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Tinker with Nature "Design Kit(d)"

The idea helps children from 2 to 5 ("Design Kids") and their parents in third world countries to create simple toys and household items with the help of materials found in nature that can aid in the development of the children but also the family household in general.

Photo of Tino Elgner
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The idea is to create a Tinker with Nature "Design Kid" that will show children how to create their own toys, and parents to craft useful household items with the materials found in the nature of their country at a particular time of the year.

The "Tinker with Nature" Design Kid would include:
  • Toy designs for kids (look at attached pics)
  • Household item designs for parents (look at attached pics)
  • Additional tools such as scissors, glue, colored sheets of paper, etc

In addition:
  • No written words will be needed as the illustrations will be self-explanatory due to the representation of every step
  • Designs will be adjusted to the specifc natural materials found in specific countries
  • Toys will be categorized by age, including easier to create toys for children from 2-3 and more difficult to create toys for children from 4-5
  • Designs for household items are applicable to the needs of the community  and include explanations on for example...
    • How to create baskets?
    • How to create clay vases?
    • How to create paint?

UPDATE 23.11.14

Based on feedback from the openIDEO community, the idea could be expanded to include a degree of mentorship by recruiting local children who are a bit older (8-10 year old children, perhaps) as mentors to the younger children to encourage creativity when creating these toys and to help and take on responsibilities.

UPDATE 24.11.14

We need to think about a way that increases the Kit's value to parents and children equally, as parents might no see the immediate value of creating toys from natural materials. Bundling the Kit with other "products" might work but needs to be looked into deeper.

UPDATE: 4.12.14

For the older kids, maybe toys or products to help them at school and develop their knowledge can also be part of the kit. Math, geometry and other subjects are easer when kids visualize some products and use them during the classes.

Who will benefit from this idea and where are they located?

Children from 2 to 5 will benefit from this idea by learning crafts from an early age, while developing their imagination through playful interactions with the products they themselves designed. In addition, parents will be able to sell their creations to others and thus increase the household income of the family.

What kind of help would you need to make your idea real?

We would need the creative minds behind the designs of the toys and household items based on specific geographical limitations. Also the scope of the idea at this point focuses on third world countries in general, and thus is too big. Help on reducing would be needed.

Is this an idea that you or your organization would like to take forward?

  • This idea is meant to inspire. I hope someone else takes it on!


Join the conversation:

Photo of Jéssica Casagrande

Hey Team! Love this idea! Why not create some instructions to make games? In this way, parents or others kids would be able to play with the younger kids and improve the relationship between them.

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