Child’s Play

Competition Details
Tawatown1_550x550_

Tawatown - Organic building toy

by DENIS ADRIANA TOLEDO NIETO
Co-authors:

Tawatown is a building toy for children from 4 to 7 years of age. It is designed taking advantage of natural organic forms of the tagua nut (vegetable ivory), with accessories made from seeds and cultivated wood.

Thanks to the tagua nut’s irregular shape and handmade production, no two pieces are the same; the diversity in shapes, colors and the way it is reassembled, invite the children to try combinations that allow them to represent with an “organic aesthetic” their real and imaginary worlds in a creative way.

Tawatown contributes in a safe way to the development of children at preschool age, described by Jean Piaget as the preoperational cognitive development stage and of symbolic play. It develops cognitive skills like abstraction and analogy, bringing real shapes to similar representations, serialization and problem-solving when selecting among the various pieces the one that better responds to the kid’s idea, and use of concepts and words. Motor skills such as motor planning, fine motor skills, bilateral integration, hand-eye coordination, laterality, directionality and visual and tactile sensibility trough the handling of the pieces also are stimulated.

Tawatown’s natural materials are native to the Pacific rainforest of Colombia, Ecuador and Panama. The tagua nut is cultivated and used by indigenous communities and peasants in their daily lives, and as a raw material for handmade and industrial products; it is a sustainable resource that is extracted without deforestation. Tagua's figures can last unalterable for up to 50 years. It is an excellent alternative to plastics because it is 100% biodegradable and avoids the exploitation of elephants’ and rhinoceroses’ ivory.

Tawatown’s design integrates the well-being of the farmers and tagua producers, to those the child obtains by means of the constructive play, contributing to a better life for both worlds which up to now remained distant.