Friday, December 07, 2007

How to create a thinking child, start with "Toy Book"

There is no lead paint in these toys (unless you add it yourself) and they are all 100% made in the USA (unless you live outside the USA). Steven Caney's Toy Book introduces your child to the world beyond prefabricated 'play modes'. If you don't like the idea of you child becoming a mindless automaton in a consumerist society, show him/her a world of his/her own making.

OK, so I'm being a little dramatic, but I like this book. I'm a designer so I am probably predisposed to the idea that your own imagination is better then the latest Spiderman toy. What is important about this book is that it not only gets some simple yet creative toys into your child's hands, but it also shows them that the world is not made up entirely of preconfigured blocks that have to be consumed as is. This book shows them they can deconstruct the world around them and remake it to suite their imagination.

This book has a series of simple instructions on how to make basic toys. One of the compelling things about these toys is that many are scientific or musical in nature, allowing you child to begin to 'play' with science or music. What a great way to get them interested in learning. The "Water scope" and "Water Lens" are two example of this, if you have a small bucket and some other household items, you can start to learn about optics and maybe demystify the pair of glasses your son or daughter just got.

I was quite excited when I saw this book, and bought it on the spot. I had Steven Caney as a design professor while I attended RISD. He had more impact on me then any other design teacher, he truly taught me to think outside the box. And yet, also how to deal with the practical side of business. After reviewing the book, I can safely say that a lot of Steven is in this book. He has a voracious appetite for invention and you can start to see the glimmer of that mind in this book. Two other great books by Steven Caney: Steven Caney's Invention Book and Steven Caney's Ultimate Building Book.