Touring Toy is a project I set up for my classes in Easter 2018. It was based on the idea from the film Amelie of taking something travelling around the world (in her case a gnome) and photographing it in different places. I came up with the idea of Adventures of Ordinary: making ordinary life into an adventure for a small toy. I realised this could be a really great stimulus and structure for art and story-writing.
The project was really popular with the children (and with me!) and produced some great language and images, so we are now continuing it this June half-term. I have also set up a twitter account: touring_toy.
These are the initial photos I took for Touring Toy to model and explain the project to my classes:
I captioned these photos with short text phrases. These either were showing how the ordinary landscape had become a scene that might be in an adventure story, e.g. ‘The Boulders of Boot’; ‘The Valley of Vitamins”, or they showed the character’s feelings when faced with this adventure landscape. I wanted the language to be fun and accessible so in my examples I combined using alliteration / metaphor with everyday words that might appear in stories in the characters’ inner thoughts. Here are two examples:
I gave the students each a ‘Touring Toy Diary’ and asked them to take their toys on adventures with them over Easter, and to take minimum 6 photos of their toys having adventures. The key for the project was for them to understand that the adventures didn’t have to be in ‘special’ places; the toys could go on adventures in their kitchens. It was all about making adventures within the ‘ordinary’.
I then continued taking photos for Touring Toy and captioning with phrases such as: “Path of the Hero!” “Watching Metal Monsters” “Acrobat in Training” “The Glowing Ring” (guess which applies to which photo…)
These are the amazing results from the students’ touring toy diaries:
A couple of students created continuous stories with their Touring Toy diaries: