Smart Numbers & Letters

Classically Connected

You might have heard that some studies show kids’ cognitive learning benefits from physical playing. This research led Marie Mérouze to create Marbotic, a smart combination of an educational app and toy.

Marie’s young son, like many kids, loves playing on a tablet. To add a real-world, tactile element to screen time, Marbotic
uses wooden letters and numbers that look like traditional toys. But these pieces are more than classic—they’re connected.

The letters and numbers act like a stamp on the screen, their movements make things happen in the digital world. This approach doesn’t just promote learning. It also delights kids who have always been told not to put their toys on the iPad.

Inspired by the Montessori method of self-directed play, Marbotic lets kids learn basic math and language skills at their own speed. A digital world full of quirky characters keeps them engaged and entertained—joining little hands and minds together in a fun, effective way.
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My kid’s more connected than your kid.

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Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Marie

    Hi! I am Marie, Founder of Marbotic. I am very proud to have our toys featured by The Grommet! I am extremely passionate about the way we teach our children and I found that there was nothing taking advantage of both traditional methods of learning and digital technologies. Through Smart Letters and Smart Numbers, I believe we have created the ultimate interactive learning experience. I hope your kids will like it, and I'd be happy to answer any question you have.

  • Barbara
    5/3/2016 10:46 AM

    Is this the numbers and letters only or does this include the tablet also?

  • Marie
    Marie – Special Guest
    5/3/2016 10:53 AM

    @Barbara Hi, you will find in the boxes only the numbers and the letters. They are compatible with iPads and Android tablets like Samsung and Nexus.

  • Dorothy
    5/3/2016 11:02 AM

    Is this just the letters & numbers? So you would have to have an iPad of your own? I would assume you download an app? Can it be loaded on more than one iPad if it's an app? :)

  • Marie
    Marie – Special Guest
    5/3/2016 11:06 AM

    @Dorothy Hi, yes you need an iPad at home :) and you just need to download the apps for free and unlock them with the numbers or letters. Of course you can install the apps on several iPads :)

  • Timothy
    5/3/2016 11:21 AM

    @Marie the texture/materials used for the numbers & letters are soft so they won't hurt or damage the screen?

  • Alex
    Alex – Grommet Team
    5/3/2016 11:32 AM

    @Timothy - The tops are made from wood like the old learning toys many of us played with as kids. The bottoms have a nice Silicone soft base however to ensure no damage is caused to your tablet.

  • Timothy
    5/3/2016 11:34 AM

    @Alex .....thanks.....and do they stick over the screen number/letter when placed on top or just rest there?

  • Marie
    Marie – Special Guest
    5/3/2016 11:43 AM


  • Marie
    Marie – Special Guest
    5/3/2016 11:45 AM

    Hi Timothy, the soft plastic material does not stick to the iPad. It's the same kind of material as the stylus pen tips. The pieces just rest on the iPad surface. If you bend the iPad, they would gently slide down!

  • Andi
    5/3/2016 11:07 AM

    Is this for just English or Spanish too?

  • Marie
    Marie – Special Guest
    5/3/2016 11:32 AM

    @Andi Hi Andy, it's for both ! The supported language are English, Spanish, French, Deutsch, and Dutch for the Letters, and for the Smart Numbers you also have Italian, Portuguese, and Swedish ! You can switch from one language to the other directly in the apps. Awesome to learn foreing languages too

  • Kari
    5/3/2016 11:26 AM

    Do you have feedback from parents that have used this? I am interested, however I would like to hear what parents have to say.

  • Marie
    Marie – Special Guest
    5/3/2016 11:39 AM

    @Kari Hi Kari, thanks for your question ! I have better than parents feedback, I have teacher feedback :). Here is what Veronique, a French teacher of 3 years-old said : "I'm an absolute fan of these connected wooden letters. Their manufacturing is beautiful. The very special thing with Smart Letters is to hear the name and sound of the letters when you put them on the screen. Wow ! Kids love that ! And they learn !"

  • Marie
    Marie – Special Guest
    5/3/2016 11:43 AM

    @Kari and here is also a couple of testimonials from our Kickstarter buyers :

    "Recieved Smart Letters and my daughter is enjoying playing with them ! Always glad to have things to provide more interactivity and learning on the iPad" Venron, USA

    "Recieved my package in Australia yesterday, I couldn't help myself and had a play with them and it looks and works great... Can't wait to share this with my son... " Beau, Australia

  • Sandra
    5/3/2016 11:49 AM

    I noticed that the letters are only available for apps on Apple devices. How long before the apps will be available for Android or Nexus devices?

  • Marie
    Marie – Special Guest
    5/3/2016 12:02 PM


  • Marie
    Marie – Special Guest
    5/3/2016 12:04 PM

    @Sandra, Hi Sandra, you are right, the Letters are for Apple only, for the time being. We're working on Samsung compatibility for the letters, hoping to bring it by the end of this year. But it's a complicated subject as we need to make sure that each tablet is precise enough, and there are lots of them !

  • Christy
    5/3/2016 12:00 PM

    I have a Microsoft Surface Pro 4. Do you have any plans of getting this app onto windows devices?

  • Marie
    Marie – Special Guest
    5/3/2016 12:02 PM

    @Christy Hi Christy, unfortunately no, this is not in our current plan. Sorry about that !

  • Mark
    5/3/2016 1:45 PM

    What age range is this appropriate for?

  • Marie
    Marie – Special Guest
    5/3/2016 1:49 PM

    @Mark Hi Mark, our toys are made for children from 3 to 8. In fact, you have 3 free apps per toy, and different activities and settings that allow children to play at different ages. For the numbers, you have 3 apps:

    - 10 fingers to learn to count up to 10 and discover quantities

    - Up to 100 to count up to 100 and play with beads

    - More or Less to discover addition and subtraction

    With the letters apps, you can discover new vocabulary, learn the alphabet and letter's sound, and finally begin to write words and reading.

  • Leslie
    5/3/2016 2:01 PM

    My kids have Osmo and love it. This seems similar although it includes android. How is it different?

  • Marie
    Marie – Special Guest
    5/3/2016 2:39 PM

    @Leslie Hi, It is made for children from 3 to 8, and we have several apps to learn mathematics, vocabulary, reading and writing. Even though children can learn in different languages : English, French, Spanish, German, Dutch with the letters and you also have Italian, Swedish and Portuguese with the numbers :)

    If you have preschool children that can be a good beginning because our wooden toys allow children to manipulate physical objects and not only the iPad.

  • Jackie
    5/3/2016 2:38 PM

    This is wonderful. However, you can only use an iPad. Also, you only get numbers 1-0 and letters A-Z. In order to spell words you would have to get another set of letters and the same for counting numbers above 10. Also, I do not see any lower case letters. You have a good idea, but it needs to be expanded for more relevancy for a child's total learning experience. Very pricey. jackie

  • Marie
    Marie – Special Guest
    5/3/2016 2:52 PM

    @Jackie Hi Jackie, thank you for your feedback.

    In fact our set of numbers can be used with Android tablets like Samsung and Nexus.

    If you want to spell words, we created an app, Bla Bla Box, to allow children to write their own words and the app reads the words. You can also touch each letter if you want to spell the words.

    For counting up to 100, we have a special app, where children can press a number in 2 boxes to build numbers.

    So, I don't think you need 2 sets of letters or numbers, because the apps are made to receive several times the same numbers or letters.

    However it can be interesting for schools to have several sets because they can play with or without the tablets, in that way that can be great to write words physically in front of them.

  • Jenny
    5/3/2016 9:20 PM


    Are the numbers and letters compatible with an iPad mini, or are they too large?

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.