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11 kids in poverty share their favourite toys

From water bottles to shoes, the kids we work alongside are creative and innovative when it comes to finding toys.

No matter what country you’re in, toys play a vital part in a child’s development. They encourage imagination and creativity, as well as fostering growth and learning. But often, toys are luxury items that many families in our programmes can’t afford. With limited access to age appropriate toys at home, the kids we work alongside often play with whatever they get their hands on ...

Hula-hooping - a skill every child needs to learn!

Hula hooping

Walaiporn smiles as she plays with her hula hoop outside her project in Thailand.

A toy can be a best friend.

Cuddly toys in Ecuador

When all around may seem uncertain, Shirley (wearing the green hood) gets together with her brother and sister and a few furry friends at their home in Ecuador.

It may not look like a toy, but sometimes, it’s the favourite.


In the Dominican Republic, Jose has one toy. His water bottle. He loves filling it up at his neighbour’s home and using it as a squirt gun with his friends.

Toys can point towards a future career. 

toys in Brazil

Nine-year-old Brazilian Mateus proudly displays his latest engineering project. Mateus is very creative - his brain never stops thinking for even one minute. He always needs to be doing something or talking about his passion: all types of batteries and wires.

“He brings home broken toys that he finds in the street, takes them apart, and plays with the motors,” says his mother, Maria José.

“When I grow up, I want to be the person that puts everything in working order … I want to be able to make things work,” he says.

Pre-loved toys can be just as special the second time around.

Playing with toys Ghana

In Ghana, Emmanuella’s mother Comfort saved up some money so she could purchase second-hand, age-appropriate toys to help her baby girl develop through play.

Toys can encourage mummy to play too!

Toys in Haiti

Mother and son bond together as they play with a toy that looked fun to Haitian toddler Rutherson.

Toys build imagination and lead to fun made-up stories.

toy phone in Mexico

Jennifer from Mexico says the little mice speak to her through the phone!

No need for fantasy football. 

handmade football in Uganda

A group of friends in Uganda proudly display the ball they made from string and bin bags! Football game, anyone?

Sparking creativity.

playing with shoes

Israel from the Dominican Republic uses shoes as cars on the floor of his home.

Toys invite children to share

making toys from bottles in Mexico

These friends in Bolivia made their own fun using empty bottles, scraps of wood and bottle lids.

Playing with innovation.

Luis playing in Mexico

Luis creates a makeshift toy out of a large green wooden spool he found near his home in Mexico.

Through the support of individual sponsors and local church projects, we provide children with safe spaces to play, grow, belong and dream. At our projects, children born into poverty have access to toys and playgrounds where they can learn social and motor skills and everyone gets to have fun! Learn more about the opportunities we give to the most vulnerable children. 

WORDS : Corinna Stubbs, Compassion Field Communications Specialists

PHOTOS : Compassion International


Article Comments


Thank you for sharing these stories and photos - I just love their creativity and ingenuity - made me smile :-) Audrey
4 June 2017 |  Author : Audrey Carmichael
Article Comments



Thank you for sharing these stories and photos - I just love their creativity and ingenuity - made me smile :-) Audrey
4 June 2017 |  Author : Audrey Carmichael
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