No commercials aimed at kids, no birthday present ideas

Our daughter will turn three quite soon, which means we are shopping for birthday presents. And have no idea what to get her (besides the bike, of course, and, please, don’t tell her).

I couldn’t quite figure the lack of inspiration out. Surely there must be hot toddler toys, something we haven’t thought of before, something that has been drilled into our heads out of the ether.

Then I remembered that we live in Sweden, and Sweden does not allow commercials aimed at children. And the state children’s channel doesn’t even have commercials, even if it has plenty of crappy cartoons – PBS this is not.

So NK does not come home from daycare talking about new toys or new shows (this might happen later, especially if we ever sign up for the Disney Channel, which we will not, I say firmly, stamping my foot). All of her connections come randomly, as in her great aunt sends her Angelina Ballerina books in English and then we later find at the bottom of a bag of hand-me-down toys an old Angelina Ballerina VHS tape in Swedish. So there. We love Angelina Ballerina.

But this is not the way the toy companies want it. My daughter does not get bombarded with snappy jingles and cartoon characters. And while Swedes grow up plenty materialistic (NK already yearns to open her birthday presents), they do not have consumption drilled into them through the TV when they are two-years-old.

I love this. I must admit, however, that in our long, hazy, lazy summer, I would not mind knowing exactly what to buy my daughter. Something with a jingle. Something that would make her cool at daycare. Something she would forget about in two days …


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