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To Be a Child in the Past and Today

Toys hold a very special place in every adult’s heart, no matter whether they were hand-made or bought in an expensive store. Although the specified product might seem unimportant to some, educators and child psychologists know that toys play a crucial role in shaping a child’s personality, values, skills, and development, including both physical and mental aspects thereof. Taking retrospect into the toys of the past, one might naturally presume that the toys made previously were more primitive, yet this is not always the case.

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Since toys often reflect the social values, standards, and changes, comparing the toys of today and the toys of yesterday will require considering the social, economic, political, and cultural changes that have occurred over the past few decades. Due to the extensive research done in the areas of education and technology, modern toys are expected to have a significantly higher educational value and quality, yet the difference seems to lie in the niched purpose of the toys and the levels of creativity that they incorporate. Due to the willingness to target specific audiences with certainty and attract as many customers as possible, the producers of modern toys limit the extent of creativity that the specified toys offer, with the opportunities for education varying greatly from toy to toy.

However, it should be borne in mind that comparing the toys of today with the nebulous concept of the toys of the previous era may not be as useful as it might seem. Since every decade has its unique cultural characteristics and the corresponding approach toward children’s entertainment, a comparison of modern toys with those of the 80ies and those of the 60ies will yield strikingly different results.

Overall, the trend toward creating a divide between the toys for girls and those for boys seems to have subsided significantly over the past two decades, which represents an impressive contrast to the situation observed in the 80ies and 90ies. Moreover, the toys seem to have become more inclusive, thus providing an opportunity for children to learn the importance of multicultural communication. Offering young children the ability to practice the ideas of inclusivity and diversity, modern toys promote the specified concepts quite effectively, allowing children to develop the necessary communication skills at a fairly young age.

In addition, the practical aspects of the toys seem to have subsided along with the reinforcement of gender roles that they used to represent. However, the negative effects of the specified change can be considered questionable. While children no longer have the same opportunities for developing practical skills, options for building their scientific curiosity seem to have grown, especially with the products marketed as STEM-based toy kits.

Even though the overall trend toward entertainment as opposed to learning seems to be prevalent, the products belonging to the STEM label tend to be science-base, spurring the development of scientific curiosity. Therefore, the opportunity to introduce children to social aspects of playing games as opposed to their skill-based elements seems to have a greater importance in the modern globalized world. While the acquisition of skills associated with critical thinking, cognitive development, analysis, and imagination are also essential, the emphasis on communication and the opportunity for self-expression that contemporary toys offer also has tremendous importance.

Furthermore, when it comes to the greatest difference between the toys of today and the toys of yesterday, one should bring the issue of interactivity and smart technologies into the limelight. While the toys of the past might be well-crafted and multipurpose, thus being available to children of different age groups, modern toys often provide an opportunity to introduce interactive elements into a game. The specified change represents a wide array of educational options for children. For instance, the use of online applications when playing with a certain product may result in a child learning an important skill or piece of information by using an appropriate application.

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In addition, when considering the difference between the toys of the past and modern ones, it is necessary to address the issue of safety. A range of toys that used to be viewed as safe materials and suitable entertainment for children have been reevaluated and adequately labeled. As a result, the modern toy industry might seem a bit predictable, yet it certainly provides a greater degree of safety for its customers.

As a result of changes in the marketing approaches, the toys produced nowadays seem to have much more narrow purposes and, therefore, reduce the extent of creativity that children could explore when playing with them. In addition, the specified change entails a drop in the educational value of the said toys, with the priorities of organizations producing them shifting from quality to flashiness and visual appeal.

As a result, the toys tend to lose a significant range of characteristics, with only the questionable entertainment aspect left. However, the specified phenomenon is not necessarily the case of all toys. Some organizations tend to strive to keep their quality standards at the respectable level in order to retain their customers and attract new ones.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'To Be a Child in the Past and Today'. 5 March.

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