Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Handmade Toys Can Spark Your Child’s Creativity

I am in the late thirties and although most of the toys that I played with as a child were bought in shop I still remember playing with those that my dad made for me.
 
One of the most interesting was a detector radio. We spent quite some time that day stretching a wire antenna around a living room window. And then the magic started: I was able to hear the first sounds of the radio programme caught on our handmade radio receiver.

Being a parent has never been an easy job.
Toy makers know this very well. They also know that parents will never pinch pennies when trying to make their children happy, satisfied and occupied. Toy industry is moving forward even in the time of crisis and, as time goes by, all kinds of new and hi-tech toys are being presented to children and their parents. Today, toys are factory manufactured because nobody has time to build handmade toys even for the sake of making their own children happy. If you believe that it is pointless to invest time and energy in making toys when you can get them in the nearest shop (and some of them are really cheap) here are a few reasons that should change your mind.

Time spent with your child making a toy can become a very special time for both of you.
You will be able to communicate and bond with your child. You will offer your child an opportunity to learn something from you. While constructing toys children develop their motor skills and learn about process of planning and manufacturing things. They also get to use their imagination, because, we first have to imagine things so that later we can create them. During the process of making toys children are faced with various problems that they have to solve along the way (like putting all the parts together, looking for alternatives if there is a missing part, thinking of how to improve the design...), thus their intelligence is challenged and developed.

People who had these kinds of experiences in their childhood years later tend to possess more self confidence and to rely more on their own abilities and devices. They are also likely to be more independent and proactive. They understand better manual work and they know how to appreciate and value it. But above all, these individuals grow up to become more creative thinkers. And there is also one more important thing. They all have life long memories of time spent with their parents making their favourite toys. I still keep in the box the detector radio from the beginning of the text and a blue soft-toy frog stuffed with rice that my mum and I made when I was really small.
Is this a Toyota, Smart, police car, a racing car...?
In you child’s mind’s eye it can be any, or all of these!
In the photo: ROLOBOX Reusable Wheel Kit for Boxes
See how it works on video


With the development of technology toys are becoming more and more elaborate and complicated to construct - they contain chips, batteries and led displays and they blink, roll, cry and sneeze. They are so illustrative in their nature that they do not require any imaginative effort on the behalf of the children who simply use them without having to be mentally or creatively involved in the process of playing with them.
 
Buying toys is sometimes a compensation for not spending enough time with your children. Quick fix for keeping children busy and entertained. Don’t be one of those parents! You can surely do better than that. Both you and your child deserve that!

FOR YOUR INSPIRATION:
Internet is full of web sites and blogs where you can find ideas and tutorials about how to make toys. I stumbled upon an interesting site about paper toys, a site with tutorials for making toys for very young kids and even one site about science based toys.


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If you wish to further explore this topic, you can check out the selection of my favourite books about creative thinking.

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