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Children’s innocent happiness in Hanoi’s ‘kingdom of recycled materials’

Thursday, June 04, 2020, 10:04 GMT+7
Children’s innocent happiness in Hanoi’s ‘kingdom of recycled materials’
Children play bag jumping at the ‘Kingdom of Recycled Materials’ event in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 31, 2020. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

There is a rare space in Hanoi where children have a chance to use their imagination to turn straw and recycled materials into anything they can imagine as well as enjoy various children’s games.

To mark International Children’s Day (June 1), the Think Playgrounds company held the event ‘Vuong Quoc Tai Che’ (Kingdom of Recycled Materials) at Kinh Thien Palace in the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, a historical relic site in Hanoi.

At the event, children played with some unusual toys, such as tires, carton boxes, straws, sawdust, and wooden blocks.

Ha Nam Phong and Ha Pham Truong Giang, both aged eight, sat in front of a pile of straws for a long time after trying to walk on stilts.

“Let’s spend a lot of time making straw men!” Phong told Giang.

With the volunteers’ support, the two kids eventually created a straw man.

“I have never made a straw man before, the most difficult part is to make the arms and legs. It’s really fun to play here”, Giang excitedly said.

Nguyen Thuy Phuong, an undergraduate student, makes a straw man at the ‘Kingdom of Recycled Materials’ event in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 31, 2020. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Thuy Phuong, an undergraduate student, makes a straw man at the ‘Kingdom of Recycled Materials’ event in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 31, 2020. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

In another area, a few groups of children were eager to play bag jumping, walk on stilts, and jump rope.

Despite the wrestling and the occasional fall, the children quickly bounced back without crying.

“I feel a little bit of pain but I used my arms to support my body so there’s no problem,” nine-year-old Khanh Ha from Hanoi said. "I still continue to play."

Within the Kingdom of Recycled Materials, the children were free to make everything that came to their creative minds.

They were accompanied by their parents and other volunteers, who always provided them with help and a guiding hand.

“I hope my kid can appreciate natural and recycled toys, such as wooden objects, then she'll know how to value her toys instead of getting rid of them,” said Duong Van Duc, 34, a four-year-old girl’s father who took part in the event.

Khanh Ha (left), 9, plays bag jumping at the ‘Kingdom of Recycled Materials’ event in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 31, 2020. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

Khanh Ha (left), nine, plays bag jumping at the ‘Kingdom of Recycled Materials’ event in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 31, 2020. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

Chu Thi Kim Duc, the co-founder of the social enterprise of Think Playgrounds, explained the company had tried to help the children have a fulfilling International Children’s Day.

The company also wanted to make a special space in which the children could create freely and have their own 'playing world.'

“In our modern society, children’s creativity has been gradually undermined by the ubiquity of commercial toys. We recycled old tires, sawdust, carton boxes, and wooden scrap in the hope of returning the kids back to simple and natural toys once again,” Duc said. 

“We hope that even parents would also be inspired by the idea and in turn foster their children’s creativity."

Visitors make toys from straw at the ‘Kingdom of Recycled Materials’ event in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 31, 2020. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

Visitors make toys from straw at the ‘Kingdom of Recycled Materials’ event in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 31, 2020. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

Children play with straws, wooden blocks and old tires on the ground at the ‘Kingdom of Recycled Materials’ event in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 31, 2020. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

Children play with straw, wooden blocks, and old tires on the ground at the ‘Kingdom of Recycled Materials’ event in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 31, 2020. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

A boy plays with an obstacle course made of carton boxes at the ‘Kingdom of Recycled Materials’ event in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 31, 2020. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

A boy plays with an obstacle course made of carton boxes at the ‘Kingdom of Recycled Materials’ event in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 31, 2020. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

Children play a game of tug of war at the ‘Kingdom of Recycled Materials’ event in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 31, 2020. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

Children play a tug-of-war game at the ‘Kingdom of Recycled Materials’ event in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 31, 2020. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

A girl plays with an old tire at the ‘Kingdom of Recycled Materials’ event in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 31, 2020. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

A girl plays with an old tire at the ‘Kingdom of Recycled Materials’ event in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 31, 2020. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

The father guides his son to walk on stilts at the ‘Kingdom of Recycled Materials’ event in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 31, 2020. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

A father helps his son walk on stilts at the ‘Kingdom of Recycled Materials’ event in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 31, 2020. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

Moc, a two-year-old boy, holds sawdust in his hand at the ‘Kingdom of Recycled Materials’ event in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 31, 2020. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

Moc, a two-year-old boy, holds sawdust in his hand at the ‘Kingdom of Recycled Materials’ event in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 31, 2020. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

A boy sits in a tent made from banana leaves at the ‘Kingdom of Recycled Materials’ event in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 31, 2020. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

A boy sits in a tent made from canvas and banana leaves at the ‘Kingdom of Recycled Materials’ event in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 31, 2020. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

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