Vocabulary: children 詞匯: 兒童
Mr Fluffy has a special place in my life. He's been with me for longer than I can remember through tears and laughter. Mr Fluffy is my teddy bear, one of the first toys I ever played with and a powerful reminder of the carefree days of my childhood.
Actually my teddy bear never had much competition as I didn't have many toys. My neighbour lived in a bigger house and had the latest action figures and electronic toys, but he never seemed very happy.
Psychologist Oliver James, author of the parenting book Love Bombing, believes children don't need a great number of toys.
"Most children need a transition object," said James, "their first teddy bear that they take everywhere. But everything else is a socially-created want."
It seems our society is keen to create our children's wants. The Toy Retailers Association says that the British spend £3bn each year on toys. A lot is merchandising from movies and music, which came into fashion with Star Wars figures in the 1970s.
James believes that the best toys don't have a predetermined role. Simpler toys can offer more possibilities for fun. So while spin-off merchandise like Toy Story's Buzz Lightyear doll can only ever be an astronaut, a more generic toy could become a hungry baby, a tea party guest - or an astronaut - depending on the child's desires.
The secret of children's play is make-believe. James says it's important for children to "colonise objects". Baking trays can double as drums; towels and pegs can make up a cave. I loved to do that as a child. Mr Fluffy lived in a cardboard box decorated with my drawings and it guaranteed me hours of fun. Soon he was joined by other cuddly toys.
Nowadays I feel sorry every time I see a child throwing a tantrum in a shop because they want another new and expensive toy. We were content with so little, and our imagination did the rest.
What about you? What was your favourite toy? Do you still have it?
- 1. How does the author describe the time she was a child?
- 2. Who had many toys?
The author's childhood neighbour.
- 3. Which movie made spin-off merchandise popular?
Star Wars, in the 1970s.
- 4. Where did Mr Fluffy live?
In a cardboard box decorated with drawings.
- 5. Which expression means to scream uncontrollably when your desires are not satisfied?
To throw a tantrum.