Toyi Invites Children to Transform Everyday Objects Into Clever Toys

This is sustainable play at its best.

Toyi iF Design Award
Toyi allows children to create whatever they want with whatever they have.


A single toy captures a child's attention for a limited period of time, but a box of items that allows a child to build their own toys will capture their imagination for years to come. This brilliant idea already exists in real product form, and it's called Toyi. 

Toyi is described as an eco-friendly creative building kit, and it recently won the prestigious iF Design Award. It hails from Istanbul, where a young female designer named Elif Atmaca came up with the idea for it when she wanted to help kids living in disadvantaged areas. These children do not have access to the variety of stimulating toys that wealthier children do. 

The kit Atmaca designed allows children to transform what's around them into toys. It consists of wheels, eyes, joints, sticks, feet, and flexible connectors that can be used to turn old water bottles, cups, boxes, towels, etc. into cute, clever, and unique playthings. 

Toyi is a gateway to "a vast array of potential toys of different materials, textures, colors, shapes, and sizes, not limited by the size and the content of the box. Thanks to Toyi, a water bottle can be transformed into a six-armed robot, old boxes can become train compartments, or a pinecone can come to life as a cute monster."

pinecone spider
A pinecone spider.


From a Treehugger perspective, this creative play kit ticks numerous boxes. It upcycles materials that would otherwise go to waste, turning a recycling bin into a treasure trove. The components, which are made from 100% recycled plastic and paper, are endlessly reusable, which means that children's play is not dictated by a pre-designed toy, but limitless in the forms it takes. 

The kit reduces demand for new toys, slowing consumerism and teaching children that they do not need to buy in order to be entertained. As stated in a press release, "Toyi shifts children’s perspectives on consumption and production from an early age which will have a great impact on the years to come."

This is arguably far more sustainable than the promises being made by toy companies to use better materials and improve their recycling practices. For Toyi, sustainability is at the center of its entire business mindset. The model makes creative play highly accessible, too, with children of all income levels able to play creatively for years.

Elif Atmaca
Product designer Elif Atmaca.


At a time when kids need to spend more time playing actively and creatively when we are suffocating under the environmental (and financial) mess creating by rampant consumerism, and when we need to figure out ways to use waste products in new ways, Toyi is a perfect match. 

You can learn more about it here—and which of the three kit sizes makes the most sense for you. Prices range from $20 to $50.