Toys from Trash – Must watch from Arvind Gupta


ARVIND GUPTA: Arvind Gupta is a Innovator and science educator, Arvind Gupta shows students and teachers the possibilities of using ordinary things for doing science and recycling modern junk into joyous products. Arvind Gupta has conducted workshops in over 2000 schools and has won many national and international awards.

By Terrance Gavan – Terrance on Tech

A nice reminder crossed my lap (top) this morning. A reminder about just how much we have in the west.

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]

Terrance on Tech.Photo by Dan Devine.

And how much they don’t have in those countries, which we would prefer not to think of during our daily slouch and slog.

In the west we take a lot of things for granted. Water. Perhaps water is our worst regret. We have so much water in North America that we have developed an annoying habit of paying for it.

Sometimes, in the case of Perrier, we push that penchant to the point of incredulity.

Which brings us to Tickle Me Elmo.

And toys and what they mean to us.

Some years back at Macy’s or some such equally delightful department store, two women pounded each other into the emergency room of a New York hospital fighting over Tickle Me Elmo.

It was Christmas Eve and the burly guy who broke it up and phoned 911.

He’s the guy who ended up with Tickle Me Elmo. The doll? $57.99 US. The You Tube Video? Priceless.

Toys have become some kind of grail, proof that we are coddled beyond belief; toys might be seen as a  fundamental harbinger of where we are headed, here in the west; our toys display our fundamental failure to entertain and engage our empathy.

Apropos of that scattergun left wing treatise we present a scholar Arvind Gupta. He’s a guy with a few degrees and some compelling thoughts about toys. In India – certain areas – Tickle me Elmo would keep a family of four in water and food for two months or so.

Needless to say there are no Christmas stockings there. Of course they’re Hindus or Muslims so really not a great metaphor – unless we’re aiming for cheeky metaphor.

The scholar kept an audience at the TED conference engaged and on the edge of their seats with toys for the third world. Toys from junk. Toys that remind us that every child needs to play. Gupta says every child needs to play. He’s also made it possible.

At the INK Conference, Arvind Gupta shares simple yet stunning plans for turning trash into seriously entertaining, well-designed toys that kids can build themselves. Listen for innovative ideas for kids to make their own toys while learning basic principles of science and design.

ABOUT INK: INKtalks are personal narratives that get straight to the heart of issues in 18 minutes or less. We are committed to capturing and sharing breakthrough ideas, inspiring stories and surprising perspectives–for free!

Watch an INKtalk and meet the people who are designing the future–now.

Thanks to brother JB Fletcher for getting this to us on a Saturday morning. Fletch beat out Cuppa Joe Simonsky who will be arriving I’m told with a Cuppa Joe ha-ha shortly.

Terrance on tech can be reached at