Read the text and fill the gaps with the correct sentences A -H. Write the letter of the missing sentence in the box in the gap. There are two extra sentences you will not need.
Are children given too many toys?
I stood in the playroom holding an empty suitcase. We were emigrating and could only pack a few toys to keep us going until the rest arrived by ship months later. In went the Story Cubes – ingenious picture dice that inspire stories, drawings or full-scale theatrical productions. Both kids are "crafty", so in go pom-poms, pipe cleaners and paper punches. 1. ………………..
I subject the rest to an eligibility test before I transport them half way round the world from Switzerland to Singapore – has either child shown the slightest interest in the toy in the past month? An ancient game of Pass the Pigs passes muster. A bucket of unisex Duplo and then, after a tantrum, a second bucket of pink Duplo. 2. ……………….. But the rest has not been touched in a month – and the shelves are still packed with dolls and jigsaws and trains and kazoos and knitted muffins and the emergency vehicles of several nations and enough wooden blocks to build a bridge to Singapore.
So why do we have so many toys? 3. ……………….. "Most children need a transition object," said James, "their first teddy bear that they take everywhere. But everything else is a socially-generated want." 4. ………………..
At London’s V&A Museum of Childhood, Catherine Howell oversees a collection that includes a 400-year-old rocking horse and Buzz Lightyear. She agrees that children typically have far more toys than any previous generation. 5. ……………….. "A child always comes back to a set of bricks because it allows them to use their imagination."
Certainly, my own three-year-old is a marketer’s dream, desperate to adventure with the Octonauts (an animated series). And yet, when his much-anticipated Gup-B arrived last Christmas, his underwater enthusiasm had ebbed by Boxing Day. 6. ……………….. So while Buzz Lightyear can only ever be a space ranger, a doll might become a hungry baby, a tea party guest – or a space ranger – depending on the child’s desires. These prescriptive toys could even be damaging, says James. "Young children discover their identity through fantasy play. If their toys offer a limited repertoire, this process is eroded."
A. “In my experience, most children are given toys when the parent is faced with a massive tantrum, thus rewarding naughty behaviour.”
B. But while spin-off merchandising has been a huge hit ever since Star Wars figures appeared in the 1970s, Howell says traditional toys like dolls and building blocks have retained a consistent popularity.
C. Psychologist Oliver James, author of the parenting book Love Bombing, believes children don’t "need" a vast panoply of toys.
D. According to James, toys that pre-determine play – and this is especially true of merchandising – offer limited possibilities for fun.
E. I even thought this trip would be the great opportunity to get rid of toys I detested: a few Barbies and the hideous rubber monster masks.
F. Next, a kingdom of animal figurines marches two-by-two into the case.
G. It seems we are keen to generate our children’s wants – the Toy Retailers’ Association reports that the British alone spend £3bn each year on toys.
H. At the last minute, I spot a "snakes and ladders" game that my son enjoys (provided he gets to take all the turns).
answers: 1-F 2-H 3-C 4-G 5-B 6-D