What toys mean to children

by Silvana Calcagno - 2014.04.09
What toys mean to children
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What do children today play with? What do their toys mean to them? Professional photographer Gabriele Galimberti travelled the world for 18 months to answer those questions and to discover that, whether they're rich or poor, living in the northern or southern hemisphere, children really are all the same. As confirmed by Gaimberti's photographic project, Toy Stories.

They have dreams, hopes, illusions and hobbies, which often reflect the world they live in - or the expectations and wishes of their parents. Like little Keynor in Costa Rica who plays with old cars because his father collects them. Or Alessia, from Tuscany, who loves shovels, spades, rakes and especially animals, because her parents have a farm.

Galimberti noticed that children from rich families are more possessive and initially found it harder to lend their toys to the photographer to allow him to create the most appropriate photo set. On the other hand, there are children with just one, two or three toys at the most - objects are of no great importance to them and they preferred to share it with others. For example, Chiwa, who lives in Malawi, has only three possessions: a bunny, a teddy bear and a dinosaur, which is her favourite because it protects her from dangerous animals. Ragnar, from Iceland, hardly ever plays outside because Reykjavik is always too cold or too dark and so prefers playing at home by himself, especially with a monkey mask.

Whether they come from Morocco, Japan, Mexico or the UK, Galimberti confirms that - apart from video games - children love the same kinds of toys: dolls, toy cars, guns and stuffed animals. And they all sure that their dreams of becoming an astronaut, a hairdresser or a pilot will come true when they grow up.

Published in Families in numbers.
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