german culture vs american culture

Best presents for kids: German culture vs American culture

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Best presents for kids: German culture vs American culture

Children are wundervoll. Children are grand. Children are the largest life project a married/ unmarried couple or single parent can have. And when them birthdays come around, you better be prepared mom and dad. You better be doing anything and everything to satisfy that child. That child’s birthday present might be damned, ridiculously and extraordinarily expensive, yet it will land in the toy-box graveyard before you can say Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän. (which is a very long German word, by the way)



But what does a typical child want for presents? Germans vs Americans

As we all know, Germany and America: different cultures and so…. Which automatically means a different upbringing, traditions, values and lastly; different presents. And you are only my friend if I can use your sandbox every other weekend.



Tractor vs Bagger (Excavator)

The little American trucker wants a John Deere 6210R tractor for its birthday. The little Lederhosen wants an excavator. A Tractor is versatile, modern and agricultural. You can drive it forward, backwards and even open the darn mini-doors on it. Best of all, it fits wonderfully on a display shelf. A bagger also has the same functions, except, it can dig and destroy things. That little German is being brought up right; you will need to dig and destroy old things to create new things in Germany because there simply isn’t enough room. And with that John Deere 6210R tractor? You can turn into a Class A Wisconsin dairy farmer.



Big wheel vs Bobby car

So this is how Germanlings learn their first two words of English: A name and an object: Bobby car. And I must say I am quite biased here because Big wheels were the bomb back in the day: just like riding on one of those low riding choppers on the West coast. I was the coolest cat in the whole neighborhood big wheel gang. Other than that, riding a Bobby car also includes other investments: a child needs one new pair of shoes for every summer month of bobby car fun. Little Bobby needs a new pair of shoes dad.



Barbie vs Puppe (puppet)

Everybody picks on the Barbie. And I shouldn’t be talking because I played with barbies as I was a child… sadly. Barbie and Ken are great role models. They can teach you plastic social-emotional intelligence through interaction, but will forever remind you that you will never have the perfect body…. Ever. German puppets are stuffed textile teddy bears but German style, only to be fully germ-free one time in their lifetime: on the shelf that is. Afterwards they will become snot-covered monsters needing a wash machine visit every week. At least puppets don’t have Heidi Klum written all over them. Wait is she an American…or possibly German?



Training wheels vs Laufrad (walking bike)

So your child is getting to the age when it wants to become more mobile, more independent. And I clearly remember what my training wheels looked like after taking a digger on my bike- I think my parents must have gone through a few. The Germans have a completely different approach: the Laufrad (walking bike). It looks like a bike but doesn’t have any pedals on it: meaning every child propels themselves by doing the Fred Flintstone. But by riding the Laufrad, German children learn how to balance on a bike without any training wheels. But I think when it comes to stopping… the Americans have the advantage. First aid kit anyone?



Best presents for kids – conclusion

After a direct comparison of typical German-American presents for kids, it can be concluded that the best present for kids does not come from America. Nor does it come from Germany. And the best present for your kid most probably does not come from Toys-r-us nor from Walmart. Time. Time is the best present you can give your child. Spend time with your kid for Christmas.


By the way: Teenage mutant ninja turtles exists in Germany as well, for which they have no German translation for. Win.



  1. Jugendliche Ninja-Mutanten-Schildkröten sounds goofy, eh? 😉

    1. Author

      Howdy Thorsten, thanks for stopping in! Yup that German name sounds pretty rediculous. My favorite is Michaelangelo… you? Turtle is way cooler than Schildkröte… and the average english native speaker cant even pronounce “Schildkröte”.

  2. Sorry, I have two small, half-German, half-american girls, so I have to say; Puppe means doll, not Puppet. Also , Laufrad wins, hands down!

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