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Category: PLAY2LEARN


Kala Ghoda Festival 2024: ‘Volunteering with Toybank a fulfilling experience’

On January 26, our school, Aditya Birla World Academy (ABWA), collaborated with Toybank – Development through Play to celebrate play in all forms at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2024. We conducted a t-shirt painting activity with 30 children from the Gilder Lane Municipal School, Mumbai Central. 

We were split into different groups and were overjoyed, as we guided a group of young artists to designing a t-shirt. It was a wholesome and fulfilling experience as we worked, learned and laughed together with the children. It was not just a good experience, but also left the children with memories and a small takeaway in the form of the t-shirts they designed. 

Initially, it seemed like a simple task. It felt like we had to place a template on the tshirt and ask them to paint it anyway they liked, but the experience was a lot more wholesome than that. One of the girls had her own vision with the story she wanted her t-shirt to tell. She curiously glanced around to see the stencils others were using and what colours were available. She borrowed the required resources for her designs and ensured that other groups had enough for themselves. It made me appreciate the little things in life, seeing how she would trade materials with others so everyone could have variation and options for the art on their t-shirt. 

All in all, we were spectators to their art and seeing how their mind worked to create such vivid, colourful and bright pieces was also interesting. Even the sheer variation between all the tshirts was an exciting sight. Some painted their entire t-shirts into a completely different colour before using the stencils and some made multicolour forests and flowers.

Seeing the sheer joy on the faces of the children made all our worries disappear, fading away as we were completely absorbed in the activity. This showed us that taking out a few hours from our life to help others is a more fulfilling experience than anything else. 

This article is written by a group of Class 11 students, who are also Toybank – Development through Play volunteers, under the CAS programme from their school, Aditya Birla World Academy (ABWA). 


Through Play, 10-year-old explores creativity, develops problem-solving skills

Naseem (name changed) is a 10-year-old studying at the MHB School in Malad (West). When Toybank’s Outreach Officer (OO) went to Naseem’s class, the teacher mentioned that he was disruptive in class. The OO also noticed that it was difficult for Naseem to pay attention in class and he deliberately disturbed them. He would not pay attention even when the rules for the games were being explained. The other children also avoided playing with him, as he would bother his group and not let them play.  

The OO decided to use play to build a relationship with Naseem, one game at a time. The OO introduced a rule saying that the children who did the activity well would get the games first. At the start of every play session, the team conducts an energiser or ice-breaker with the entire group before handing over the games. Energiser activities help children reactivate their brain after their academic classes. The OO also reiterated the rules of the play session, emphasising the importance of respecting each other and speaking respectfully without engaging in fights. 

Overtime, as play sessions progressed, Naseem began to take interest in teamwork and play. He began enjoying the play session and said that it helped him feel calm and relaxed. In one of the play sessions, he even led his team in the “Make your own rules” activity. 

As part of our play programme, we encourage children to create their own board games after conducting different kinds of games and activities with them throughout the year. Through these sessions and activities, children get a chance to explore their creativity and develop their problem-solving skills. Children who have been steadily and consciously exposed to play and play opportunities throughout the year are able to think in terms of creating play for themselves.


Power of Play: Class 8 student uses creativity to construct car, set it in motion

Siddharth (name changed) is a Class 8 student and attends the Mumbai Public School (CBSE) in Mulund. He is an active student and is always engaged in class. When the play sessions were first introduced, the Mechanix game interested him the most, as he is fond of cars and wanted to construct one himself. However, he could not complete its construction within one play session. In the next few sessions, he decided to play the same game, as he did not want to give up and was keen on constructing a car. 

With more time on hands, he could execute it skillfully. Once he had constructed a car, he was curious to set the car in motion. This time, he collaborated with his friend and made an attempt to do this with leftover materials such as wires, power banks and more. While Mechanix allowed them to construct a car, their imagination and creativity led them to set the car in motion. They also fitted a sensor on their vehicle, which allowed the car to detect obstacles on its path and automatically apply the brakes. 

Games such as Mechanix help children build skills of logical thinking, cognitive thinking, creativity and problem-solving. Play sessions are a space for children to explore their creative minds and go beyond imagination. In conversation with Toybank’s Outreach Officer, the teacher mentioned that Siddharth felt very happy to have completed this project and he also aspires to create his own automobile someday.


Power of Play: Class 6 children ideate, create their own games, rules

On January 20, we conducted an interesting play session with students of Class 6 at the Jankalyan School in Malad (West). The previous play sessions have exposed them to different kinds of games and got them thinking about the different aspects of problem-solving such as asking questions to find information about a problem, brainstorming solutions for a problem, how do you pick the correct idea and so on. 

In this session, we asked students to think about the structure and design of a game. There was a detailed discussion with students about what goes into making the game, how games are designed, certain games they have played like Catch the Crook or Loot that have themes of crime, investigation, sea, pirates and treasure, whereas some games such as Snakes and Ladder or Ludo do not have a theme. 

Then, there was a conversation about what goes into a game’s mechanics: what are the rules, how does the game progress forward, are there any intentional challenges that are created. For example: in snakes and ladders, you have a snake right before the last block, which makes it difficult for the player to win immediately. We had a conversation with students about what makes a game interesting, how these factors together make a game interesting and then we asked them to develop their own games. These could be based on any game they have played, they could also be a completely new game, but the criteria would be that the game should have a clear set of rules for moving forward, the game has to be challenging, there has to be a particular design or a theme for the game and they have to build out a rule card. Students built five games in all. 

It was fascinating to see how deeply they engaged with play, and how well they used their critical thinking skills to develop these games independently.

Match the Food (based on Memory Skills)

A version of memory skills, which the students had frequently played earlier. It involves covering one side of the pictures. If you roll the dice, the number on the dice determines how many pictures you can open in one turn. You need to uncover the exact matching picture on the other side, in order to score a point. This game tests memory, concentration, and eye-hand coordination.

Football Ludo

A group created a Football-themed ludo. Each of the colours became a team such as Argentina, Portugal, France and Brazil. Each coin was named after a player, and the centre, which is traditionally a home in Ludo, became the goal post. When the dice rolls six, it unlocks a new player and the rules remain the same as Ludo. 

Rainbow Checkers

This group built a version of Checkers. However, instead of using the star-shaped Chinese Checkers, they used a checkerboard and colour coded it. You roll the dice and you move forward. But, there is a spinner that decides whether you move horizontally or diagonally and the coloured squares are coded for points. If you land on blue, you get four points, if you land on red, you get a certain number of points, and so on. The game is a mix of Chinese Checkers, Chess and the likes. 

Survive the Amazon forest!

While most groups built very structured games that follow existing games, one group designed Survive the Amazon Forest. They built out a map along with elements of collaboration. One of the rules said that if you land on a particular number, you fall into a pond and you have to keep skipping your turn, until another player reaches the square before you and actually opts to save you. So, they thought of  cooperative play, which is a very technical game term. The game had an element of cooperative play and collaboration. They also had these tiles such as a pond, an alligator pond, a swamp, along with a maze. If you roll a specific number, you cannot take the regular game path, you have to take an alternative maze path. This game was great in terms of imagination and creativity. 

Counting game

This group built a mathematical spiral game, where they developed different rules for the different dice numbers. This was a mix of Snakes and Ladders, and a physical game that we play, where we count numbers and we replace specific numbers with action. Each number of the dice had a specific action: if you land on the number that has a 3 in it, you get a second turn, if you roll 2, you skip a turn and so on. 

What was most fascinating through this session was that all the concepts that have been taught through the play sessions, in terms of problem-solving, coming up with multiple solutions, teamwork, collaboration and listening to each other’s ideas, we were actually able to witness these when we heard students planning their games. When someone said they had an idea, another student added to that and explained how the idea could be made better. 


Kala Ghoda Arts Festival: Pushing play forward with Arzan Khambatta’s doodle workshop and more

“Unlike their regular art class, the workshop gave them the freedom to play around without any inhibitions whatsoever.”

– Arzan Khambatta, Play Ambassador, Toybank — Development through Play

Play helps build skills of creativity and imagination. And we saw a wonderful example of this at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2024. Through our work, we at Toybank — Development through Play are asking for Play to be embedded into our culture, into the very fabric of our country, and pushing the idea that Play can change society for the better. We believe that joyfulness and playfulness can be a massive driving factor for building a world that is not just resilient, but where play behaviour is deeply understood and encouraged for children and adults both.

On January 26, we collaborated with the Aditya Birla World Academy (ABWA) to celebrate play in all forms. The activities were conducted with 30 children from the Gilder Lane Municipal School, Mumbai Central, and 120 students from ABWA, who participated in two batches.  We also had our very own Play Ambassador Arzan Khambatta conduct a doodle workshop with the children. 

For Arzan, anything that does not have an absolute right and wrong is play, and that was exactly his brief to the children before the workshop started. He told them that doodling meant they could experiment and play as they like with their pens and canvas. The children were amused when they were told that there were no rules to follow with their art.  What started off as empty canvases soon turned into a work of art for many.  “Unlike their regular art class, the workshop gave them the freedom to play around without any inhibitions whatsoever,” said Arzan. 

In addition, students from ABWA conducted a t-shirt painting activity for our children, where they were split into groups. The children were allowed to draw and paint the designs they wanted. It was amazing to watch our children and the students of ABWA work together in bringing alive their ideas. Students got creative and painted trees, flowers and some also came up with their own abstract designs. “I painted my favourite football player’s number on the back along with my name,” said Dheeraj (name changed), a student from Gilder Lane School, when asked about his design. The children were thrilled to get a chance to be creative without any stringent rules, a concept we often see in play.   

We leave you with one of our favourite quotes we truly believe in:

‘When we trust children, they learn to trust themselves. When we honour their way of learning instead of trying to replace it with our own, they learn to love the way they learn. When they love the way they learn, they continue to wonder, be curious, and innovate.”


Spirit of volunteering: Toybankers talk about Play, why volunteering is essential

Our volunteers help us spread the message of Power of Play, while having a playful time themselves. They support us in play sessions and help us make them accessible to more children. Through the years, this support has helped us take play to more children.

On World Volunteering Day, we asked a few of them about their experience so far and how being part of the cause has changed their perception of Play. Here’s what they had to say: 

Play must not be a reward after studies, but part of daily education
Volunteering with Toybank has helped me reconnect with my childhood. It has inculcated in me qualities of patience, resilience and empathy and also helped me understand the importance of play. I now realise that play should not always be a reward after studies, but should be inculcated throughout the school day, as it is extremely educational. Volunteering can help us make a difference and put a smile on childrens’ faces, while playing with them and helping them learn simultaneously. 

Play is a crucial tool for fostering creativity
Through Toybank’s play sessions, I have realised the power of play in the lives of children, especially those from marginalised communities. I have witnessed firsthand the positive impact it has on their development and well-being. I always thought play was a simple, recreational activity, but I now understand that it is a crucial tool for fostering creativity, social skills and emotional growth in children. By volunteering with Toybank, we can all be part of children’s development.   

Every play session teaches you something new
Toybank’s Conscious Playapproach is what drew me to the organisation. Volunteering has not only introduced me to the struggles faced by those from marginalised communities, but also the importance of Play in providing holistic development to a child’s mind. My perception of Play has gone past an object of entertainment – to me, Play can also be a way for people to learn, socialise and develop. Volunteering at Toybank is different, as one will always learn something new from every child and every play session.

Play helps children focus better
I used to think that play was a time outside studies, but volunteering with Toybank has changed my perception of it. I was not very confident of teaching and guiding children during play sessions really helped me.  I have played multiple games with children, thus helping them build skills of collaboration, independence, thinking and reflection. Play is a time when children can forget about the rest of the world, and just focus on the puzzle they are solving or the board games they are playing.

Volunteering has helped me achieve personal growth
Volunteering at Toybank has been a transformative journey, rooted in the belief that every child has the Right to Play. The essence of why I volunteer here is to witness the profound impact of play in shaping young minds. Toybank, an NGO championing play, resonates with me deeply, as it not only advocates for the joy of play, but recognises its pivotal role in a child’s holistic development. My journey with Toybank has reinforced the urgency for more individuals to volunteer with them. Through volunteering, one not only contributes to creating a positive impact but also experiences personal growth. It’s an opportunity to witness firsthand the transformative potential of play in shaping the future generation. 

Volunteering allows me to give and receive fun experiences 
Encouraging children to learn concepts in a fun and engaging manner helps develop their future understanding, as they are more likely to retain the information they learn if they can associate it with positive experiences and learning opportunities. Volunteering with Toybank has allowed me to tailor learning to children’s interests, as I haven’t necessarily played in a very long time. It provides me with the opportunity to both give and receive fun experiences in conjunction with the children.

Volunteering taught me the ability to interact, teach
Toybank’s idea is unique and what drew me to them is its interactive nature of the idea about playing games with young children and the ability to shape their minds. Volunteering has taught me the ability to interact and teach, while being caring and helpful. Play has subsequently changed my outlook on the way games can be used to increase the ability of learning in children. It has strengthened the idea that people should volunteer here so they, too, can get a perspective on the way play and games can be integrated into a child’s learning process

Play is a powerful tool for education and emotional well-being
Spending time with children during play sessions allows me to make a meaningful impact in the lives of children from vulnerable communities. By attending play sessions, I have learned that play is not just a form of entertainment; it’s a crucial part of a child’s development. It has taught me the importance of providing these children with opportunities to learn, grow, and simply enjoy their childhood. Volunteering with Toybank has changed my perception of play by showing me how it serves as a powerful tool for education and emotional well-being. It’s not just about having fun; it’s about fostering creativity, social skills, and resilience in these kids who may face various challenges in their lives.


Toybank Turns 19: Volunteers engage in playful activities, origami workshop

It was heartwarming to see the smiles on those little faces, as they received their thoughtful games. 

On August 26, over 100 volunteers came together to distribute games to 1,674 children and conduct fun activities at a school in Malad. The day marked 19 years of Toybank – Development through Play, and was filled with learning, games, but most of all, PLAY!

We asked a few volunteers to write about their experiences and here’s what they had to say. 

Spreading Smiles: A heartwarming experience at the Toybank event

As a volunteer with Toybank, I have seen this organisation evolve over the years. What started as a simple initiative to collect toys for underprivileged children has now grown into something truly magical, where they promote play and the importance of play-based learning in schools across Maharashtra.  In August, we celebrated ‘Toybank Turns 19’ in a way that left us all with hearts full of joy and gratitude. 

This time, instead of just distributing toys, we, as volunteers, also conducted fun games and activities for the children. We spent quality time with them, played games, and created lasting memories. The celebration was nothing short of spectacular. 

Each volunteer was assigned a group of children, and we spent the day playing, laughing, and sharing stories. It was heartwarming to see the smiles on those little faces, as they received their thoughtful gifts. 

But what truly touched my heart were the beautiful and happy smiles on the children’s faces. Those smiles are like beacons of hope, lighting up our lives and reminding us of the importance of Toybank’s mission. It’s an honour to be part of an organisation that works tirelessly to bring joy to these children. 

In a world filled with so much chaos and uncertainty, the Toy Bank stands as a shining example of the power of kindness and compassion. After all, if children don’t deserve ‘toy-banks’, who does?

Origami workshop leaves children amused 

When I first decided that I would be teaching origami to an entire Grade 5 class for Toybank Turns 19, I admit, I was anxious. As I entered the classroom, I was so nervous that in the introduction, I ended up speaking in over three languages: English, Marathi and Hindi. However, the children did not even notice and smiled at me with their enthusiasm. 

When I started teaching them how to make a butterfly, they all laughed and had a jolly time, and my nervousness faded away, replacing it with happiness. When we started to make a bookmark, I was amazed that almost all of those children knew how to make one. And, when we made the origami box, it surprised me that these children could do such complicated folds so easily. 

I noticed that students were helping each other during the workshop and resolving each other’s doubts. This showed excellent teamwork between them. By the time we started making the tiny butterflies, I felt very relaxed as the children helped me ease into the class. 

I was intrigued when they started adding tiny details on the crafts that made them look more intricate. When the class ended, I realised that I ended up having much more fun than the children did. I realised that spending time with such energised children made me energetic, too. I had a great time playing and teaching children  origami. 

The above articles have been written by Sheetal Kulkarni and Sailee Nigalye, respectively. They are both Toybank volunteers.  


Playful Parenting: How Play enables parents to better connect with children

Play does not mean we need to go out or play with toys. We can do anything because Play is everything.

Play during childhood contributes to children’s development in significant ways. It is socially interactive and a way for children to adopt social norms needed to thrive in society: collaboration, empathy and self-awareness among others. Play is also a means for parents to enrich their relationship with their child. It allows parents to observe their children and understand their actions. When playing together, children are not just having fun, but are building skills of communication and collaboration that will benefit them in the long-run. 

Research has shown that Play causes the prefrontal cortex to become bigger and work faster. The prefrontal cortex is responsible for ‘higher’ brain functions such as intelligence, decision-making, problem-solving, and emotion regulation. It is also associated with the social skills and personality of humans. 

We spoke to a few parents on what different play methods they have adopted and how play has helped them connect with their child.

‘Letting the child explore surroundings is equally important as toys and games’

Meghna Pandit did not send her daughter, Myra, now six-years-old, to a playgroup, as she did not want to restrict her thoughts and learning at that age. “Instead, we focused on self-development through Play,” she says. 

Like all children, Myra was more interested in the packaging of a toy, than the toy itself. When they stepped outside, the mud or sand in the garden would fascinate her more than the swing. “However, we did not stop her and allowed her to explore her surroundings, while keeping a watchful eye that she was not going overboard,” says Meghna.  

In her day-to-day activities, she ensures that Myra is allowed to choose what she wants to play, as this allows children to feel like they have the power and control over what they do. “It is important that parents allow children to explore rather than force toys and games on them,” she says. They also saw to it that there were times when Myra was playing independently, as playing by themselves helps foster children’s imagination and enhances their problem-solving skills. 

To help Myra develop certain skills, Meghna and her partner chose a few games strategically. “We chose games such as Mechanix and Tool Kit to help her develop fine motor skills, and puzzles helped her in developing strategy-based thinking,” she adds. They also ensured that Myra had games, which required her to play in groups in order to help her develop skills such as collaboration and communication. “We used the children’s bowling game for this purpose.” They also broke the barrier and did not differentiate between games based on gender. 

Meghna says that Play has taught Myra to be fair. She did not know that her daughter had developed this skill, until she noticed it during a play session with friends. “In a group game, she ensures that all her friends get equal opportunities.” 

Through her years as a parent, Meghna has realised that Play is vital in a child’s formative years. “It gives them an opportunity to explore and be creative rather than restrict their thoughts in the direction you want,” she says. “This in turn also brings out their character, personality and that’s important as they grow older.

Bonding is essential for a parent and child, and what better way to do that than Play?

‘Play is as important for parents, as it is for children’

Shalvi Mangaokar works from home and ensures that she removes some time every few hours to play with Snitika, her two-year-old daughter. She says that Play is an essential part of a parent’s life, just like it is for a child. “Most parents, including myself, do not always know how to play with a child, so it is important that we read up about the different ways of play and how it benefits the child,” says Shalvi. 

When a parent plays with a child, the parent’s attention is entirely on the child. “Play helps me bond a lot more with Snitika, and also allows me to distract myself from my everyday life,” she adds. 

Shalvi uses a lot of sensory play, as it encourages learning through exploration, curiosity, problem-solving and creativity. “I believe sensory play is a significant part of child development, especially because it works a lot on developing the sensory, cognitive and fine motor skills of children before we get into understanding their left and right brain inclination,” she adds. “It’s important to let them explore things for how they are and grow with them.” 

Play is the best way to learn and it brings out the child in everyone.

Shalvi also says that toys aren’t always a necessity for children to play, because for children everyday objects are also play. When she introduced her toddler to touch-and-feel and other books, her objective was not for her to learn the alphabets, but for her daughter to understand the world of books. “Reading to her is also a form of play, as it allows me to bond with Snitika,” she adds.

As a family, they ensure that they play together everyday. This could include involving her in the day-to-day chores or going outdoors. Together, they also turn everyday objects into imaginary things and role play. Research has shown that role play allows a child to exercise their brain and allow it to use imagination at an early age. It also enriches their language and enhances communication skills. Shalvi also ensures that Snitika is introduced to the traditional games such as hide-and-seek, among others. 

Play has helped her realise that Snitika is someone with sharp observational skills and quick thinking. “When she is involved in an activity, she does not get distracted easily,” says Shalvi. “I have enjoyed watching her be focused.”

‘Play does not mean we need toys, play is everything’

Sarah Stephanos’ eight-year-old daughter Ishani Basu is a play enthusiast and loves outdoor games. “Play is part of our every day, come what may,” says Sarah. Origami, lock-and-key, football, basketball and Brainvita among others are only a few ways they play together. Sarah accompanies Ishani in games such as Catch-And-Cook and Fire in the Mountain, too. 

Since Ishani is a lot into outdoor games, playing football is one of her favourites, and this has also taught her to think strategically, and teamwork. “She very easily becomes the decision-maker and tells the team who will play at what position, depending on their skills. I see that playing football with the team has helped her develop her leadership skills. 

Sarah says that play allows her daughter to explore her creativity and thinking, rather than following a certain style or pattern. “When she was younger, I introduced her to origami as it helps with finger movement and developing certain cognitive skills.”

Through play, Sarah has taught her daughter that it is okay to lose. “Initially, when she played the game snakes and ladders, I used to let her win,” she says. “Since this became a habit, it made me realise that she did not like to lose. Following this, I started letting her lose and taught her that it was okay to lose, while associating the feeling to real life situations.” 

Play has made Ishaani very observant and helped her think out of the box. Sarah narrated one such incident, where Ishani pointed to a dry leaf and told her that the positioning of the leaf made it look like a bird. “Sometimes it fascinates me how children think and I also realised that Ishaani is always thinking out of the box,” Sarah adds. 

As a parent, she has noticed that people often say they have no time to play. “Play does not mean we need to go out or play with toys. We can do anything because Play is everything,” she says. “Bonding is essential for a parent and child, and what better way to do that than Play?”

‘Play brings out the child in everyone, helps us destress’

Priyam Agarwal is a mother of two: 10-year-old Sairah and three-year-old Sriihaan, and lives in a joint family. “When we go out on trips, we always ensure that we play together, even if it’s just cards.”

For Priyam, Play is a way to destress from her everyday life and at the same time, have her children learn constructively. “I ensure that we invest in educational games and toys such as those that help understand science and other subjects of their interest,” she adds. 

As a child, Sairaah was always interested in puzzles and Legos. While the puzzles allowed her to develop strategic thinking and problem-solving, Legos gave her time to explore her creativity. “Her current favourite is Magna tiles. And, Sriihaan is into cars. So, the two of them get together and build different structures such as car garages or a parking lot, using the toys they have,” adds Priyam. 

They also ensure that outdoor activity is part of their play, and since they live close to a beach, getting their hands dirty in the sand is a weekly activity. 

Priyam recalls the Covid-19 induced lockdown and while it was a difficult time for everyone to be locked in their homes, she spoke about how Sairaah was the one that took the lead and came up with games for everyone to play together. “Sairaah would engage us in her games such as charades, pictionary, or just the usual Name-Place-Animal -Thing. Sometimes, she would give us an alphabet and ask us to name countries, cities or food items beginning with that alphabet. Play made lockdown a little less stressful for us,” she says. 

Role play is another important aspect of child development, as it allows the child to develop social and thinking skills. It also helps them make decisions and practice and develop their physical skills. For this, Priyam had bought a doll house for Sairaah when she was five-years-old and today, both her children continue to play with it.  

While Sairaah is now old enough to play by herself or wants to play with her friends more, Priyam ensures that she always makes time to Play and learn with Sriihaan. She says that play is the best way to learn and it brings out the child in everyone. “Play is important because sometimes we are so serious in life, so stressed out, and play helps us destress,” she adds. 

Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning. 


World Play Day 2023: ‘Play helped me hone my skills, elevate my mood’

I never knew doodling could be so fun and engaging. On June 4, 2023, as part of World Play Day, I attended an Ink and Doodle workshop organised by Toybank – Development Through Play.  

The workshop was organised in collaboration with Arzan Khambatta, renowned architect and sculptor. We also had Karan Shah, an artist, display his artwork called ‘Different Perspectives’.  The event included children from Toybank- Development Through Play’s centres, and those part of the Creativity Action Service (CAS) programme. It began with interesting and fun ice-breaking activities, where all of us children got to know each other and introduced ourselves. 

Arzan demonstrated different ways to doodle, and helped us draw easy shapes, while encouraging us to think outside the box. He displayed common doodling techniques with squares and rectangles, and other shapes, and helped us understand there was no right or wrong in our artwork. 

Being in Class 10, I often feel the pressure of studies, but I also realise that I need to remove time from my day to play. Being part of this doodle workshop helped me relieve my stress, and elevated my mood. The workshop kept me engaged till the very end.  We were also asked to name our doodles towards the end. Some of the creative names included, ‘An Infinite World’ and ‘The Unknown in the Known’.  

In addition, Karan Shah, whose art focuses on looking at everyday objects through a different lens, left us amused with his presentation. He showed us everyday objects and helped us think from different perspectives, something we had never thought about before. I realised that imagination has no limits. A non-living object can be transformed into a living one just by the  powers of creative imagination. 

Jiya Gada is a  Class 10 student, who attended the workshop organised for World Play Day 2023. 


Play sheets keep children engaged during Covid-19 pandemic

Vinay, a student of Class 3, had a tough time keeping himself engaged during the Covid-19 lockdown. He had to share his cellphone with his younger brother Raju, studying in Class 2. Their single room dwelling in the Malvani slums did not make life any easier. Clashing classes made it hard for Vinay to continue studying. Some days, when they could settle on a manageable time schedule, the boys would struggle with the internet connection. Their parents were quite worried, as the gap in their education kept widening and they both grew restless at home. 

When they were introduced to Toybank’s playsheets, they started by solving them together. They would download the sheets from the internet and sit for hours engaged in learning through the playsheet-based activities. Their parents were relieved that both the boys were happy and learning together. Vinay would help Raju read big words and both grew fond of puzzles, word searches, and playsheets that developed their problem-solving skills.

“We like learning new English words through these playsheets,” said Vinay enthusiastically.