Problem Solving Fun – A Hands-On Lesson in Making Toys



In this lesson, students design, create, record, market and finance a new toy.  The go through a vast amount of the curriculum while doing so and have fun developing their product. A lesson that works well with pairs or individuals, it is highly engaging through its hands-on and real-life connections.

Australian Curriculum Links:

  • Use efficient mental and written strategies and apply appropriate digital technologies to solve problems(ACMNA291)
  • Connect three-dimensional objects with their nets and other two-dimensional representations(ACMMG111)
  • Select and apply efficient mental and written strategies and appropriate digital technologies to solve problems involving all four operations with whole numbers (ACMNA123)
  • Multiply decimals by whole numbers and perform divisions by non-zero whole numbers where the results are terminating decimals, with and without digital technologies (ACMNA129)
  • Investigate and calculate percentage discounts of 10%, 25% and 50% on sale items, with and without digital technologies (ACMNA132)


  1. Introduce students to the create task of designing a toy. Ask them to think about the jobs that would be involved in creating a toy and marketing it for sale in Australia.
  2. Explain what to do:
  • Students work in pairs.
  • Using no more than 40 blocks build a model, eg a dinosaur, truck, helicopter, robot.
  • Record what colours you have used and how many.
  • Draw it / photograph it.
  • Take it apart photographing the step by step stages of building it.
  • How much will you charge for your creativity? Decide the cost of one block and use multiplication to calculate. Factor in labour time.
  • Create the correct size box that would house your model would fit into. Use a suitable net. You will need to know the volume of your model in the standard unit of cubic centimetres.
make a toy 2
  1. Set your students to task.
  2. Rover and assist where needed.
  3. Pull out focus groups for various parts of the task (where needed)
  4. Remind students to think about:
  • Who will buy it? A boy or girl? What age?
  • How will you advertise it? Photos, videos?
  • What profit would you expect to make?


Discuss with your students and ask them to record what they have learnt about:

  • Geometric and spatial reasoning.
  • 2D images of 3D objects.
  • Problem solving and logic.
  • Money calculations and conversions.
  • Volume and nets.
  • Marketing and finance
  • Visual sequencing.


  • Collect responses to the above conclusion.
  • Photographs of toy
  • Anecdotal discussions with students


  • Pens/Pencils
  • Workbooks
  • Cameras of some sort (digital/ipad/iphone, etc)
  • Unifix or connector blocks


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