Babies have no concept of what is a toy and what’s not. Sunlight shining through leaves, as seen from a moving stroller, can be just as interesting to them as an expensive toy bought from a store.
The first time I found a baby’s toy lying in the street, I wondered if it was really lost or deliberately discarded.
Over time, after finding several toys in the streets of different cities and countries, I started to believe that babies were throwing toys out of their strollers on purpose, and with fewer toys, they were actually much happier.
To a baby, the world changes rapidly. At birth, everything is a blur, with their visual acuity around 5% of that of an adult. But by the age of six months, babies have more or less adult levels of color acuity.
The use of bright, highly saturated colors is a popular mass marketing technique because they attract the eye, and children tend to like bright colors even more than adults do.
Modern toys are also designed with bright colors to increase a child’s attention span and nervous system development in the early stages of life. But do babies really need these kinds of toys anymore?
Nowadays, people of all ages, especially children, are already heavily exposed to and surrounded by all kinds of visual stimuli, at home and elsewhere. From video displays to artificial lights, escalators to cars and traffic lights, shop windows, and advertising; the result is that we all live in an overstimulated society.
Recent research has shown that overstimulation can lead to anxiety, insomnia, headaches, and stress. Instead of a toy designed to further stimulate our attention and senses, how can we offer some time for reflection and contemplation?
Thus was born Toys for Us, a series of baby toys painted in plain white, to calm the senses and relax the vision of your little ones, as well as yourself.
All images Digital C-print, 60 x 60 cm, edition of 5 + 1 AP
The images that can be seen on the internet are only a part of the series.