The second make with me exploration in #clmooc is a toy hack.
What is a hack? That’s a good question and I think it is a word still in the process of definition but it involves taking something and using or modifying it for a new purpose.
Many clmooc participants have been taking old toys and turning them into something new. The other way to look at a toy hack is to take something that is not a toy and turn it into a toy. That line of thought got me thinking about paper toys. Paper planes and chatterboxes are a great favourites of my sons.
So, here is my chatterbox design. Chatterboxes normally tell your fortune, along the lines of “You will turn into a stinky monkey.” I created a joke-telling chatterbox.
I also made this “Choose Your Own Adventure” chatterbox which was designed to suggest things for my children to do when they are bored.
It was not a hit, except in the sense that my eldest son probably won’t ask me what he should do next time he’s bored. I might remake this one with suggestions for places to go during our school holidays.
The chatterbox would also be a fun way to suggest journal prompts or to use as a story starter.
I think that toy hacking is something that children do all the time. They don’t look at toys and see only one possibility. If there are creative, open-ended toys and materials around then they play, they think ‘I need a …’ and they make it. Is it harder for adults to have that mindset - the idea that I can make what I need?