'One to Many' (Ek Se Anek) - Workshop on Toy Design for Ritinjali teachers

Teachers at Ritinjali’s Learning Centres were introduced to the wondrous and magical world of simple toy designs at the “One to Many” workshop, conducted by Ms. Surabhi Khanna, a Designer from the National Institute of Design (NID), on 29 June. The workshop introduced the concept of toy design by combining two features, children’s love for play and fascination for stories.

The first part of the workshop saw Ms. Khanna taking the participants through the process of designing toys with paper and other simple materials. A step-by-step demonstration unraveled for teachers how six toys can be made from one sheet of paper. Simple patterns and cuts on a sheet of paper soon transformed into flying fish, whistles, rabbits, jumping frogs, fans, and helicopters.

The second part of the workshop involved making a toy based on a science principle and combining this with a concept or story development around the toy. Teachers fashioned a toy on a string, which had the ability to move in an irregular motion from one end to the other. Then, they came up with small stories about their toys; e.g. wonderful depictions of the story of the Thirsty Crow, where one could see a crow fly to the other end of the string where it could drink water from a pot.

Ms. Khanna demonstrated how simple toys can be designed with minimal resources. The design behind these toys not only integrated science, art and learning, but also introduced elements such as learning by doing and storytelling. Through these practical sessions, the teachers were able to experience the joy and simplicity of making Indian toys and develop related stories for their students.

The teachers enjoyed themselves thoroughly and experienced the relationship between design and education. It is our hope that such workshops will initiate design activities at Ritinjali’s Learning Centres and facilitate the creation of an environment for exploration.