These may look like the Tinker Toys you tinkered with as a tot, but Flexure hopes to give the littler kids in your life a whole new system to build out their imagination for a lifetime. Babies can chew them, toddlers can build with them, children can create projects for school with them. And wait ‘til you hear what big kids are using them for.

The story of how Flexure came to be is a good one, so gather ‘round! Remember how you would find more uses for empty boxes than the toys that came in them growing up? Design professor Richard Elaver created Flexure after seeing his son diss the “kid-friendly construction kits” he tried to pepper into his playtime in favor of a silicone spatula that he liked to pop off of its wooden handle. This was the lightbulb moment.

Flexure are interactive building toys made of flexible connectors and wooden sticks. Hey! Just like that spatula. Connectors are made with food-safe silicone that can be bent (and bitten) and flexed into anything you can dream up combined with sticks of different sizes. Assembly is intuitive and easy enough for a child to figure out no prob, but the results are anything but juvenile.

Whether you’re building a ball that bounces, a butterfly that can wiggle its wings or a molecular model that wins you first place at the Science Fair, these non-blocks have the potential to replace Legos as your kid’s favorite builders. Richard tested out Flexure with all ages and found college kids bemoaning their late invention and adults using the suction cups and dowels to make handles for beer bottles. We’re guessing that whoever brought those to the dinner party was a huge hit.

If we got our hands on a set of Flexure, we could dream up some serious projects for your office or home. Using the ball structure (or many of these!) as inspiration, you could make a bright hanging light fixture, painting the wooden dowels or keeping them natural. You could easily construct frames or other seriously cool wall art. We would even whip up an iPad stand and mount that suctioned to the wall or fridge for entertainment or easy recipe access while cooking.

Flexure sets are projected to sell from around $40 to $100 according to its Kickstarter campaign, which you (ah!) just missed funding. See you in stores, we guess…

Would your kids like Flexure? What would YOU build with a set?