the ReFab Diaries: non-plastic toys
Showing posts with label non-plastic toys
Ours is a story of logic and magic; the logic of recycling our rubbish using the magic of imagination, creativity and finally, plenty of passion! The result is a bouquet of colourful, well designed sculptures, household items, fashion accessories and bespoke pieces.

Let's face it - old flip flops are, well ... gross. But even when they're old and disgusting, they're still rubber and they take upwards of 50 years to decompose ... so they don't just "go away" when you forget them on a beach at the end of the summer. They do, however, float away. Apparently, by the hundreds of thousands. Then what? Well, Cleaning Beaches, Creating Masterpieces is the FlipFlop Recycling Company’s solution. And their motto! This eco-business (based in Nairobi, Kenya) collects discarded flip flops that were previously blighting waterways and coastlines around the world. Then, through the magic of talented local artisans, the collected waste is turned into amazing flipflop creations. And people from local communities earn an income in the process! Are you impressed?  Me too! 
And I have a couple of FlipFlop creatures to give away ... read on!

I don't have much to say about this beyond .... hello!!!  How freakin' cool????  You only need approx ... ummm... 400 milk jugs. But I think a classroom of small humans might create that many in a month!  Care of Tinkerlab
Earlier this year, I featured the Faraway Tree created by the amazing ex-physics teacher / mom blogging at ikatbag.  Just recently, she set out to construct a Barbie House for her three girls.  It's a wonder... complete with an elevator and glowing fireplace. Go take a look at it in detail.

Winter in the midwest is long ... when you have a kid, it's interminable. I had no idea!!  So we asked relatives to get us a membership to the Chicago Children's Museum (good way to minimize how much stuff we got for her first birthday).  We figured it would help us get out of the house and give the wee person a place to run around and be crazy.  We thought we were being pretty smart at the time.  With hindsight, it was a genius decision!  I love the place.  It's welcoming, stimulating and, above all, constantly surprising.  Since the focus is on tactile experience, we spend a lot of time *doing* stuff.  But the last time we were there, I spent some time just looking ... and guess what I saw?  Repurposing, recycling and ingenius refashioning everywhere!  So here's a taste.

He's inspired by a book and he's made of old t-shirts and scrap fabric.  And the tutorial/pattern is offered free by MeSewCrazy.  I'd say he deserves center-stage on this blog.

A woven basket ....  (many more after the jump!)

Arvind Gupta thinks “The best thing a child can do with a toy is break it!”

I don’t even know where to start with this one. His web site boasts an astonishing range of educational experiments like how to fashion a potato battery and a bottle barometer. But in addition to the nerdy, educational stuff, the site features quick and easy one-offs that aren't the least bit science-y, like how to fold six types of newspaper hat.