“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.”