Monday, 11 August 2008
by Mama Monkey
There is much talk that goes around about the harm of kids being glued to the television, video games or computers - and I am not one that is going to dispute that. But what about the smaller things (and smaller kids). It drives me absolutely BONKERS to go out and try to find a toy or book for my child that does not make noise. I have one of the pop-up toys where you have to push a button, turn a key or flip a switch to get the character to pop up. It is old. There are stickers falling off and the plastic is yellowing from age. But I keep it because I can not find one that does this without the addition of noise...music or voices.
Shape sorters have always been one of my kids favorite toys. These can help them learn not only shape recognition, but matching and problem solving - not to mention hand eye coordination. I am fortunate enough to have a few of these that are absolutely void of electronic noise, but my son recently received one that sings and says the number or shape name that matches the block when you put it in. It helps them learn the names for the shapes, you say. Yeah, maybe - but what happened to you sitting down with your child and telling them the shape name as you hand it to them to put in the hole?
And don't even get me started on singing/talking books. Can LeapFrog help your kids learn to read? IDK - I'm sure it could help. But does not have nearly the array of benefits that you sitting down with the child and reading to them has.
Why must all the toys for children be battery operated? I really don't understand how we can put all these 'shiny' things in front of our kids and then complain because they seem to be showing symptoms of ADD or can't entertain themselves for 5 minutes without some sort of electrical device. We wonder where childrens' creativity and imagination are going. Are we not breeding this ourselves? What happened to kids making the truck noise instead of the truck doing it for them? Are we really so busy that we need to have a pen read a book to our children for us?
The way I figure, my house is noisy enough with 3 boys running around it all day long - I don't need that added noise of all their toys. I have found myself shopping more at rummage sales, where I can find the old fashioned noise free toys, than at department stores.
What is your opinion on the noisy toy issue? Are you apt to buy the 'next big thing' for your child, or stick to the classics?