OK...don't answer that. hehe
I just want to know if I am the only one who is horrified by some of the "toys" being made for small children (poisoned Chinese toys aside) and especially being pushed this Christmas. My coworkers think I am crazy. This is the first year I have seen SOOOO many of these kinds of toys.
1) We're collectingToys for Tots so we all look over what is being dropped in our office box. Someone donated a MCDONALDS cash register toy with faux McD food. When you push keys on the register, a voice says things like "French fries!"..."Hamburger!". I think this is a horrible toy! One...its promoting a specific brand which means the buyer is essentially paying to advertise for McDonalds. Two...its imprinting children towards junk food (McD's in particular) making it "fun" and appealing when we have an epidemic of obesity in children from high fat/carb junk food and lack of exercise. How about an unbranded cash register with just some basic play money for fun.
2) I'm seeing all kinds of little computers for kids...not like 7-8 yr olds but toddlers!! They have all kinds of cutesy names and the commercials make it sound like a parent is helping their children learn with these "educational" toys. One commercial was for a computer for a child that didn't even look a year old! She was a baby! C'mon...whatever happened to the PARENTS working with their young children with shapes and colors and sounds, instead of dumping your kid in front of a computer and handing them a brightly-colored mouse? Sure computers are part of our culture now and those skills need to be learned at some point. But...too many young kids sit in front of computers endlessly playing (usually violent) video games. Ok...here it comes....when I was a kid, I was outside playing!! I had toys but I also used my imagination with sticks and acorns and mud. These early computer toys just train kids to find their entertainment sitting in front of a computer screen.
Am I nuts for thinking these things are VERY BAD toys for children? Why not give kids crayons and paper, jump rope, bouncy balls, tinkertoys, playdough, chalk, roller skates, bubble liquid, alphabet blocks, cards, ant farms, board games for families to play together.... *sigh* Children don't need to spend every moment being "educated" in a 2-D environment. Kids can learn by PLAYING. Exercise, imagination, creativity! Make up your own games! What about "Mother May I", "1-2-3 Red Light", "Swing the Statue", "I See Something", "Hang Man"?? All "little kid" games I played with my mother involving interaction, action and creativity.
I see these "toys" as nothing more than a marketing ploy to guilt parents into thinking they aren't doing right by their kids if they don't buy these so-called educational toys. What is the parent's role nowadays in tot education? To sit them on the floor and hand them a mouse? A mouse to me was the little red mouse in the MouseTrap
game where you had to construct an amazing working contraption that moved a silver ball all over a playing board in order to trigger the mouse trap.
I remember my mother helping me learn math with flash cards. Now kids play "educational video games." No parents involved. Parents can go do something else while the kids are kept entertained on the computer.
Nooo...I'd much rather have my one year old sitting in front of a computer slapping at oversized buttons and my 3 year old learning to dole out french fries at McDonalds. And can you see it...after playing with their french fries and hamburgers the kid looks up at Daddy and says "Can we go to McDonalds?" They sure won't be asking to go to Burger King. Score a big one for McDonalds in passing off advertising and influence as a TOY.
Like I said...my coworkers don't see anything wrong with the McDonald toy. They thought it was cute and I'm nuts for being horrified.
I have seen at least 3 different "computers" for small children advertised in the past couple of weeks--a terrible trend...in my opinion.
Off my soap box now. So...how many people think I'm crazy for thinking these toys are not good for toddlers?