New Delhi: Blocks, puzzles, masks, puppets and sending art are some of the things that will now be taught to schoolchildren. To help school children in the age group of 3 to 18 years to understand the basic concepts of science and mathematics and develop motor skills to facilitate their small tasks, the central government has come up with a toy-based education scheme.
The policy document released by the education ministry on Wednesday is in line with the new National Education Policy 2020, which suggests experiential learning for children of all ages.
The policy paper says: “When we talk about toys in school education, we particularly focus on home-made toys and games. Toys like peolla, also known as lattu (top), phirki (spinning wheel), kite , dug-dugie, phirni (pinwheel), magic card, flying bird, magic snake etc. Children love these games and toys very much.
In addition, it says: “The help of curriculum developers is needed to identify which games and toys will be appropriate according to the age of the child and the different subjects.”
The government is also looking to revive some of the old traditional games like Gilli Danda, Chaupar (a traditional form of board game) and Kabaddi among children.
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The paper also suggests using toys to teach children up to three years old at the preschool level.
For example, a pressure ball can be given to increase the comprehension ability of these young children. Toys with wooden sounds will help children fine-tune their hand-eye coordination and hearing. Apart from this, they have also been suggested to use other toys like building blocks to identify colors and numbers.
Manish Jain, a faculty member at the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar and as part of the Institute’s ‘Centre for Creative Learning (CCL)’, along with his team designed the learning outcomes in an educational plan based on toys.
Talking to ThePrint, he said, “Classrooms are becoming boring and monotonous in one way or another these days. Having fun is the most important thing for a student while learning a subject and toy-based learning will help with this. We are trying to make learning fun and interesting. When children see and associate with a toy, they question and think about it. This develops their skills. With this, they will not write rote things from a book on the answer sheet.
Jain is currently training teachers for toy-based education. His team runs an online program called ’30-30 STEM’, which teaches teachers how to engage children in toy-based learning.
He said: “Toys and activities play a very important role in learning. If you are active while learning, you learn a lot. He has had a great response from teachers trained in the program he runs.
Jain and his team have also conducted a few workshops with children from government schools and have also received an encouraging response.
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a toy for each lesson
CCL has found that this educational plan suggests using a variety of toys for children of different ages.
For example, magnets have been proposed for children between 8 and 11 years old to “develop a more Spanish sense of observation and exploration”. The policy paper also suggests using geometric solids as ‘toys’ to understand shapes, find the area and perimeter of simple geometric figures and estimate the volume of a solid body in known units.
Toy revitalization kits for older children (ages 14-18) have been suggested to help them develop “emotional management, intelligence, self-awareness, introspection and decision-making skills”.
A balloon toy car has been suggested to teach “pressure, force, Newton’s third law of motion”.
The policy paper also suggests using indigenous toys and games to expose children to Indian history and culture.
For example, Kondapalli toys (painted wooden toys) traditionally made in Andhra Pradesh, torans (wall hangings) and cloth dolls made in Gujarat and Rajasthan, marbles, bangles and animal figures from Uttar Pradesh. It has been proposed to carry between children.
She also suggests introducing ceramics and miniatures dating back to the Harappan period so that children can learn about civilizations.
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