In this day and age of video games, we teachers were skeptical as to how the children from the multicultural background, used to modern technology would react to a workshop on making traditional toys with simple household materials.But finally, we arranged it after a lot of persuasion from Deepakji who was offering the workshop.
The workshop was divided into 5 sessions of 2 hours each and the last day Deepak called hospital day where the children would mend the toys they had made if needed .
So the first session began with introduction and making of the toy which children named magical window.
The second toy was made with simple twig and paper.It was called dancing doll.
The third toy was a bit more complicated but after two days experience children were more confident.It was amazing to see that each toy though of the same kind was a unique creation.
The fourth day was board game time.We made an ancient Bagh Bakri that involves 20 counters characterized as bakri or goats and 4 counters as bagh (tiger).It is a strategic hunting game where the tigers have to kill as many goats as they can while moving forward two steps in any direction.And goats have to trap tigers from all sides.This game ends only when the tigers have captured all the goats or if the goats are successful in trapping all the tigers and hence, they are unable to move.
Children made their own plus we made a huge board on the floor and counters.The room was abuzz with children and adults keenly playing the game.Deepak did not give away the rules so children could actually decide for themselves and come up with different innovative ideas and strategies.
There was a lot of scope for creativity and imagination as the toys were named by children themselves and there were objects to draw and paint.It was an amazing experience both for students as well as teachers.We experienced the joy and wonder a simple toy can offer.