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

Author: Erik Hersman

Erik is the owner of White African, a blog about technology and Africa. He is the co-founder of Zangu, a new web and mobile phone application that he hopes will change communication in Africa. AfriGadget is another web project of his, not that he doesn't have enough of those already...

41 thoughts on “African Children’s Toys: Ingenuity Starts at a Young Age”

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  5. 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.

  6. 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,


  7. 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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