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Toy cars from tin cans

 
People in Ghana, Africa, are used to making the most of their rubbish and looking out for ingenious ways to reuse, recycle and reclaim. Although there are toy factories and shops in Ghana, most children still enjoy playing with toys that they have made themselves out of scrap materials.

Making toy vehicles out of old metal cans is a favourite pastime. The children start by cutting the tops and bottoms off a can using a long blade or knife. With the ends removed, the children cut along the length of the can and flatten the metal into a sheet. They scratch the shapes of their vehicle parts on the surface of the metal and cut them out. They then bend the pieces into three dimensions and adjust them so that they fit together neatly. The pieces slot together, so there is no need for glue or welding.

The children use pencils or sticks as axles. They find circular objects to use as wheels, or cut them out of waste materials (old flip-flops are a popular choice). They then make holes in the wheels with nails and attach the axles. Finally, the children attach a string to their vehicle, test it, and sometimes add decorations.

Making Toys

 

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

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