maker playground

remake play | all ages

Remix an old toy or game into something totally new.

explore

Everyone loves to play! Games and toys have always been a part of the human experience. Archaeologists have found ancient toys like balls, dolls, and board games dating back thousands of years. Check out the Smithsonian’s collection of toys, games and puzzles to see historical toys from the United States and beyond.

These days, thousands of toys and games are invented every year. Most of these new products are not totally new, but reimagined, remixed, or combined from existing toys and games.

Many toy inventors look back in time for memorable toys that need a little refresh to be loved again. Some toys and games take a great idea and spin it into something original. For example, Connect Four took the classic tic-tac-toe, stood it up, and changed the goal from 3-in-a-row to 4. Another classic, Scrabble, has been remixed many times into games like Upwords and Bananagrams.

Learn from Debbie Sterling, founder of the toy company GoldieBlox, about how she uses everyday materials to design and prototype her toys

imagine

New toys and games are often based on existing ones, whether updating them, remixing them, or combining them. Choose a toy or game that you’re no longer using and remake it in a creative and unique way.

  • What toys or games will inspire your new design?
  • Will you combine, reimagine, or remix?
  • How can you keep the best parts of your inspiration, while still making something new?
  • What parts or ideas from other toys would be fun (or weird) merged with yours?

Need more inspiration? Check out this list of toys inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame for classics ready for a reboot.

create

Once you’ve reimagined your toy or game, get to work building your model. You can remake your idea using any materials, like old toys or recyclables, or create a digital model.

If you’re stuck for ideas, your old stuffies are a great place to start! One of our favorite “toy hacks” at KID Museum are Franken-Toys; new stuffed toys “hacked” together from parts and pieces of old ones. Check out these hand sewing videos that will give you the skills you need to create your own Franken-Toy stuffy!

Once you’ve reimagined your toy or game, get to work building your model. You can remake your idea using any materials, like old toys or recyclables,  or create a digital model.

If you’re stuck for ideas, your old stuffies are a great place to start! One of our favorite “toy hacks” at KID Museum are Franken-Toys; new stuffed toys “hacked” together from parts and pieces of old ones.  Check out these hand sewing videos that will give you the skills you need to create your own Franken-Toy stuffy!

Be sure to snap a picture or video of your playful invention and send it to us at socialmedia@kid-museum.org.