Mama Chameleon

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Kenya Safari # 9: Handcrafted Toys
(forgive the strange placement of pictures. Blogger would only allow some of these on, if they were to the extreme left of the page!)

I just have to give you a brief safari of Kenyan kids and their toys.
First let me clarify that there are tons of kids in Kenya with modern toys that I will never be able to afford to get for my kids.
But in the rural villages, and even the poorer areas of the capital, you can see remarkable playthings crafted by the children themselves.
If I could go back to Kenya tomorrow, I'd bring home some of these toys so my kids could see how their Kenyan counterparts create hours of fun with only used tin cans, wire, plastic bags, string, and some ingenuity.


Robby ( and Mom and Dad), would you agree that the most common toy we saw was the hoop and wire?
It stands out in my memory more strongly than others.
The hoop is often the metal part of an old bike tyre.

A long bit of wire is attached and the owner ran along behind the hoop, balancing it with the wire.


A variation on the hoop is the galimoto.

A galimoto is a piece of wire attached to a toy car....

or bicycle made from wire, recycled tin cans........

......plastic bottles etc. Some of them even have steering capacity!

And last but not least is the bag and rag ball . They are made from.... you guessed it: bags and rags, (you can see how the one in the picture is quite a bit smaller to the name brand balls) and are used in any sport.

If you click on the highlighted link above, you will be transported to a photostory of some boys going through the process of making one of these balls.

Very interesting. Your own kids may get a bit of a kick out of it.


Posted by michelle :: 10:36 am :: 8 comments links to this post

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