Sunday, June 22, 2014

Imagination of a child

 I remember the days when I used to play with these wooden toys. I especially remember the tram (which looked something like this) and imagined me as a tram driver, driving all over Bombay. (yes Bombay had trams till 1964)


After all what is a toy? I think it is just an object which, in the hands of a child turns into the actual thing.  The way a child’s imagination soars with a toy is unimaginable. So when a child sits on this rocking horse, he gets himself transported to faraway places, fighting gallant wars, saving damsels in distress. . . . . .  the possibilities are endless, which only a child can imagine.


Saw the display of these toys last week while driving down from Bangalore to the Nilgiris.  On the way is a small town by the name of Channapatna which is famous for its wooden toys dating back to many generations.


Now they have come up with many more fancy stuff, like these wooden flower vase which is bound to have some international interest.


A plethora of musical instruments


and artists who play them


I have no idea how an abacus works so I wonder if this is a real one as I see only nine beads in some rows.


These squirrels (and the penguin) with an articulate body is a work of art.


Somebody has come up with this saving bank made of wood in a unique shape.


Are these Flamenco dancers?


Car seat cover with wooden beads


With a choice of so many toys, I observed a child picking up a colourful plastic toy (made in China)


The toys of Channapatna are made of wood and coloured with vegetable dyes. They are cost effective and safe for children to play with, provided parents encourage them.
It is not surprising that Michele Obama was impressed with the toys at Channapatna and bought some to be taken back to White House as mementoes.
The next time I pass by this town, I will make it a point to go into the interiors and visit some factories where these toys are made.

Sunset at the Nilgiris.


A three minute video showing more toys:


34 comments:

Nima Das said...

These pictures bring back memories of my childhood, lovely and colorful.

Sarah Laurence said...

Wooden toys are so much more appealing than plastic ones. These are lovely. My kids enjoyed our wooden horse rocker.

Jim and Sandie said...

I love the squirrels and penguin. I believe that parents today don't allow their children to use their imaginations enough. Instead they use technology. I love watching a child with a box and seeing what they come up with - form a fort to a train engine and so on. Those wooden toys make the minds soar.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Wow such an awesome post. "The way a child’s imagination soars with a toy is unimaginable" - SO TRUE. I have fond memories of playing with my G.I.Joes, toy trains, toy dinosaurs, etc. Ah, such good times :)

Joanne Noragon said...

Wooden toys are such a wonder. We has such a box of magic at my great-grandmother's house, in the bottom of the corner cupboard. Many, many blocks of many, many shapes, cut and formed by father's and grandfathers for at least two generations before.

Bikram said...

yessss you know this time when i was in punjab there were so many places where I saw these wodden toys on display for sale .. and they were so beautiful ...

I use to have so many of them when i was growing up.. My nana ji would get them made from the village carpenter and bring them when he came to visit us in the city

Bikram

Stephanie Faris said...

I don't know how an abacus works, either! I do know there was an actress who started a company that specializes in simple toys. Many are made from wood--she takes it back to the old days. She says the toys are more durable and they help the child use his/her imagination, rather than letting electronics and gears do all the work.

orvokki said...

Lovely toys. I've never seen trams made wooden. (We have still trams in Helsinki). But we have wooden trains and horses etc. Toys from wooden are absolutily wonderful, and will never die.
By the way, have you seen in my danceblog there is now Odissi.(http://villitaskeleet.blogspot.fi/)

shivani singh said...

Good that you stopped at Chennapatna or else we would not see such a beautiful and colorful post which brings back memories...ones own and also of our little ones who have now outgrown toys such as these and parhaps marching with times and tides have post graduated to X Boxes and Playstations . i guess now these are bought mainly to decorate Golu stands for Navratra or perhaps as souvenirs. Maybe even as collectibles but i wonder how many children nowadays really would love to play with these toys nowadays...
Once again good pictures...few words but meaningful and identifiable words. Hope while travelling one day you stop at Kondapalli too. That town 16 km by road from Vijayawada on National Highway 221 and on the Vijayawada-Hyderabad railway line is famous for its toys too...wooden toys...bright...colorful, cute and some as interesting as the abacus here and others as artistic as the squirrel.
Thoroughly enjoyed ur post. Thanx for sharing with us all. :)

shivani singh said...

errr one typo there...read perhaps for parhaps and that's not why i came back, saw the typo just now because incidently after i left i am again the first to visit...would want you to come and see my pics too...on my page...the latest one...i took these in Bali. Maybe u'll like what u see because after all u r my inspiration for writing blogs with ones own pictures in it. But i have a long way to go...till i achieve ur sharpness and clarity so far as pictures are concerned. Words u can't beat the talker in me hahahaha but hey i'm kidding don't take it seriously haan. Pls come and leave ur signature there Mr Haddock for '' Ten thousand thundering typhoons'' like me hahahaha

Dolly said...

lovely, such colorful toys. Ria

Anonymous said...

beautifully captured the vibrant colours and shapes of toys - what a variety! Hope you brought back something - I would have picked up the wooden jars and bottles and the squirrels and penguin and perhaps the top too. - Aiman Wordsworth

Daisy said...

Such fun and cheerful playthings. I love the craftsmanship in these. Great pictures!

Red Handed said...

I miss it all. I cant find these around me anymore. Now it is all play stations or video games or plastic guns and barbies.
These were the real stuff!

Chirasree Banerjee said...

Glad to know about Channapatna from your blog. Such lovely and safe toys!

Breathtaking said...

Hello! Many thanks for your visit to my blog and for leaving a nice comment. I think these colourful and beautifully crafted toys are fabulous.
We have to protect our trees, so I guess there just aren't enough trees to make toys like these all over the world. Pity!

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Many thanks for your comment.. Nice post.. Colors full.. :-)))

NatureFootstep said...

reminded me of christmas :)

Locomente said...

Nice wooden toys...
Reminded me of my childhood days too... :)

Nilanjana Bose said...

Would prefer wood over plastic any time even well beyond my childhood, too much plastic everywhere imho. Environmental nightmare! Thanks for the visit and the warm comment.

Sandhya said...

I never knew about this place. I will make it a point to go by road and visit this place. Very interesting! Thank you!

Wirginia said...

Wooden items can bring memories and sentiments. I have a weakness for such things :)
Kisses.

Rose said...

Such beautifully crafted toys! Most toys in the U.S. are made of plastic these days. I much prefer these wooden ones; I agree that they encourage a child's imagination much more. Thanks for stopping by and visiting me!

Jeannette said...

What a good and important subject...toys are part of the shape of the future through children. This was a bright spot...your words and pictures!

Reshma said...

Beautiful post, the toys are child-safe in every sense, a little better marketing can ensure this wonderful art survives the years to come. I still have some of those wooden toys and showpieces at my mother's home.

padmaja said...

Channapatna toys look so lovely through your pictures, I have a weakness for them and collect them when I pass through this town, give them to kids visiting home, they play with joy!

Hema Hirlekar said...

Absolutely engaging!

Victoria said...

Beautiful post..and the toys are very enchanting and lovely.

Nicole Beadwright Campanella said...

This is a lovely post. The toys are awesome!!
Nicole/Beadwright

Robyn said...

What a nice trip down memory lane. So many things to remind me of my childhood. I love those beautiful wooden squirrels! A pleasure to find your blog, Haddock. Thanks for visiting :)

Angela Reasonstodress said...

These toys are so beautiful. I find wooden toys to be so much more interesting than plastic toys because of their weight and how nice they are to hold. If I had visited this market, I'm sure I would have walked away with a few of them!

Angie from reasons to dress, fashion, real mom street style & life as a North American mom in Italy.

Katrina Elisabet said...

Wow, those toys are marvelous! I wish more American children would play with toys versus being on electronics all the time. My favorite "toys" as a child were just sticks that I picked up in the woods, and I would reenact Middle Earth with my siblings! We would try to carve our own bows and arrows, statues, etc. It was great for the imagination and kept us active.

Beate said...

These toys are absolutely amazing. I have always favored wooden toys over anything plastic. Such a wonderful place! And I absolutely agree - the things a child can imagine are simply wonderful, makes me want to be that young again and not have a care in the world but dreaming those dreams :)

Anita Johnson said...

I'm having a bit of trouble with my computer...please delete if this is a repeat comment. I'm so glad you left a comment on my blog so I could come visit here. This is a part of the world quite new to me...your pictures are beautiful, I feel like I have traveled this morning! (I have been to see the redwoods here in the US, they were amazing!)