Child’s Play

Competition Details

Erê Modules

by paulo dias


The first aim was to create blocks of foam that could be used as toys to be climbed and assembled by children having brain paralysis disability, with severe difficulties to perform coordinated movements.

To reduce the costs, many types of modular cuts were studied on a foam parallelepiped not to waste material. The result found was an irregular pentahedron (shape with 5 different sides) called ERÊ, which means “messy child” in Tupi Language (native Brazilian language). The ERÊs are cut from the foam parallelepiped over a simple mathematical process (2 angles in 2 coordinated cuts) with 4 rejects left on the corner that can be glued together, becoming 2 new ERÊ modules.

Although a foam of polyurethane and the synthetic fabric chosen are made of petroleum, they are extremely durable and cause the product to last longer. In this way, the total use of the foam (cut without residues) is the basic ecologic condition of the ERÊs.
It is essential that the synthetic fabric be impermeable and easy to clean to be used by children no physiological control.

In 2006, 8 ERÊs modules were created and tested by teachers and psychologists of an institution that gives support to disable children - the teacher put together the ERÊs and the children were stimulated to climb the toy. During these tests, there were created a variety of shapes of great recreational utility as caves, armchairs, swings, volcanoes, trains, etc. The results were very good.
In July 2007, 14 new ERÊs (equipped with clips) were produced and tested at a school by children of various age and non-disabled children. In this case, the children could create their own toys, using the ERÊs in activities that required team work, some notion of design and handiwork.