Imagine a scenario- You are in the Mall and you have spotted the perfect dollhouse/robotic car/alphabet board/toy train (you get the picture) your little one would absolutely adore. You have a vision in your head of your darling sitting and playing with the toy for hours at end and is eternally grateful to you for fulfilling his/her fervent wish.
Reality Check- You reach home and give the toy to your kid, who opens the box and showers you with appropriate oohs and aahs for exactly 15 minutes and soon the holy grail of the toy world is lying in a corner while your genius is playing with the toy’s empty cardboard box as an imaginary car.
Ask me how I know this. This exact scenario has played out in our house hundreds of time and yet every time I see a toy I am hopeful that this would be “The One”. If you face the same dilemma time and again then today’s product review is absolutely perfect for you.
I recently reviewed the Junior Aksharit Game (which is brilliant by the way) and the good people at MadRat Games (A big shout out to Rajat, Manuj, Madhumita and Christo!!) sent me not one but two kits of My Toy Factory to review. This product has opened my eyes to the world of DIY Toys and I must say that I am a convert. Read the full review to know more about this amazing toy.
MY TOY FACTORY
My Toy Factory involves an entertaining and eco-friendly approach to play where children learn How to MAKE a TOY and their own play environment using everyday material like straws, ice-cream sticks and newspapers etc and then BREAK these toys to understand how they work. Children open the kit and get an appointment letter to become workers in their own Toy Factory. They make all kinds of wacky and cool toys like whistles out of ice cream sticks, swooshing jet cars from old bottles & balloons along with more exciting toys using their toy kit. A perfect gift to engage the creative gene pool of your kid!
Price and Availability
It is available at Aksharit.com and at Hoopos.com
How To Play
Well, that is the fun part, anyway you like! Basically the My Toy Factory is based on a story where kids are workers at their own toy factory in the city of Toyoka. There are two kits within the box i.e. the city building kit and the toy building kit.
Using simple mats and cutouts given in the city kit you can build the layout for the city. Then using everyday objects like toothpaste box, etc you can make toy cars, buildings etc for the city and decorate it with the stickers given in the kit.
Once your city is ready, you can now proceed to making toys with the toy kit. The toy kit has materials and instructions for ten DIY-toys. These include a windmill with paper, a sprinkler made out of straw, a whistle made of ice cream sticks etc. There are MTF (My toy factory) stickers to label each toy and the toys also become a part of the landscape of the toyoka city. The basic materials needed for each toy are also included in the kit.
There is also a journal in the box to record what the child learnt from the process and what they like about the toy.
Although the toy is for kids of age 5+, I played it with my daughter (3 years) and niece (4.5 years) but they also had lots of fun with it. The first step in playing with My Toy Factory was to make a factory hat using newspaper sheet on which a MTF sticker had to placed (Instructions given in the toy). The kids were fascinated to see a simple newspaper sheet being turned into a factory hat and were beyond excited to wear them.
Once the gear was in place we went straight ahead with making the toys. I know that the first step was to build the city but the kids wanted to build the toys first and I decided to go with them. We made four toys out of the ten toys available in the kit. The Kit has many eco-friendly ideas which you will love.
The first was a Windmill with Paper, Pushpin, Eraser and a broom stick. The second one was a Rabbit which was just made out of Paper and who flapped his ears every time his tail was pulled. Kids went gaga about it and found it too cute. There was much fight about whether the rabbit is pink or green but eventually we went with white.
The third was a sprinkler made out of again a broom stick and a simple drinking straw. Kids kept whirring it in the mug of water and marvelled at how it sprayed water all over them. Could I have explained a centrifuge to them in simpler terms? They were playing and learning but most of all they are having fun.
The Fourth and the most popular was the Ice Cream Stick whistle made using two ice cream sticks, a piece of paper and rubber bands. Can it get any more simpler? Kids were giggling every time I blew the whistle and a funny sound came. I don’t remember when they laughed so hard because of a toy.
The idea behind My Toy Factory is to be able to envision toys out of waste material. Think of My Toy Factory as a starter kit towards more eco-friendly toys for your children. You and the kids will be able to build toys out of every day material, break them down to understand the concepts and again make a completely different toy from the same materials.My Toy Factory gives you and your kids the mindset of making your own toys even from trash.
To invent something you need imagination and a pile of stuff- Thomas Edison
My Toy Factory lets you use both and create simple, science based toys which are not only great learning tools but also a lot of fun.
It is a perfect toy for a rainy day when kids can’t go outside to play.
It encourages creativity, understanding scientific principles in a practical way and can be a great learning tool.
You don’t have to spend money every time your child is bored of a toy, just dig into your trash and help them make a new toy.
It can be a bit overwhelming for the child to understand the way the toy has to be used and needs adult supervision in building some of the toys.
If toys from trash doesn’t convince you then imagine this scenario-the kids come home from school and can’t wait to see what new toy mom and the kids are going to be making together this afternoon. A Must-Buy!!!