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Updated: December 21, 2012 16:42 IST

Every toy has a story to tell

SHILPA SEBASTIAN R.
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TOYS CAN BE FUN: And do some serious teaching too Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.
TOYS CAN BE FUN: And do some serious teaching too Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.

Need a toy that will not only help your child play, but also learn? Try this online store that Gautam Gupta has put together with toys from the world over

Ever thought twice before buying a toy for your child? Or whether the game will help develop his motor, cognitive and social skills? Well, welcome to the new school of thought promoted by Gautam Gupta, who has started an online toy store called fulloftoys.com.

Benefits of learning

Gautam lived in New York for 12 years and came back to Bangalore in 2009 as he “wanted to do something unique. The idea to start this came when I was doing research for a software programme for a particular brand of toys. I came to know that France uses toys to assist children in learning about solar energy, or windmills. We would also visit schools in France that built windmills with children, who would learn its benefits. It made learning easy and fun,” explains Gautam.

Back in India he started looking for children who were into experimenting with toys as he wanted to do something in the toy industry that would equip them to learn with fun. So he started sourcing toys from across the globe and that was how fulloftoys came into being.

“If a parent chooses carefully the child can learn anything from language, to storytelling skills, to science and math, through toys,” observes Gautam.

Then he shows us some of his toys. There is the roll-the-dice toys, priced at Rs. 499. It has nine dice with pictures.

“The child has to roll the dice and create a story from all the images on the dice that face him. This game can be played with the elders too,” adds Gautam, who started travelling in 2011 to source the best toys for his store.

He visited Germany, US, Hong Kong, China, Netherlands and Japan. “The difference that I saw was that China came up with really cheap toys. They are colourful and not much attention went towards the usage or design, whereas the toys created in Europe aimed at teaching and also help children build bonds with their peers. A child can learn a lot from toys.”

Gautam works with toy designers from NID (Ahmedabad), Shristi (Bangalore) and he also “interacts with people and parents to think about the usage of a toy before buying it. Every parent should pay attention as to whether your child will learn something constructive with the toy they buy,” he explains.

He recommends the tool-kit set for children aged between two and above. “It’s a carpentry set and has a saw, hammer and other things that a child can use, without getting hurt.”

Xyloba is a musical instrument, priced at Rs. 7,000, which he says helps the child to compose music through a game. Then there is a math game called “7 ate 9”. Priced at Rs. 799, it is based on the popular game Uno. “Two or three children can play the game and it involves addition, subtraction and multiplication.”

“We have toys that will cater to the child’s motor development, cognitive skills and also those that cater to their communicational, social, and emotional developments. Based on their age, they can learn something in the above mentioned areas. According to me, a toy should cater to at least one of the above mentioned needs or skills,” he says.

Gautam also plans to start a store in the city, “which will be more of an experiential space, where a child can visit and experience the toy before buying it.” The toys are available on www.fulloftoys.com.

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