This Toy App Helps Kids Care For The Environment
STORY: Farhan Shafie
21 November 2019
Tulika Sahai is the founder of Toy Around, an online marketplace for pre-loved toys where parents can swap, sell or buy toys for their children on an easy-to-navigate app. We spoke with the mother of two on what she hopes to inspire through her business and the environmental crisis that is overconsumption.
I started becoming more environmentally conscious when I became a mother. When it occurred to me that the world we are leaving behind is the one my children will be living in, it hit harder when I felt it on my own skin. At the same time, I was faced with a dilemma of how to provide my children with the excitement of receiving new toys without hurting the environment.
One day I noticed my son playing with our neighbours’ kids’ toys with as much glee as his own toys and thought why don’t we simply exchange toys amongst each other and everyone wins. That’s how Toy Around was born.
The importance of toys to a child's development
Children play. That’s their job. And that’s how they learn to become familiar with thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Play is integral to the development of children and the right toy at the right time can do wonders for their development.
There are several studies done by academics that prove that different types of toys help with a child’s development. For example, infants need to develop motor skills first and foremost while children around the age of 3 should be offered toys that build their imagination. Past the age of 6, we should provide kids play solutions that build their emotional and behavioural side as well, which often gets ignored.
Facilitating environmental change
Besides being a marketplace, Toy Around hopes to change the mindset of its users by providing an easy and accessible solution to helping the environment, space management and as well as instilling more empathy among children.
It really is a win-win solution for the users because they can make a buck or two, the kids who give because they exercise their empathy, the kids who receive new toys, and finally the environment which doesn’t feel the strain of un-recyclable plastic toys.
Instilling good sustainability habits in young children
I believe in educating our children in the early stages of their life. In fact, there are so many things that we can do at home to nurture environmentally conscious children and it does not even have to be too drastic.
Parents can start raising awareness on environmental issues by being energy-conscious at home: turning off water while tooth-brushing, taking a shower instead of a bath to save water and training children to switch off the lights when they leave a room. Learn to love the environment. If you love something you are more likely to care for it.
Learn more about the Toy Around app here.
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