Published: 04th August 2018
This 16-year-old Bengaluru boy's hand-carved toys can help your kid reason faster
Vivek K N has made toys to help tiny tots learn alphabets, numbers, logical reasoning and has sold it to over 35 families
Most people his age aspire to study MBBS, get into IIT or pass the UPSC and become an IAS, IPS or IRS officer. But this 16-year-old Bengaluru boy has his sights set on a more colourful goal, literally — he makes wooden toys that are educational on many levels.
Reticent and focused on his art, Vivek K N started taking an interest in making wooden toys when he was 11 years old. To ensure that he grows just as much as his unique talent, his parents have admitted him to Aurinko Academy, where it's all about experiential learning.
Vivek has a Facebook page called Kingwood Carpentry where all his hand-crafted wooden toys and other customized items are on display. He is a swimmer and has been to the Himalayas for trekking
When asked how it feels to watch kids play with his toys, "I have prepared more than 15 types of toys for children. It is good to see kids using wooden toys to learn and play as well. That way, they do not ever feel bored to learn lessons at school," said Vivek.
Rashmi N Babu, his mother, said, "Vivek was about 12 when he crafted a wooden bell stand for me. Although he was good at academics, I felt that his talent was going to waste. For me, education should be holistic and child-centric. In mainstream school, it was difficult for Vivek to keep up his interest in wood working along with his studies."
Handmade wonders: Vivek's handmade cursive letter board available for the tiny tots
His toys aren't just rocking horses and writing boards. He makes more educational things like the cursive letter board, the pattern creator to imbibe logical reasoning in children, counting spindles that help children associate it with numbers, a Geoboard that can be used to make various polygons and so on.
With the encouragement of his school, Vivek's skill and determination grew by leaps and bounds, "His talent was recognised by his principal, Anoop Keni. Vivek was given more time to work on his skills apart from regular studies. He would watch YouTube videos on toy making and try making them at home." she added.
I used to wait for hours at his school when Vivek used to hone and work on the design of the toys even when everyone had left
Rashmi Nagesh Babu, Vivek's Mother
His father Nagesh Babu then invested in cutting and shaping machines that can be used in the carving of wooden toys. Meanwhile, the school started teaching him about the different kinds of wood that can be used to make toys. "The word wooden toy might sound very simple but it involves a lot of calculation — like the size of the toy, a good design to make it unique to grab the attention of children and so on."
When asked whether he has sold it to any school and how much profit he has earned from this, she said, "This has not earned much money for him. We did not focus on making money but experience like this will help him in the future. Whatever money he has earned, he has used to buy wood. He has sold toys to more than 35 satisfied parents and happy kids in Bengaluru."
Creativity in toys: To express his creativity through toys, he has made wooden boxes and a wall hanging
The carving bug has also taken Vivek beyond toys — he has also crafted everyday use items like a customised shoe stand, a display stand, a weaving frame and much more.
When we asked his mother what he wants to do next, she said, "He wants to attend design schools like UID, NID or even go abroad to pursue his studies in creative design." We hope he gets to carve his dreams into reality!