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Thursday, April 10, 2008
Hate Is A Strong Word...
...but I think loathe would be a better one to describe the way I feel about these new toys. Learning Curve/Lamaze's Dream Screen can be hooked up to your iPod to play soothing music and display changing images to lull your baby to sleep. Why on earth would you want your baby to watch changing images? They have enough sensory stimulation to take in each day as it is. Bed/nap time should be a time for quiet relaxation that is stimulant free. Plus, today's babies get too much screen time as it is despite the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation of NO screen time for babies under 2, and for just cause. Watching TV messes with brain wiring and the way babies and kids think. While we're on the subject, there's even a new book on the matter, "Into the Minds of Babes: How Screen Time Affects Children from Birth to Age Five."
Then I saw this, the Fisher-Price Digital Arts & Crafts Studio. You plug it into your computer and the kids draw on the screen digitally. It is advertised for it's elimination of messes. Excuse me, but isn't the point of Arts & Crafts time to make messes and enjoy the process, not the product? Well, the process is messy and that's half the fun of creating. Kids should be able to make messes while doing art, it becomes a sensory experience which adds to the fun and learning of doing crafts. And again, this promotes even more screen time throughout the day which we know kids need less of to begin with.
So I guess "loathe" is a strong word too. I just don't agree with the way these toys are marketed to trick parents into thinking these and other products are good and even educational for their children. I urge you to think about products like these before buying them. Ask yourself if they're really the best way to teach your child the skills and lessons he or she needs.