The woman, while teaching her students how to "mend their toys," is also instilling a "zero waste mindset" into them.
Most of us have had to dispose of our favorite softies after they tear or suffer damage. Letting go of something you are attached to as a child is unpleasant but what's even more unpleasant is the 'dispose-off' culture we follow and fill up our landfills. There are many ways to deal with things we no longer use. One way could be donating things to someone who might want them and another could be not throwing things unless they are actually unusable. A lot of people resort to recycling and upcycling as well. One woman decided to teach her students a life skill that would go a long way. They learned how they could fix their toys instead of throwing them away. Reddit user u/dizyalice shared: "I taught my students how to mend their toys" and her post got more than a thousand upvotes.
The 4th and 5th-grade teacher explained how her attempt went down with the kids, "I teach elementary art and I have a fiber arts club I’m running this year. This week, I had the kids bring any toys or fabric things they wanted to patch or mend. The teacher that co-runs the club with me brought brushes, baby wipes for a 'bath,' and clear nail polish to shine up toy eyes. The kids had an absolute blast and I hope they’ll carry these skills with them through life!" She also shared four pictures of the mended works. The first image showed a Pound Puppy stitched up with the caption explaining, "This student said this stuffed animal was her dad's and now it’s hers. I love that she fixed family heirlooms!" The second one showed an otter toy with a new nose. Recalling how the little girl who did this reacted to it, she wrote "'he looks even better than he did before! I love his new nose!'"
Another student patched a hole in their green pillow and the fourth one showed the tail of a Pikachu stuffed toy. She explained, "A little running stitch to hold two pieces of a tail back together." Reddit user u/pickler2022 pointed out that "it also teaches kids that things don’t have to be replaced with something newer just because they aren’t perfect anymore! Nice work!" to which the teacher replied, "That’s my goal! I go a little nuts with the kids instilling into them a zero waste mindset but I have to at least try to build our next generation to not have a throw-away mindset." Many people appreciated her cool idea to teach this life skill to children. "This is awesome! I know a lot of people who didn’t grow up with home economics who wish we’d had something like it to teach these skills and it’s so lovely to invite the kids to repair something meaningful to them, so they’re empowered and emotionally invested, and internalize the real-world value of this skill. Bravo!" commented u/dogwannabe. "You're the coolest teacher ever!!" added u/d-h-a.
People also shared how well children do after learning this life skill. "This is adorable! Back in upper-elementary school (I went to a Montessori school) we were taught how to sew our own little fabric lunchboxes. I am so thankful to that lesson for teaching me how to sew by hand and with a sewing machine!" wrote u/TheWeirdWriter. "Thirty years ago, when my daughters were young, I taught them basic sewing - how to mend opened seams, how to sew on buttons, etc. Within a couple of years, my youngest was sewing personal gifts for all her scout's team for every trip or camp. Later, we bought her a sewing machine and from there on, the sky was the limit! I was shocked to learn that my daughters were the only ones in their class who knew how to thread a needle," shared u/DawnShakhar.