Vietnam’s Childcarers Use COVID-19 Downtime to Create Toys Made With Love

“Despite the struggle, I’ve devoted my time to making toys for the kids. They represent my hope.”

It’s not an easy time for teachers in Vietnam with schools having been closed since early February. While public school teachers continue to receive pay, many private schools and preschools are finding it difficult to continue to pay rent and salaries. For self-employed home-based carers (HBC) no children currently means no income.

These are the women who Vietnam’s lowest-paid workers rely on, in particular rural migrants working in factory zones. They are also part of an OneSky program being rolled out across Vietnam aimed at raising the standard of childcare.

As part of that program, the online learning platform 1GiaDinhLon (1BigFamily) has been a key tool. During this enforced break, it’s been vital – not just for ongoing learning but also for pulling a community together, sharing thoughts and challenges and offering support.

During the school closure, the 1GiaDinhLon learning platform organized a toy-making contest for HBC who graduated last year. Hundreds of pictures of hand-made toys and interactive conversations have been shared on the platforms.

Meet five childcare heroes and their winning toys:

Ms. Loi (pictured above) – her zoo and puzzles teach children about colors, shapes and directions

“I think children learn best when they feel involved and engaged in the learning process. The learning environment plays a vital role in developing their physical, cognitive and social skills.

“To help stimulate the children and encourage their development, especially during the extended school closure due to coronavirus, I made these toys to inspire the parents and encourage them to spend more time playing with their children and helping them to learn.

“I hope they have lots of fun exploring these resources with their kids, and I can’t wait to hear all about it when the kids are back.”



Ms. Hoa made toy chicks out of yogurt pots

“During the time my daycare was closed, I have tried to learn from OneSky’s resources on the 1GiaDinhLon platform about new ways to engage with children through toys and teaching aids. The contest only required one toy but the lessons I’ve learned have inspired me to make more. 

“I’ve also sent photos of the toys to parents so they can make them from home. I really miss the kids and hope the coronavirus outbreak will be over very soon, so I can see them all again. Sending lots of love to them.”

Ms. Thuy’s book explains the life cycles of eggs, butterflies and plants

“Since the start of this coronavirus outbreak, I have constantly witnessed the power of a strong community. I’m so thankful that the support from my work colleagues and the 1GiaDinhLon caregiver community has helped me through these tough times. 

“As a caregiver who is passionate about my job, I wanted to make this book in order to help children explore the natural world of plants and animals, and develop their language, physical and cognitive skills. I’m longing for the day we reopen our day care, when I can watch the children’s faces when they open each page of my hand-made book. That will be the biggest prize that I could ever receive.”

Ms. Tuyet made toy teacups using recycled yogurt pots,  paper cups with different colors and numbers and a handmade book about plants and animals.

“Despite all the financial burdens and day to day struggles, I have devoted all my spare time to making more toys for our kids. They represent my hope; the hope that the kids are staying healthy, and soon will be back and playing at school with the new toys I made. I can’t wait to see the smiles on their faces when they see these toys”

Ms. Thoa’s toy teaches children numbers, colors, and helps develop motion skills 

“All my toys are made from recyclable materials. My purpose in making these toys is to help stimulate children’s brain and imagination, improve their motion skills and reactions. It’s also a great game for kids to play together, learn to work in a team and build trust with one another. 

“My thoughts are with all children and parents. I hope they are safe and well. I can’t wait to welcome them back and show them these new toys.”