Toys for kids have nowadays been reduced to mere clichés owing to the ever increasing influence of electronic media. They have been altered and dictated in such a way that robs children of the creative unstructured play experience. There is a necessity to understand the play needs of children and provide them with aids that allow them to derive their own play content.
Peanut Pals, an easy to operate version of the traditional marionette aimed at preschoolers (aged 3 – 6 years), is an attempt to break away from the present genre of monotonous and prescriptive toys.
Kids can create their own peanut pal characters, make costumes, props and backdrops with art materials and put together a little show for family and friends .The toy encourages them to use storytelling as a communication tool and also helps them shed inhibitions as they face a transition of consciousness, from playing by themselves to entering a more social scenario. It also strikes a balance between constructive and fantasy play, connecting with the experiences kids have, helping them interact more to practice their cognitive and social skills.
The toy is made of washable and recyclable plastic and the components are injection molded .The two sets of limbs are connected to ergonomic finger inserts made of rubber with the help of nylon strings. The inserts fit on the fingers like rings and any movement with the hand sets the marionette in motion. This also helps children practice actions to mastery.
Even after the kids have outgrown the toy, they can reuse it as room ornaments, customized key chains etc.