octobo?

As a parent myself, I totally understand and share the anxiety of worrying if we are following the “right way”, “best method” to educate our little ones. That might be true for academics subjects, however, I believe creativity and exploration do not need a “right way”. All kids are different, so why not bring them a tool that allows them to play and learn at their own pace? They can bond with the learning tool as they like and create their own “house rules” –– and this has been the foundation of Octobo’s birth.  

I’m often asked, what is the “right” way to play with your child’s new learning companion. As new toys are developed as tools to facilitate play, how can we navigate what is the right way to use them? How do we know if we are guiding our children in the right direction?



Octobo encourages learning through play, and allows kids to explore with the many different activities and interactions. As we move away from lincoln logs and Barbies, and incorporate educational technology into toys, parents often wonder what they should do with this freedom of play. Is there a right way to play Octobo? The answer is simple: No! But don’t stress. We encourage kids to learn naturally through play as they explore all of Octobo’s features. And you will be often surprised by how fast they discovered their own way to play with Octobo without any instructions. Learning at their own pace and through their own exploration allows them to be creative and better understand their way of thinking. Trust your kids as, with their young imaginative minds, often immediately get how to play with their new learning companion.


We’ve playtested and interviewed hundreds of families throughout the development process and I’m pretty proud that Octobo is one of those rare cases that “speaks a kids language.” In other words, parents might not understand the play pattern or will be confused by the simplicity of the system, but it worked perfectly for kids 18mo - 7y/o. 


Octobo is unique in that there is no stress on being the best. We want kids to have fun! I’ve found, even with my own 4 year old toddler boy, that kids will want to try and try again until they master it. That is the beauty of repetition and a way to encourage persistence throughout the gameplay. That’s the process and experience we want to create with Octobo. 


Keep in mind that Octobo is more than just a toy; rather, he is a friend and companion that encourages learning through his innovative storytelling adventures. We suggest parents introduce Octobo just as that!



We suggest that parents aren’t too involved in the first play. You only need to help set up your Octobo by inserting his batteries and downloading the app, and introduce Octobo to your kids as their new friend. Show them Octobo’s sensors and the magic moment as they see Octobo respond to their triggers. As kids learn the capabilities of Octobo, they can begin to play and explore on their own!


You can save the storybooks for the second time when kids have become familiar with Octobo. Or use that in the first play to add more narrative to the game experience. It’s your choice - and again, there’s no right or wrong for when to introduce the storybooks!



Octobo is a character to children that has the unique ability to respond depending on how they treat him. With interaction like hugs, shaking hands, and giving Octobo tokens that he asks for throughout his storybook give him a complete personality to kids. With Octobo, they are able to explore and learn with a new friend.


We encourage you to read and explore the stories with your kids, or use the audiobook mode that comes with the app to have Octobo read about his adventures to your little one. If you purchased the Great Letter Search Storykit, we encourage you to follow a step-by-step method:

  1. Follow the story and use the tokens that are presented on each page
  2. Watch the fun animations that reinforce the letters throughout the adventure
  3. Learn new vocabulary words
  4. Play fun mini-games that are scattered throughout Octobo’s journey
  5. Eventually master the spelling contest!


As a parent, I know how important it is to guide your children in the right direction, and sometimes we can be uncertain about that with different types of play. With educational experts, we’ve also devised a play guide that includes additional activities to have fun and learn with Octobo. The guide comes as a digital download with each Octobo pack purchase, and physical copies are also sold separately. For more information, check out our support page.


Happy adventures!


Yuting Su

Founder@Thinker-Tinker & Creator of Octobo

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