Kids Activity Vouchers Blog Review – CommuniToy – Toy Hacking

Ace article from local Brighton Blog ‘Kids Activity Vouchers’ reviewing the recent Exploring Senses Toy Hacking event at Hove Museum……big thanks to the writer of the article, who helped make the day happen!!: )

Last week I took three girls aged 8, 8 and 5 to Toys Arrrrgh Us – a toy hacking workshop that took place in Hove Library alongside the My Favourite Toy exhibition.
I don’t completely hate toys, but if I did, then this is the place to go to get revenge on all the toys that have driven me to distraction over the years. You know the ones I mean: the £80 box set of plastic bits and pieces most of which are now lost around the house and up the hoover, the naked, limbless, short haired Barbies, the really expensive walking cats and dogs that got played with for less than a week and finally the cuddly toys that someone else won at the fair and kindly gave to the kids.
Run by Exploring Senses, the toy hacking workshop is an opportunity for children to get really creative with toys. On entering there are large buckets of toys which are divided into hard plastic toys and soft cuddly toys. It’s not for the faint hearted as the buckets contain not only whole toys but a random selection of heads, arms and legs left behind from making other toys. The girls chose a selection of cuddly toys then took them over to the work benches to start deconstructing and recreating them. They were quite ruthless. A Dalmatian quickly lost its head, stuffing and paws to become a coat for another dog. A Barbie leg was hacksawed off to become a coat hook. Next at the hacksaw bench was Shrek who lost his head as well as a leg. Then, using a needle and thread and glue guns the deconstructed toys started to take shape and get new lives. A womble got crossed with a rabbit, a gorilla with a pig and a few other toys that I couldn’t even recognise came into their own as new characters.
Hannah Coxeter and David Allistone run Exploring Senses as a not for profit arts organisation. It is a great example of how recycling and reusing things can have social as well as environmental benefits. The toys used at the workshop I attended were donated by the Emmaus Charity for the homeless in Brighton for whom in turn Exploring Senses provide arts workshops. Exploring Senses work with Community Groups, Charities, Museums and youth groups (amongst others) using their unique brand of art and crafts to build, communicate and share ideas. Their flyer says:

Remember you were once a womble
“We aim to raise people’s aspirations, increase personal development skills and encourage creative collaborative learning, through holistic and inclusive activities and events.”
Well it worked for us. The proof of this was the creativity that it inspired in them. When we got home they immediately launched into the recycling box and suddenly old bottles became space rockets, shoe boxes became robots and they are now planning an exhibition of toys that can be recycled and made. All the girls really loved the time they spent at the workshop. They absolutely love the toys they brought home as they are unique and they made them themselves. They could have spent all day doing this if we’d have had the time and they can’t wait to do it all again.
More images can be found here;
and here;
Read the original article here;

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