MORE THAN JUST A TOY

by Alex Barker - Financial Administrator.


Gamification in the workplace

We grow and learn through playing with toys and games at home, nursery, school and then some might argue that ‘play’ is shelved for more grown-up activities as we become adults and enter the workplace.

However play is just as essential in the workplace for adults for personal growth and continuous skills development.

Gamification is a hot topic being increasingly integrated into learning and ‘play’ is often referred to as an essential ingredient in many L&D programmes.

Some toys and games stand up well in adult life. Lego is definitely one. Another is Meccano. A toy that our colleague Alex Barker has rediscovered in his adult years, recently publishing his first official Meccano instruction manual.
 

Although Alex Might Say it is So Much More Than Just a Toy…



It has been over a century since Frank Hornby invented a toy to amuse his sons and his vision of an educational toy became the basis of one of the most successful British businesses of the 20th century. And Meccano itself has since become more than just a toy for kids. It has become an engineering set, on which numerous great engineers have based their designs and have used to perfect new ideas for real machinery and vehicles alike.

 


Skill development

With Meccano you can literally design and construct whatever your mind can possibly think of, from clocks, road vehicles, ships, aeroplanes, houses, trains, cranes, carousels...the list goes on.

As you can see I’ve made a few! Most of the models I have made are from other people’s instruction booklets, and it has only been recently that I’ve now branched out into designing and creating my own models from scratch. And this year I’ve had my first Meccano instruction booklet published of my Car & Caravan model.

I’ve learnt and perfected a huge amount of skills through my Meccano model-making - one of which is patience!  One model took over 4 months to make due to all the moving parts. I’ve also spent time demonstrating and explaining the workings of models to fellow enthusiasts and groups - which weaves its way into my everyday job working at GP Strategies when I’m working with new recruits and working out how to approach new challenges. Designing the instruction manuals has also taught me a huge amount about layout and instructional design.
 

My favourite model?

That’s a difficult one, as I love so many aspects of many of the models I’ve made. The models of the Grandfather Clock and the Eiffel Tower usually impress people in their scale, but to put them together is impressive in itself. The workings of the clock was very detailed.

However I really did love the finished model of the Victorian House, and one of the best detailed models I’ve done would have to be the Kenworth W900 truck.

Why not have a go at building your very own Meccano chess set or car and caravan?

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