Explains recent attitude research by toy manufacturer Mattel into the need states and drivers of mothers with young children, and the impact of this on toy ownership. Outlines the changes in family life and how this affects attitudes to, and purchase of, toys: mothers often return to work relatively soon after having children, they welcome advice on parenting from their own mothers, family and friends, and they are concerned with the balance between protecting their children and fear of spoiling them. Looks at mothers’ attitudes to child rearing and development, and the role of toys in aiding this; working mums with less time to spend with their children tended to have and consider essential a wider range of toy types than did non‐working mothers, and books were seen as the most essential toy.
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