We’ve seen plenty of cool gizmos that aim to illustrate green principles to kids, and in our estimation, when it comes to explaining big, complicated subjects, sometimes the simplest gadgets can be the most effective. That’s why the Light of Toy by designer Diordie Cukanovic ChuDes (which comes to us by way of Green Diary) may constitute an actual stroke of genius.
Nothing could be simpler than this little bipedal light bulb/toy. It has a key on the back, like the wind-up mouse and toy soldier of old. No explanation needed; your child (and probably you, as well) will want to twist that special little key just to see what happens. When the Light of Toy is all wound up, mechanical force is released through a series of gears to the dynamo system, generating enough electricity via kinetic energy to illuminate an LED bulb.
It’s a simple toy with a simple message: electricity takes energy to generate. While your child may just enjoy cranking up this gadget and showing it off to friends–or even using it as a source of illumination, as a wind-up flashlight, for example–he or she will gain a basic understanding that turning the lights on requires energy to be expended somehow, somewhere, by someone.