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Toys from reclaimed materials

The context

What toys did you enjoy playing with when you were younger? Were they mass produced, like Barbie, Action Man and Lego? Did you have imaginary friends and play imaginative games? Did you make any toys yourself?

Toys of all kinds play a vital role in children's development. Throwing balls and building with bricks helps children to develop co-ordination and dexterity. Playing with dolls and talking on toy telephones helps them to learn social skills. And, as they get older, playing games with other children teaches them how to collaborate and get on with other people.

Although children will always make dens out of cardboard boxes and invent their own games, most toys in the UK today are mass produced in factories. Often these toys are manufactured in southern countries then distributed around the world - if you went to shops as far afield as Europe, the United States and Australia, you'd probably find many of the same toys for sale.

However, this isn't the case everywhere - in some countries, many children on design and make their own toys. This case study looks at the toys made by children in Ghana.

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Practical Action - Technology challenging povertyEuropean Commission - Department for International Development

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