Thursday, 23 February 2012

Toys are us!

Having a wondeful time creating a new show for National Science and Engineering Week in March.
The theme this year is MOTION which gives huge scope so to make a show that we can keep running after the event I have come up with something all about forces but using toys to explain.
It isn't a unique thought - there has been a section in most curriculum topics about toys and forces but I am hoping that my take on it will be just that bit different.
I have started where most other teachers would start with Bruegal's wonderful picture of children at play in 16th century.
click to see Bruegal's painting of children in16th century

I used this many years ago with a class of 11 year olds looking at how toys had changed over time. What was really interesting was that the toys had changed but the games hadn't - at least not for my class.
We observed our own school playground and saw a group of girls spinning on the spot, a rough and tumble (nice euphemism there!) some juggling, the modern equivalent of 5 stones ( jacks to me) and of course Chase.

My dad who is quite an accomplished wood worker made me some replica toys especially a cup and ball and a Lenten rattle ( can you imagine the racket that must have made - what fun)

So I am starting there - looking at Tudor toys, how they work - where is that off switch????
Then we will head off through Victorian toys, tin clockwork toys and the emergence of plastic through to today.
I have managed to acquire some wonderful resources on the way and as we look at how batteries changed the way we played with toys but also how alternative energy toys and gizmos are becoming more popular we will be thinking about the forces needed to make the toys work.
I will have to get a volunteer out for the  space hopper and probably the hoola hoop too!
Our first booking for this show is on 5th March - hopefully we will be able to get some images but none of me on a space hopper!!

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