If you are talking about toddlers, then the only thing they seem to notice is other toddlers' sippy cups or toys. My ds was enamored with other kids' sippy cups, but we didnt use them. I bought him a couple just so he could take them to the playground.
I've never had a parent refuse playdates for this reason, but I have definitely felt the disparity in income/possessions between myself and some of the other mothers. I feel uncomfortable hosting playdates for this reason. I find it helps to keep the first few playdates simple affairs at public places to give you parents time to get to know each other - and hopefully get beyond the point of judging based on possessions.
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