One year one of my advanced art students (who is now a children's book
author/illustrator and toy designer) designed his own kind of connector/toy.
Basically each component was two pieces of mattboard scrap, with a piece of
smaller scrap inside like an oreo cookie with an edge. He made each piece
shaped like a gear, and beautifully painted each one, front and back. These
gears were each different, and would 'slot' together on the outter edge if
that makes any sense. He made a base with 4 half gears with poking up, so
that the other gears would link on to them. He made 25 gears and sent each
one out to the 25 people who influenced his life. Each gear became an
invitation to appear in the art room on a certain day/time. When they
arrived, he thanked them for their contribution to his life, and invited
each of them to connect the gears to make a sculpture, that essentially was
a metaphor for him.