The way a Ukrainian spends his or her childhood has changed dramatically over the years. Children of old played with beautiful, traditional toys crafted by hand and then with the cold, utilitarian toys of Russia in the time of the Soviet Union. Childhood development and play have not been a top priority for most people for a long time; survival has. Play is making a comeback, though. The Ukrainian government is putting new programs into place, and attention is being focused on childhood development. Children's needs beyond the basic essentials are now being given attention. Ukraine has a strong tradition of toy making. Traditional Ukrainian toys are strong and beautiful. They are generally made out of natural materials like fabric, clay, wood, and straw. These traditional toys are becoming popular again. Examples of traditional toys include carved whistles (usually made of wood), stuffed animals, handmade Christmas decorations, and dolls. Many ...