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Engaging children with handmade toys and improvisation

From a workshop I'm joining, I could notice while discussing with education professionals the challenge to engage children through educative activities. At least in Brazil, it's been shocking even for my generation (I'm 27 years old) how children currently are socially disengaged with excessive use of digital devices like tablets, mobile, apps and social media - even in low income families.

Photo of André Fernandes
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Unlike those ideas of children playing and running everytime and with an endless energy, I usually see children isolated on mobiles and tablets, and growing with social and soft skills underdeveloped.

Manual toys and activities are important instruments for children develop creativity and interaction with their peers, as interactions are part of many of the familiar games for children.


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Photo of Andi SP

Agree with you, Andre. Nowadays, parents tend to create some kind of shortcut to calm their kids down by using phones, tablets, or another attractive digital gadget. In fact, one of my friends' kids having a serious trouble of his brain tissue development because of this. The doctor said that, his brain not developed properly because of lack of motoric stimulation in a long term periods.

Photo of Ricardo Lopez

Andre this hit home. I am a father of 2 boys (6 and 3) and an engineer. I truly value open ended toys (without batteries) and purchase wood made toys, as well as classics like Lego; we also own computers and tablets. I've noticed that if I give my boys the tablet, they will ask for it more and more, to the point where they won't play with their toys. If I take it away for several days, they will go back to playing with their toys without even mentioning the tablet.
great conversation!

Photo of wekesa zab

Totally loving this.. Andre, am from kenya and toys made in contexts are quite popular in rural and low income setups.. You can learn a lot from the kinds of toys this kids make out of clay and found materials about the kids dreams and influencers or what stands out for kids in the surroundings they live ... I wish art, crafts and music was taken actively in Kenyan public primary schools ..
:) .

Photo of Meena Kadri

Awesome provocation, Andre. And reminded me of this post from a previous OpenIDEO challenge: We're excited about the opportunities for leveraging play for our upcoming Ideas phase. Hope you'll be joining us there!

Photo of André Fernandes

Hi Meena, as opened to join, I'll be doing it as possible! Thanks for this platform to share ideas!