I remember having such love for my toys and when I think of them I can still feel the joy they brought me. I admit that scrolling through these pictures today has me feeling pretty emotional.
My own childhood sucked, and one of the constants I had in my life were my car toys. They were thrown away, out of spite. This article also hit me in a few different emotional places.
Also, the author has more series on her website . One is called "The Heavens" about tax havens. One is called "Fathers" it is about fathers (as a father myself, I enjoyed it). There's one about "couchsurfers" (does not interest me, YMMV) and there's the one already linked.
Photographer Melissa Kaseman did a series entitled "Preschool Pocket Treasures," documenting what she found stuffed in her sons pockets.
To me it's interesting that kids are not only playing with similar toys, but the exact same brand of toy.
Of course there are some differences, but compared to 50 years ago childhood around the world is starting to look the same.
Probably, you could have said the same thing 50 years ago, how nation-wide toys are taking over stuff that was only available in your town.
I think the real differentiator is that 50 years ago kids didn't had that many toys at all. I'm not sure if that plentiness is always a good thing. AFAIK there's usually a very small subset of toys that are really important to them, anyways. So I wouldn't overestimate the importance each of the pictured toys holds.
Maybe todays "uniqueness" comes from which of the toys was acquired in this sea of ubiquity. Analogous to today's plentiness of great cloud-tv-series, each with an earned addicted fan-base, where it is impossible for one to view them all. But what is still unique to each child is which of these acquired toys are really important to them.
The dragons are two Terrible Terrors, a Deadly Nadder, a Gronkle, and a Monstrous Nightmare. How can you put up pictures of assorted dragons and not include a Night Fury?
I suspected to see a series of iPads and games consoles. I flicked through 20 or so and barely a battery-powered toy in sight, never mind a computer.
I don't know why it should make me happy though... maybe I'm worried modern children's lives are too complicated and just idolise my own, without any evidence for that. Getting old, I suppose.
What I like is when other parents open up about their experiences. There seems to be a big chasm between official and de-facto parenting.
When pressed, at least, the grandparents that just gave us the look because our three year old can pinch-swipe open up how they did the same with us back then, just with older tech.
These kids are a little young, but with a sample size like this I'd expect at least a couple to pose with electronics. When I was that age there were no cellphones, but I did have some toys with batteries. The only electronic "toys" I see in this are musical instruments. Baseball bats in Japan? I think this is less what the kids value and what the adults dream that their kids value. It's nostalgia.
Well, yeah. The Nippon Professional Baseball league is Japan's largest professional sports competition in terms of television ratings and spectators. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sport_in_Japan)
Also, I thought this was pretty funny: https://imgur.com/a/K5hktiY
(I don't know which country he was from. The captions didn't work for me on iOS.)
the young boys with the array of plastic guns is a bit disturbing*
* to a non north american at least
None of those friends and family own guns (or swords, heh) as adults. I've never even fired a pistol in real life. We all skew fairly left and would favor a lot more gun control. I'm a supporter of the military and our troops, but I worry about us sending them all over the place for who knows what end. It takes a heavy toll on us and them.
I honestly don't think having weapons as toys has much affect on you as an adult. It's all fun and games until you're old enough to learn some history and actually comprehend the horrors of war, and then you can only look back fondly on those innocent days.
Stick with right-angle found on the ground? Gun.
Inverted shoe? Gun.
Magnetic letter L? Gun.
Legos? Gun. Sometimes sword.
Sister's barbie held by arms with legs poiting at target? Gun.
Toast with bite out of it? Gun.
Weapons are basic, ancient tools. In fact, the oldest human artifacts ever found were weapons. It should come as no surprise that they are popular children's toys, whether we like it or not.
To be clear -- I do not mind it, but the guns depicted here are realistic enough to potentially cause confusion for people with actual guns and should probably never be taken out of the house......
In India, it is somewhat common for kids to have toy guns which make a loud sound if you insert a 'cap' and pull the trigger. This is sold as a firework, and can be seen everywhere on the streets during festivals.
My mom hid all signs of guns (ads for outdoor/hunting etc).
We didn't have a TV then.
Still we somehow realized that guns were super exciting.
My father took it from there and taught us to be safe with guns, that war was cruel and not in any way cool but sometimes sadly necessary.
I still cringe when I see inexperienced people with guns :-/
Guns, swords, chase, hunt are all major staples of boy play. It's primal, gendered, cross cultural and immediately obvious.
No kid is being raised in isolation of their culture. I'd assume there would be strong correlation to being exposed to movies and TV with people using guns to you gun purchases/affinity.
For boys is ofter guns or superheros, for girls is a doll as long as is clear that it represents an alpha female. Girls and boys earn social power by beging linked with "powerful people" and toys simbolize this association.
I know the guns topic is a sensitive one and I am not having here an opinion about that topic, just mentioning that the gun culture is exported around the world with the US media.
You don't have any kids and don't spend any time with kids if you think Hollywood is exporting "defend the tribe".
I could be wrong, I can't perform an experiment where I remove games and movies with guns and then measure if children will play more with cars and airplanes then guns.
(and no, I'm no gun nut but I was very interested in guns as a kid - as many other kids.)
- I don't have older siblings
- I didn't go to kindergarten
- and I generally can't recall playing much with other kids except for my younger brothers before I started in school
There must be an explanation - I don't think this was a miracle and I also think guns hasn't existed mong enough to make an impression on our genes - but I don't know it.
If they have no knowledge of swords, they'll hit each other with sticks. Can't get much more primitive than a stick.
What would that relative measurement tell you? Nothing. The mixture is different for each kid. But I can tell you the play fight, with whatever tools they think are appropriate, is 100% universal.
In fact if a boy didn't do that at all, I'd honestly have him tested for a developmental delay.
I have always just assumed, once being boys, that other men understood that the allure of a weapon, even just a stick, is so instinctive that we all understood it intrinsically.
Other example of shocking image/video for someone like me , a father sending his 10(or younger son in the house to bring his shotgun outside, or a different father training his 10 years old daughter to shoot a shotgun (or maybe are rifles I don't know exactly what the guns were)
I disagree with that generalization. I grew up in the 1980s playing with quasi-realistic metal toy pistols (revolvers) and so did pretty much every other boy that I knew. Maybe that has changed a lot in the last ~15-20 years, however the majority of adults today that grew up playing with toy guns in the US would have at some point come across metal guns as well the plastic fare. Until more recently it was a very common type of toy. As recently as the mid 1990s, it would not have been strange at all to see metal pistols played with in kindergartens across the US. And then further it varies heavily by location, you're still going to commonly see metal toy guns in places like Texas and surrounding states, the midwest and the southern states.
You can go to yard sales all over the US and buy toy metal guns. Or just take a look at Amazon or eBay, they're still commonly sold in new form (search for toy metal guns and variations). Metal toy cap guns in particular remain popular in the US.
I had a wide array of weapons. I don't think the same would be acceptable for my kids, in fact my (much) younger brothers weren't allowed guns, but as another commenter pointed out, every stick and piece of Lego became a gun for them anyway.
When LotR came out they did persuade their grandad to make them smoking pipes, I found that disturbing!
Now what surprised me was the Alaskan kid whose toys are apparently sleds and, um, a hanging rope?
A play kitchen has always been a part of human culture, since kitchens exist.
Old forms of huggable relatable toys also exist. Games of chance, ball-games, balancing games, threading games, toy birds, toy animals, toy weapons...
Some day I should sit down and publish my art project: "abandoned toys".
(Since I got my first camera phone around 2005 I have been taking images of toys that were abandoned on playgrounds etc.)
He also has a train set, likes playing 'diy', etc, etc.
I was slightly surprised there weren't any boxes or other random none toys in these images.
From my own personal observations, its more a difference of how kids play, not what they play with. My sons doll isnt mothered, the vacuum is 'plugged in' and 'repaired' more often than its used for vacuuming.
Would like to see more projects like this
that make you appreciate what you have