For the past 2 years, we have been curating the best open-ended toys from all the best brands all around the world. Since most of the open-ended toys are wooden only with the exception of MagnaTiles, Lego, and few other plastic toys, our collection comprises mostly of the best wooden toy brands such as Plan Toys, Haba, Hape, Guidecraft, Melissa & Doug, Wonderworld. When we were scouting for more toys, we realized there are so many wooden toys that are sold only in the local European markets and not even available online to purchase. These are unbranded toys of very high quality wood, great finish, and amazing play experience.
So, we picked up these toys and added to our collection under one umbrella – Rentoys Originals. You will see more of such toys in the near future as we continue to scout for the best toys even if unbranded.
This year, Byju’s, an ed-tech company based in India, announced it has acquired Palo Alto, CA-based learning-through-play firm Osmo for $120 million (854 Cr in INR). The acquisition marked another milestone for an Indian startup gone global. Now, how this move made any business sense for Byju’s has already been thought over a lot, the bigger discussion is what it really means for Indian Education System? Can this acquisition be seen as the proof of the change that has been demanded by the forward-thinking educationists in India? In other words, what does this mean for the future of “rote-learning”?
Osmo: Bridging the physical and digital divide
Osmo is an award-winning game system (available on rent @Rentoys) with which the physical space in front of an iPad is turned into a playground for kids. Kids can learn maths, words, play puzzles, draw anything, and even learn to code. Osmo has been adopted in over 30,000 schools in 42 countries around the world. Teachers are raving about how their students love experimenting, exploring, creating and collaborating with Osmo. Here’s a small video on how it works:
Bjyu bet on Osmo to capture kids segment of 5-12 Yrs old is significant for 2 reasons:
It proves that only digital-based learning doesn’t work for primary education. Kids need to be hands-on to experience and explore.
“Play-based” learning is coming to India via schools.
The fading image of “chalk and talk”
Play-based learning ensures that early literacy skills of pre-writing, drawing and mathematical concepts of classifying and charting are explored through play in ways that are authentic to the child. A study found that “in addition to improving play skills and narrative language ability,” a play-based curriculum also had “a positive influence on the acquisition of grammar.” Neuroscientists have found that play activates the brain in meaningful ways that rote memorization, testing, worksheets, and traditional classroom techniques do not.
According to Lauren Harness, who earned her MEd in Curriculum & Instruction: Early Childhood Education from Concordia University-Portland, “When people say ‘play-based learning,’ I think what they go to is: ‘Just put them in a room with a bunch of toys and let them go at it. There you go, that’s play-based learning.’ But really purposeful play should be in classrooms, especially in a kindergarten classroom. In children’s brains, when they’re playing, they’re doing the deepest learning. We know that through Piaget, Vygotsky, and all those good theorists who talk about the importance of play with young children. The different levels of learning that they’re able to get into during play is a lot deeper than pulling out a worksheet and having them fill in bubbles and that sort of thing.”
Play-based learning is here to stay
Byju’s existing product is fulfilling what is (almost) every Indian parent’s dream – preparing kids for the engineering and medical entrance exams. With Byju’s endorsing Osmo as a tool for delivering primary education in a different way via schools, the demand for play-based learning is going to take over that of “rote-learning”. We will see more and more schools adopting new methods to meet the rising demand from parents. This may be a far-fetched reality or a wish that is too good to be true, but the signs look good.
When play-based learning is done well, the classroom becomes a teacher. Osmo is just the first play-based learning system that is recognized and literally valued so highly. The ground is set now. Let’s demand more and more play-based learning from our kid’s schools and prepare our kids for the future of work.
Maker Faire is a gathering of fascinating, curious people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they can do. From engineers to artists to scientists to crafters, Maker Faire is a venue for these “makers” to show hobbies, experiments, projects.
We call it the Greatest Show (& Tell) on Earth – a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness. This is why we will be there to tell the world how to develop creativity, problem-solving, & EQ with open-ended toys. Just drop by and say Hi to our lovely team.
Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new, Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors. All of these “makers” come to Maker Faire to show what they have made and to share what they have learned.
The launch of Maker Faire in the Bay Area in 2006 demonstrated the popularity of making and interest among legions of aspiring makers to participate in hands-on activities and learn new skills at the event. 200,000 people annually attend the two flagship Maker Faires in the Bay Area and New York, with an average of 44% of attendees first-timers at the Bay Area event, and 61% in New York. A family-friendly event, 50% attend the event with children. In 2017, over 190 independently-produced “Mini Maker Faires” plus over 30 larger-scale Featured Maker Faires will have taken place around the world, including Tokyo, Rome, Shenzhen, Taipei, Seoul, Paris, Berlin, Barcelona, Detroit, San Diego, Milwaukee, and Kansas City.
Maker Faire is primarily designed to be forward-looking, showcasing makers who are exploring new forms and new technologies. But it’s not just for the novel in technical fields; Maker Faire features innovation and experimentation across the spectrum of science, engineering, art, performance and craft.
Maker Faire is a gathering of fascinating, curious people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they can do. It’s a venue for makers to show examples of their work and interact with others about it. Many makers say they have no other place to share what they do. DIY (Do-It-Yourself) is often invisible in our communities, taking place in shops, garages and on kitchen tables. It’s typically out of the spotlight of traditional art or science or craft events. Maker Faire makes visible these projects and ideas that we don’t encounter every day.
Michael Jackson once said – “Children show me in their playful smiles the divine in everyone”
Since we launched, we are continuously delivering happiness to kids all over India. Their happiness brings us happiness and this is what we feel like sharing with all of you. Watch kids exploring toys, building things on their own and having fun with the toys.
In an exclusive conversation with Mr. Hazari Lal Goyal, who belongs to the last generation who witnessed the 15th of August, 1947 in India, tells us how Hindus and Muslims celebrated the day together, what was it like in the schools, which flag was used by the common people and many more stories…
“Working with Zipcar really opened my eyes to the idea of excess capacity. I truly understood, and worked into the website and marketing materials, that people could only pay for what they used, and didn’t need to buy more than they wanted.” Robin Chase, the co-founder of Zipcar
Buying is the opposite of sustainable living
When you buy something, you promote production of that thing. More production means more consumption of raw materials and subsequently depletion of natural resources. This may seem a bit exaggerated until you have a look at this great infographic.
According to the infographic, a rare-earth metal Indium is slated to deplete in the next 5-10 years. Indium (when alloyed with tin) is the “go to” metal for LCD and touch screens. In fact, the demand for the metal in flat panel displays (FPDs) alone ranges from around 52% to 56% of the total net demand for the metal. If the production of touch screens and FPDs won’t slow down, it might even be less than 5 years for Indium to say goodbye to Earth.
More production not only consumes natural resources, but also contaminates the environment. Take plastic for example. It doesn’t degrade and most of it end up in trash sites as well as in forests, creeks, rivers, seas, and oceans around the world. Not only this, the production of plastic for the U.S. alone uses 331 billion barrels of petroleum, equal to 5 percent of the US consumption of petroleum – a non-renewable resource.
Buy only when you can consume, else share
Every use of a purchased item can be considered a service from that item. For example, you can either buy a set of scissors and get a haircut (a service by the scissors) or go to a salon and achieve the same objective in the form of a service by a barber. Extending the same concept to all the purchases, you may as well stop buying things altogether, as long as all your needs are getting fulfilled.
According to Nicolas Voisin, founder of TheAssets.co, which trades in business-related goods, “80% of the things in our homes are used less than once a month, and self-storage has increased by 1,000% over the past three decades.” These underutilized assets are the core of excess capacity, production, and resource consumption.
If we don’t stop buying and start sharing, the depletion of key natural resources is inevitable.
Now, focusing only on parents and their buying behavior. If you are a parent of a toddler, you can very well relate with this image.
Can you estimate how much of this is plastic! And, it’s not that only cheap toys are made of plastic. Even your kid’s favorite Hot Wheels and LEGO are made of plastic and there is nothing called as a good plastic.
Last year alone, LEGO made more than 60 billion plastic bricks. To put that in context, it has made the Guinness Book of World Records for being the “largest tyre manufacturer per annum”. Now, a kid plays with one LEGO set only once, or max twice. But, a LEGO brick can be used 37,112 times! This signifies the quantum of asset underutilization and wastage of natural resources. LEGO says its plastic pieces will be made with sustainable material by 2030. Until then, we have a solution – Reuse toys!
Decrease your carbon footprint by renting toys and save environment
A new report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation finds that a circular economy (Reduce-Reuse-Recycle) could bring annual benefits of US$624 billion in 2050 – a benefit equivalent to 30% of India’s current GDP, through reduced material costs and increased profits for businesses. In my opinion, only a conscious effort towards this cause can achieve the estimated benefits.
In 2015, the LEGO Group’s total emissions output globally was approximately one million tonnes of CO2. If everyone, instead of buying, rent a LEGO at least one time, it means a flat reduction of half a million tonnes of CO2!!! And what if:
Rentoys is not just a toy rental company, but a vision to protect the environment
Rentoys is built as a socially responsible company and is on a mission to reduce the landfills of discarded toys. Not only we promote reuse of our toys, but also act as a conduit for your used toys to reach those who are not as privileged as many of us to play with toys. We also donate one toy for every new customer from our revenues.
In the end – Why Renting
I must admit that the idea of renting toys repelled me at first. How could I let my kid play with used toys! The pride of ownership had blinded my eyes. But, as I got to know the original founders of Rentoys, their vision, and the negative impact I was making by buying toys, I started absorbing the concept. Finally, spending 2 years in the US with a toddler, without spending a single dollar on toys, and watching my son learn and grow with rented ones showed me that I actually never ever need to buy toys to play with them.
This is Ankit & Dolly from Rentoys. All good things must come to an end…and be replaced with something much better 🙂
We feel thrilled to announce the new version of Rentoys. It’s another step in our master plan to shape the future of play.
The foundation for new Rentoys was laid when we moved to the US for a couple of years and were looking for ways to keep our 1-year old engaged. We were simply amazed by the quality and the selection of toys in the local toy lending libraries. We witnessed first-hand how smart and educational toys can really accelerate a child’s learning curve. Our son developed fine motor skills and learned the shapes, numbers, alphabets, colors, and animals (dinosaurs became his favorite) – all from the rented toys. The toys were so engaging that even we could play with them for hours.
Not spending a single dollar on buying toys and watching our son grow through play inspired us to transform Rentoys into a much bigger mission. As Manoj and Neeta – founders of Rentoys – will now continue to mentor us throughout this journey, we feel both humbled and lucky to be able to add value to their core vision. Below are some of the great features of new Rentoys.
Awesome play experience
Play with 300+ award-winning educational toys and kids books curated from all around the world.
Pay per use
Get freedom from monthly commitment and registration charges. Pay only when you order. Skip a month and cancel any time.
Place an order for anywhere in India and we will deliver to your doorsteps.
Rentoys is committed to helping children learn and grow through play, and making every day a new discovery. We are confident that you and your kid/niece/nephew would thoroughly enjoy playing with our toys and books.