UNESCO Toys WorkshopToys for children’s rehabilitation
Over a period of two weeks, a group of therapists and designers get involved in various activities together with children with special needs and create new toys for children in rehabilitation. The resulting toys will be modified, copied and tested for three months by children with and without special needs. The organisers will then arrange further development of the toys and publish a book with DIY instructions.
The symposium, workshop and exhibition were a joint effort of Studio-College of the National Aesthetics Center, the Soros Foundation’s Open Society Institute (OSI), World Vision Armenia, Fördern durch Spielmittel – Spielzeug für behinderte Kinder e.V. and UNESCO Armenia.
Participant in the workshop in Yerevan, Armenia
Tutor at the workshop in Bielefeld, Germany
This is a toy that makes exercising fine motor skills more fun! The glove hides magnets of different sizes and polarities in its fingertips. Some fingers might snap together, while others cannot touch at all. The powers of the fingertips are also represented visually by symbols. Thereby it becomes a logic game as well about finding the matching fingers. The hoods can be swapped so that the fingers don’t always behave the same way. With two gloves, the game of attract and repulse can be played between both hands and with other children, and they can go around exploring the magnetic behaviours of different objects towards their fingers. Finger Finder was developed in collaboration with Agota Demko, teacher for special needs.
The Iceberg represents a small piece of floating land, on which a child can move around to explore the surrounding territory and feel at the same time protected like in a nest. Through the big hole in the middle of the raft, he or she can reach the ground with the feet to push forward, but also locate fish, and catch them from the floor with a magnetic rod. To show off the success of their hunt, the fish can be attached visibly on the outside of the Iceberg. However, this also invites other children to approach with their rafts and steal the fish away again. Besides exercising by rolling around, practicing fine motor skills and concentration when trying to catch the fish, the Iceberg is a toy that can help shy children to feel more confident in their actions. It offers a way to explore a big space from a safe spot, and interact or even compete with other children who float around on Icebergs as well.
Special thanks for support to Antal Kelle and Isabella Steffan.