A general view about my accessible toymaking workshops link to Creatures fo the forest page link to Storytelling in the library page link to Go-cart making and playing page link to Playful marbles devices link to Toy-making for everybody page

Working on the playful side of design, I offer flexible workshops to meet participants' needs, either for one or more sessions. Sometimes working in schools or children's libraries, I link toys with other school curriculum subjects, or I plan a local exhibition (using the Balancing Toy Installations) or mix toys - storytelling - theatre.
During the last three years I have had the opportunity to work in a large variety of projects in different educational bodies (primary schools, museums, local festivals, community and family events, children’s libraries, and more), teaching children and adults how to make toys by transforming everyday items and recyclable materials easily found around the home.
This multiplicity of work contexts activates my creativity, inspiring the creation of suitable “tools” to improve dissemination of toy-making activities, supporting and reawakening people’s memories and skills about their own toy-making experiences, broadening the opportunities to nurture “children’s right to play” within the framework of cultural diversity and the Children's Natural Rights.

toymaking for everyone
storytelling in the library
go-carting playing and  making activity
toymaking and Design and Technology
creatures of the forest
playful marbles devices
toddlers and wheeled toys
handmade action toys
family play and make group

Characteristics of Renzo's toy-making workshops
During the workshop I like meet people and share my "trolley full of simple recycled handmade toys", engaging with participants, discussing and guessing how these playthings are made, stimulating people’s imagination. After that, we make some of these toys together, using recyclable materials and simple technologies. At the end of the workshop, participants are free to take home their creations. But if we have more than one session, I find useful to plan the next and following meetings with the group, choosing which toys the participants would like to make. In this way the participants are responsible for the collection of the materials they need to make the toys they like.

From the outset it is important to give the organiser and participants responsibilities - participating at the planning stage as well as collecting useful and suitable materials for use in the activities.
From my experience it seems simple to collect the materials needed for the next session but in reality it is not always so, if the families are not already predisposed to recycling. Another basic principle of my toy-making workshops is: the interconnection of playing with, making and decorating the toys. Activities which are an integral part of the setting because one depend on the others.

The workshop on handmade toys is one of the best ways for children to experience “the right to play”, with the additional benefit of developing dexterity, autonomy and creativity in a positive atmosphere, encouraging a balanced approach to risks and benefits. Benefits could also be derived via other topics.

By promoting worldwide children’s folklore through toy-making activities, we can explore and gain experience of the world of toys from different cultures, stimulating sharing of parents' and grandparents' memories with the younger generation. The workshop is a good opportunity to develop children's own critical point of view, opening their mind beyond the global market and – possibly - its dominant mono-cultural perspective, reviewing the concept of waste.
Considering toys as cultural instruments, they can be a creative way to learn about other subjects, like basic science, geography and history or arts.
The best opportunity is offered when we compare modern toys with handmade toys built with recyclable materials and simple tools. The differences can give us the knowledge and motivation to activate some changes in our lifestyle, awakening us to responsible and sustainable/ethical action, addressing Global Citizenship issues

link to Toymaking for everyone page link to the Storytelling page link to the Gocarting page link to the creatures of the forest page link to Marbles devices page link to Toddlers and Wheeled toys page link to Soft Toys page link link link link