Toy Stories


Allenah – El Nido, Philippines

Writers, photographers, reporters, and documentarians travel the world to search for differences and similarities in all aspects of countries and cultures—food, politics, landscape, architecture, and the list goes on. The general consensus is there is very little that is universal except perhaps the basic need for necessities like food, shelter, and clothing.


Alessia – Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy

Photographer Gabriele Galimberti travelled the world, examining a very unique relationship— the connection of children to their toys. After 18 months of shooting these gorgeous photographs of children with their toys, he discovered that “at their age, they are pretty much all much the same. They just want to play.” This piece by Ben Machell from The Times Magazine reveals some interesting insight into how the affluence of the kids affected how they allowed Galimberti to interact with their toys and how their homeland and parents influenced what they chose to play with.


Stella – Montecchio, Italy


Bethsaida – Port au Prince, Haiti

Of course this all made me think about my kids, Oliver and Sommer, and their relationship to their most prized toys. At almost a year, Sommer, for the most part, wants whatever her 2 and a half year old brother has, but Oliver’s proclivities are a little more telling. He loves his toy New York City Subway trains, since he knows that Mommy and Daddy ride the train to work. He loves his paints, markers, and crayons; Mommy seemingly “plays” with those materials all day. And I guess for Sommer, I can say that she grabs her one babydoll (we named her Automn), enthusiastically hugging and kissing her; she is probably modeling my desperate attempts to hug and cuddle my baby girl, fearing that she is growing up too fast.


Li Yi Chen – Shenyang, China


Maudy – Kalulushi, Zambia

Do your kids’ toys reflect where you live, who you are, or what you, as parents, do for a living? Do their toys bring you back to your childhood?

There is so much emotion, symbolism, and narrative to decode in Galimberti’s exquisite photographs. I want to know so much more about each child, her family, and what his toys mean to him. Visit Galimberti’s site to see the rest of the series, each one more captivating than the last.

March 15, 2013| Early Elementary, Toys