Any adult today that ever came to enjoy a relatively normal childhood where they had toys at their disposal to play with is incredibly lucky. Most of them do not notice it, though, since it’s very hard to empathize or imagine a life without the advantages one grew up in. Yet, it remains sadly true that most quality toys are, for the lack of a better world, a privilege and a luxury for most children.
According to estimates for the world bank group, around 9.2% of the population worldwide live in extreme poverty. To put that into perspective, that would be around 689 million people. To make things direr, that statistic only applies when assuming that people earn $1.90 a day. Thus, it likely much more people worldwide live in poverty earning only slightly less than that.
Getting into more specifics, according to UNICEF’s numbers, approximately 1 billion children worldwide are multidimensionally poor. What they mean by that is that they often lack the bare essentials such as clean water or barely have access to nutritious food.
As such, they are very unlikely to have access to toys as well, which is an incredible shame since toys do have a lot more to offer them than fun times.
When most people think of toys, they picture rambunctious children loudly having fun and running around happily. That is definitely a big part of it, but one thing that is less obvious about playtime is how it helps children develop.
As repeatedly pointed out by pediatric research, playtime is about so much more than playing; it’s also a time for learning. Far from books and classrooms, kids can learn a lot about themselves, each other, and their environment by playing outside. Better yet, if they play with some toys as well.
Physical toys are both a great excuse for kids to go outside and play as well as a medium to boost their cognitive development. When a child plays with a toys truck, they learn about how a car’s wheel work, how the truck carries things, how it rode on a different surface, etc.
When that child plays around with other children that also hold toys, they get an excuse to socialize, interact with each other and start developing social skills.
Both things are part of the cognitive development process and, thus, likely to help boost their overall intellectual and emotional development. Thus, providing them with toys is very well a great way of caring for the growth of children. However, what happens to the children that lack the means to get toys.
As you can likely deduce yourself, having no toys to play with robs the children of the chance to develop their cognitive skills while having fun. This can have serious implications once they grow up. Studies have asserted that, in the long run, adults that had little chance of playing with toys as children tended to encounter fewer economic opportunities.
In other words, researchers drew a link between the lack of playtime to the chances of having fewer earnings and, ultimately, the perpetuation of poverty. As a toy brand, we think it is extremely unfair for any child, no matter the economic situation they were born with, to miss out on playtime.
No children should grow up without toys, and we are willing to help those that we are able to reach out to.
As a brand, we set up our own initiative to help children currently growing up in less fortunate environments to have access to toys. We started the ‘Caring for Thai Children’ program to reach out to children growing up in some of the most forgotten parts of Asia and do right by them.
As of today, we’ve delivered boxes upon boxes full of toys to children living in impoverished villages in the Chang Rai region of Thailand. All completely free.
The idea came to us a couple of years back when traveling around the area and coming face to face with the conditions those kids were growing up in. By contacting the principals at the local school months later, we started to set up the charitable program.
Needless to say, when we saw the smile on those kids’ faces after they opened up the first book, it made it all worth it. This is something that we are sure that we want to keep doing for years to come.
Not only are we helping children go back to nature, to rediscover the joys of playing outside. We also are looking to give that same chance to kids that had nothing to play with from the start.
With this, we hope to not only give them a chance to have fun while growing up but also boost their cognitive development and, finally, their chances of becoming better human beings, to which no opportunity is denied based on how they grew up. This is how we are giving back to the world; this is how we are caring for the growth of children.