Sunday, February 11, 2018

Tinkertopia Part 2: Innovative Toys

The Navigators were inspired by a boy from Malawi who made his own toy from pieces of wire and other items found around his village. His toy was so cool! Would it be possible for us to make a moving toy like he did?

Instead of going around the neighborhood or to a junk yard, we went on a trip to Tinkertopia, Tacoma's alternative art supply and creative reuse center, to find just the right objects for our own toys. We were challenged to make a toy that incorporated some kind of simple machine.

See Tinkertopia Part 1 to see us shopping at the store. 


Galimoto, a Malawi word for car

Trying out a real galimoto 

The galimoto is steered from behind by the child.
The long wire is attached to the front axle. 

Here are our toys:

"The Grappler"
This toy has a winch and working wheels and axels.


"Cool Umbrella Thing"
This toy went through a lot of changes as the student kept thinking of new ways to use his Tinkertopia items. It has a pulley type mechanism with an attached basket.


"Camper"
This student went to Tinkertopia with a plan and used almost every single item he bought at the store, including several piano parts, a license plate, cool miniature boxes, big bolts, a champagne bottle top and more. It took him a while to make the wheels and axles work, but eventually, with the help of a drill, they did! Every day he worked on this was "the best day ever!"


When you turn the knob, the cage goes down into the water. You just need to drive over a bridge or along a lake and fish while you drive. 

He added a trailer for a place to sleep. The corks on top of the camper are his sleeping bags.

"Wedding Carriage"
There was a bin of horses at Tinkertopia.
Teacher's thought: A horse? How will she incorporate small machines into her toy?

Student's thought: I'll make a beautiful wedding carriage with a wedding cake 
and a swing for the babies. 

She had to make several adjustments to the canopy, as she added more and more things to the top. Attached to a chassis, the wheels and axles really work.


"Horse Pulling Sleigh"
This student's horse is pulling a rocking chair made into a sleigh. She is still working on her design and is wondering how to incorporate the rest of her cool things into her toy. 


We discovered that it's just as much fun to make the toy as it is to play with it. 

Kudos to the Navigators for their imaginative, innovative, original, new, novel, fresh, unusual, unprecedented, experimental, inventive, ingenious, creative  toy designs. 

Did I mention that these kids go to a school for gifted kids?


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