Published 15.07.2021
by Kids’ Own

Teenagers in Sligo work on our Reinventions project!

Recently, a small group of Sligo teenagers worked outdoors creating upcycled artworks and toys on our Reinventions project with artist Martha van der Muelen and engineer Christ Spoorenberg. Kids’ Own’s Reinventions project allows children and young people to creatively reuse materials that would be otherwise discarded or wasted, to create new toys. Alongside professional artists, designers, and engineers, children and young people have had the opportunity to create new toys and objects from old stuff!

Last summer, young children and families worked together to create a Library of Ideas online. We were delighted to continue the project with teenagers this summer with funding from The Community Foundation for Ireland. Artist Martha van der Muelen’s practice often focuses on creative reuse, for example, she creates art works and designs from recycled inner bicycle and car tubes. Engineer Christ Spoorenberg, who has a background in environmentally friendly product design, also supported the young people in the creation of new objects.


Teenager painting artworks for our Reinventions project in Sligo
Teenagers artworks for our Reinventions project in Sligo
Teenagers upcycled jigsaw for our Reinventions project in Sligo
Teenagers artworks for our Reinventions project in Sligo displayed in our Reinventions Mobile
Teenager painting artworks for our Reinventions project in Sligo

Over a week of workshops, the young people brainstormed the development of toys and objects that they could make for younger children from old, recycled, and waste material. Martha and Christ then supported the young people to make their idea into reality, helping them learn new skills, and giving them an introduction to the techniques required for the ideas they had. The group spent lots of time figuring out how to create their idea and how to make it work. The participants worked primarily with wood, clay, fabric, and paper mache, making one new toy or object each. The group also worked together, helping each other to work out what did and didn’t work.

The young people made a doll’s house, a wood jigsaw, an Xs and Os game, a ring-throwing game, a wooden, moveable snake, a sword and shield, and a soft toy! These objects will be displayed in our Reinventions Mobile, created by engineer Christ in 2020, which is made entirely out of scrap materials (apart from a few new screws!). We hope these items will inspire other young people to see what new things they can make from old stuff too.

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