From wire vehicles in South Africa to plastic bottle dolls in Aruba, the art of children's toymaking persists as a global phenomenon. Despite the prevalence of mass-produced playthings, children worldwide continue to transform common discarded materials into unique, meaningful, and educational handmade toys and games.

WorldPlay: Children's Toys from Around the World' encompasses various projects that celebrate the ingenuity and creativity of children across the globe through their toy-making, marketing, and play. Through a series of public events, interactive exhibits, presentations, television programs, and publications coinciding with millennial celebrations, WorldPlay aims to spotlight this universal children's activity. It offers a multifaceted glimpse into the local customs and contexts surrounding the creation and enjoyment of handmade children's toys and games.

In an era inundated with mass-mediated imagery, advertisements, and products from the global toy industry, our projects aim to reintroduce local audiences to kid-centered creativity thriving in every neighborhood, from New York to New Zealand. The toys children craft in their own backyards and on street corners reflect their everyday interests - from moving vehicles and miniature households to fantasy animals and animated figures. They also mirror objects witnessed in national news and global media, such as rifles, movie stars, Barbie dolls, military helicopters, and spaceships. Whether repurposing wire and plastic bottles or repurposing paper and used cloth, children worldwide combine their imaginations with their culture's colors, symbols, and histories to create toys for daily play, festive occasions, and entrepreneurial endeavors.

WorldPlay's children's presentations, exhibitions, and outreach programs offer a broad context for understanding the production and consumption of these toys. We employ an innovative, child-centered approach to the topic of children's handmade toys and games. Our aim is to engage a diverse audience, including those traditionally underserved by museums and festivals - ethnic minorities, families, the elderly, and, most importantly, the children who are inventors, producers, players, and vendors of these ingenious and imaginative handmade toys

Thank you for exploring Let the fun begin!

Sharon Lee Mnich