Throwback Thursday: In the Eyes of Children: Do Western children have too many toys?

(Enjoy this article from November 7th, 2013 by Bridget Healy!)

An article from the BBC the other day caught my eye:  do Western kids have too many toys?  I know growing up we had toys but nothing that seemed absurd (no collection my friends envied, anyways).  But it strikes me still to see a ten year old with an IPhone- I mean, who exactly are you calling?


too many

Is there an upsurge in materialism among the new generation in the US and Europe?  The BBC’s Joanne Furniss seems to think so.  I think the most important question is what choice does or doesn’t do for creativity.

One psychologist suggests that “firsts” are still what children value most- there is a sentimental, emotional attachment to the first teddy bear that trumps everything after it- from Doodle Bears to Furbie.  Plus, Furby’s turned on in the middle of the night from your closet, with nothing moving past them- And that just isn’t okay.


Constant streams of anything, child psychologist Oliver James suggests, only serve to generate our materialistic wants, and the more time and money we feed into this process the more we tend to want.  Yet, a certain amount of sentimentality for few objects remains constant and valued above these other things.  I know I keep telling significant others that my first Prada bag will be the be-all and end-all of my bag fetishes…

western kids

Who’s Western and who isn’t?  Go to Gabriele Glimberti’s website to test your assumptions of the last few pictures.

Toys from Around the World

Curious, I found this photo project of kids around the world showing off their toys for a snapshot.

I didn’t find the volumes of toys between kids from the West to be as shocking as the different tastes all the kids had.  Just the uniqueness of each of the kids spoke more to the sentimentality of things and their preferences within their means of options.  Is it that Western kids have too many options, and then want it all, or is it a bit of everything?  And who in the pictures can you say is happier than the others to show off?  There seems to be no measure of contentment, and who will be more satisfied with things based on nationality or assumed wealth- it’s simply an emotional attachment and the value you give to it.

For the original article, click the link

-Bridget Healy


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