The Little Toys that Aren’t


I often say my kids have way to much toys and wish we can get rid of everything, but imagine that was true! Imagine your baby/toddler/kid have nothing to play with to develop vital skills in life. As an Interior Designer, I design spaces to promote learning through play, and without the right equipment this is virtually impossible.

In rural Mpumalanga, kids in the community do not always have access to toys so they often end up playing with any junk lying around. Their very creative makeshift robots, dolls, cars and fairy wands inspired a range of toys by The Topsy Toy Project called The Little Toys That Aren’t.

Through a partnership with Spree and Your Parenting, these bits and pieces are being virtually sold online as real toys. Shoppers will be able to make a donation by “buying” one of ten different toys, with the full amount going straight to Topsy to stock their Toy Library.

Topsy has partnered with twenty-three day care centres in the area, as well as a centre for physically disabled kids. With Topsy’s help, these children are now getting access to specialized educational toys and better-trained teachers.

“Our aim is to provide for the holistic development requirements of children in their formative years, encompassing physical, cognitive, social and language development needs. We’re trying to ensure that the children, from newborns to six year olds, are emotionally and physically nourished so they won’t start school already at a disadvantage.There is solid evidence via academic and field studies showing that high quality stimulation through early childhood development programmes gives children a better chance of breaking the poverty cycle,” explained Sylvia de JagerTopsy’s Executive Director.

Children who have benefited from Topsy’s programme have improved social and emotional behavior; are less likely to drop out of school later in life; and have increased earning potential as adults. “ explained Silvia of Topsy’s ambitious long-term goal.

The Little Toys that Aren’t will be available for virtual purchase from at spree.co.za/topsy at R20 per toy-donation. The Topsy foundation does some great work, check it out here.

With this wonderful project I want to challenge you to encourage your children to create toys from items lying around to promote creativity through play. Hashtag their creations on social media #LittleToysThatArent #LittleInteriors and make sure you donate to this wonderful project. R20 can’t really buy much these days but it can help educate a small child.

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