Toymaking is a particularly rewarding thing to teach as there is an obvious end result and the process of achieving it develops new skills which are empowering and transferable.
Apart from the information on the web site there are pdfs to download at the bottom of this page that should be useful for teacher support.
Toymaking and science.
Toys are a great way to explore scientific concepts in a practical way. Different toys demonstrate different concepts such as friction, aerodynamics and gyroscopic forces.
Simply by playing with a toy and changing aspects of the design you can get a good feel for physical concepts.
Each toy has a simple explanation of its sciencs, and by using the filter for science principal other examples can be found.
We will add sections of sciencse at a later date.
Toymaking sessions have been caried out with:
5-9 yr olds, 9-12, 13-16, 17-18, student teachers, nursery teachers, teacher trainers.
One to one teaching always has succesful results even with the youngest children.
the use of books without a teacher rarely succesful.
Toolmaking was particularly successful especially with teachers.
All groups felt empowered from this learning.
Empowering teachers to be able to hold their own teaching sessions will be the way to fully introduce toymaking to the whole community.
The reallity of teaching in rural areas of africa pose additional difficulties, the following is what we have been trialing.
We hope these will get laminated and available for the children to handle and study.
Teacher notes that have a reduced copy of the cartoon instructions and additional information to help with 'whats gone wrong' and ideas for devloping the toy. Both of these we hope will be translated into the local languages to reduce barriers. Except for in 'club' situations we do not expect making to be possible in class.
We hope that the teachers can show the toy and make one in front of the class, hand out the cartoon instructions for the students to study and discuss.
The children would then attempt the toy at home. The results would be brought back to school and a discussion of the success and failures initiated.
The teacher would demonstrate making the toy again and the students go home and try again.
After a period and with getting peer to peer teaching most of the children should have succeeded.
The teacher can encourage the more able students to produce the variations.