Yesterday afternoon, while browsing at a small gift shop in the neighbourhood, I found this! One of my favourite childhood toys!
When I was 5, there were no iPads or computer games. After-school activities involved running outdoors, or playing with simple toys such as the one shown above.
Ok, I’ll admit that I had to google for the proper name. It’s known as a Spirograph. Here’s the description from Wikipedia:
A Spirograph is a geometric drawing toy that produces mathematical roulette curves of the variety technically known as hypotrochoids and epitrochoids. It was developed by British engineer Denys Fisher and first sold in 1965.
Wow! Such a lot of technical terms associated with such a simple toy. Well, I learn something new everyday 🙂
Does anyone remember playing with the Spirograph when you were younger? I did. But I didn’t know its name back then. All I knew was that this stencil with little gears created wonderful patterns. I spent hours playing with it. It was almost magical, watching the amazing patterns appear on paper. I had almost forgotten what it was like back then.
I bought it for C, hoping that she would experience the same joy that I had when I was at her age.
“A stencil!” she exclaimed when I first showed her the little gift (I’m not sure where she learnt that word – she amazes me sometimes). I explained that it was not exactly a stencil, then proceeded to show her how a spirograph was used. She watched in amazement as the pattern emerged. “Oh! Mummy I know, it’s Spin art!” Haha, how apt!
C wanted to try it immediately. Here was her first attempt. Pretty decent, considering that it did take a little time to get the hang of it. “Mummy, it’s a bird nest, and those are a dragonfly’s wings”. Please ignore the background, we did it on scrap paper.
She soon found out that by putting the pen through different positioned holes, different patterns were created.
Watching her marvel at the patterns, I’m once again reminded that it doesn’t take technology to encourage the wonder of a child. It would be interesting to incorporate the spirograph into a maths lesson some day, but for now, the geometry lesson can wait.
What was your favourite childhood toy?