Document Type

Honors Project


Past research has studied toy advertisements to explore how modern mothers understand toys, but has failed to talk with moms to see how they actually experience these objects. I interviewed eleven mothers and found they understand play with toys in social terms, yet like and buy toys that require only a small time and energy investment on their part. In the first of these roles, mothers rely on their own experiences when buying new toys, and value “open-ended” toys that inspire creativity, teach on many different levels, and are fun. On the other hand, they still like toys that don’t require too much of their own time. These findings suggest mothers do not use toys as a complete stand in for their responsibilities, though they often select toys based on their own limited time.



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