African Children’s Toys: Ingenuity Starts at a Young Age

Most African children are forced to create their own toys from scratch. Below are some samplings of what they make with what’s available. Old tire inner-tubes, soda cans, mud, bailing wire and sticks are just a few of the materials used to create imaginative toys.

In just about every country in Africa you’ll find the boys making cars, motorcycles and airplanes out of tin cans and bailing wire:

Ghanaian Toys

The Coke Scooter

In Southern Sudan children use mud to create animals to play with. Below is a picture of a Cape Buffalo:

Mud toy buffalo

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  11. Hi Eric, found your site via globalvoices link. I grew up in India in the 80s and we used to make toys like this from recycled material. Thanks for posting this.

  12. I see these types of toys all over the place here in Kenya. I have even seen more complex versions for sale by hawkers on the streets of Nairobi

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  14. Hello Erik,

    Shahin Yacub from the Unicef Research Centre in Florence gave me your website address.

    Please have a look at my website about Saharan, North African and Amazigh toy and play cultures.

    If you are interested I could collaborate with information and photos of these children’s games and toys based upon my fieldwork and documentation.

    Best greetings,


  15. Hi,
    this is amazing, makes me miss those days when I was small and all the village children came together to play and share. Wonderful and thanks for bringing me good memories.
    Keep this great work coming.
    would like to have you as a visitor in my blog.
    Thanks !!!

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