Do you wish you could siphon off some of your toddler’s hyperactivity and put it to good use? Then look no further.

The Rocco is a state-of-the-art rocking horse that uses energy generated by rocking to power a pair of torches that double as the horse’s ears.

Odd concept? Well yes, but it is a new green initiative by American designers that has been entered into the Greener Gadgets design competition in New York.

Makers hope the toy, which is made from 100% recycled plastic, will “teach children about energy generation and conservation through play”.

And the benefits don’t end there. Once your rocking tot has had his work-out the ear-torches can be used as a nightlight to help him drift into a well-earned sleep.

Perhaps this toy will combat two modern dangers at once — reducing pollution and kicking childhood obesity into touch.

The Rocco is just a prototype at present but could soon be coming to a toyshop near you.

This article was first published in Horse & Hound (29 April, ’10)