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ChildFund's Power to Play: From Trash to Treasure Exhibit in Idaho

 Toy Shoe

Take some bamboo, colored paper, string, glue and a little ingenuity and you’ve got a kite. Coconut shells and some rope? Make stilts and fine-tune your balance until you’re ready to compete with your friends. If you’ve got a big can and some rubber or, even better, a bit of goat hide, make a drum.

Children are children, wherever they are and whatever they have — or do not have. In ChildFund’s traveling exhibit, The Power to Play: From Trash to Treasure, that fact shines bright and clear to viewers in every one of the more than 50 objects on view. The Idaho State Historical Museum, in Boise, hosts the exhibition next, from Dec. 2 through Feb. 5, 2011. The Power to Play has already shown in Boston, Richmond, Va., Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Atlanta, Denver and, most recently, New York City.

Every year, Nollan from Honduras crafts a “trapeze artist” toy using wood and string, and he may get just as much enjoyment from the process as from the product. “I like making toys because it helps me use my creativity and utilize materials that are in my community,” he says. “What I like the most about this toy is the clown can turn in many positions, as if it was real.”

It is real — as real as the creativity and resourcefulness evident in all of these toys, qualities that these children will bring to creating lasting change in the world around them.