S for Science, T for Toys and Trash
Recall an earlier post on the Agastya International Foundation : the organization that is redefining how science is perceived by children? Another Indian, Arvind Gupta, makes toys from trash to help children understand science.
An abacus made from a sneaker sole and some pencils; a meccano set using matchsticks and bike valve tubes; a train made from batteries, buttons and drawing pins. These are just some of the fantastic toys Arvind Gupta has made from trash. He makes magical material transformations using what we would normally chuck in the recycling bin. The best thing is that they are very simple and the clear photos on his website allow everyone to have a go. They are especially good for kids, combining lessons on the importance of materials along with the fun of making. He also has a section of simple science experiments. Arvind Gupta has been making Toys from Trash for 20 years with the aim of finding “hands-on attractive means for the kids to learn fundamentals of science”.
He himself is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology, but was disillusioned by the way children are taught science in school. He says “Children learn by doing. In their free moments they are always tinkering, pottering, playing and messing around with whatever they can lay their hands on. It is during play that children learn a lot of important things about science.”
Another motive for making toys from trash is that it is inexpensive and this is key in a country like India, where many children do not have access to education, or even toys, due to poverty. But the main reason is because Gupta is an enthusiast and he loves to enthuse – especially children. Showing children what they can do just using things they find on the streets is exciting.
Read the entire article here.
Visit Arvind Gupta’s site. The site has pictures as well as details on how to make all the toys.