Design and operation of moving toys for Primary Schools

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Background Information: Children have been playing with toys for generations. These make out of different mediums such as wood, card, clay, cloth and metal. Some of the toys made by these children are cars, trains, dolls, boats, aeroplanes and helicopters. Though children produce these toys and are happy with the outcome, they still yearn for the new technological toys such as the motorised cars and trains. Unlike the easy and simple way of producing toys, motorisation is a little bit more difficult. It is complex and needs some form of specialized knowledge and inputs such as the gears and the kind of force to apply. The objectives is to produce an instructional manual on the way to produce some simple forms of motorized toys, which will stimulate and generate interest in children and help them to improve upon the present work which they do without any tuition or supervision. It has been the practice of most repairers of electrical, electronic and other mechanical items such as watches and clocks to discard some of the faulty parts of these gadgets. Some of these parts are just changed, to be replaced with new ones, though they may be in relatively good working condition. These parts when removed are either thrown away or left at the mercy of the weather and atmosphere which after some time become rusted. These parts could be used to produce mechanisms for use in toys and other utility products like egg beaters or mixers. Children have been making good use of other by-products or “wastes” such as the cans of milk, oil and talcum powder. They however have not yet found much use of the electric motors and gears. The rationale for the new educational policy is aimed at producing vocationally and intellectually capable adults in the near future, so that no child would be a liability to the society. In the light of this, vocational skills have been introduced into the curriculum of the new Basic Educational programme. Most of the children who produce their own toys are in the age bracket of six to twelve. It is about this period that the inquisitive and adventurous nature of the child as well as the moulding of his thought and character is most manifest. This is also the period that they yearn for more advanced and modern toys and gadgetory. As such, what they cannot afford to buy in the shops, they build themselves. However, with the rapidly changing technological phase there is the need therefore to help these youngsters to live up to the pace of change. A basic knowledge in machines and electronics is therefore necessary. The ability to make toys with mechanical parts will go a long way to stimulate the scientific interest and improve upon the creative abilities of these children. Furthermore, this will serve as the basis for more technological advanced studies.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of Postgraduate Diploma in Art Education, 1992