Italian photographer Gabriele Galimberti recently went on a couch-surfing adventure. Over the course of 18 months he visited 58 different countries with the intent of "shadowing" his host family's daily life. During that time he found another purpose: understanding what connects kids around the world. “At their age, they are pretty all much the same,” he says on his website, noting that they all love "dolls and dinosaurs and trucks and cuddly monkeys." However, he did notice that how they play is different.
"The richest children were more possessive," he says, while the children he met in poorer countries "only had two or three toys." Ultimately, he said the toys displayed the hopes of the children's parents, such as the Latvian mother who drove a taxi and showered her son with miniature cars; or the Italian farmer whose daughter loved toy rakes. "Doing this, I learnt more about the parents than I did about the kids,” says Galimberti. Click through the gallery to see a selection of our favorite images. All the following quotes are from Galimberti.