Educating Parents On Educational Toys
from the still-nothing-doing dept
For years, people have been saying that so-called “educational toys” don’t actually have any proven educational value, and the latest study doesn’t say much new, but does remind everyone that there’s no proof that the toys help at all. Of course, that’s just enough doubt for parents not to care. Many seem to be buying the products either believing that they must have educational value, or that it’s so unknown that it’s a “just in case” decision. Of course, don’t expect this debate to end anytime soon either. In the past we’ve even seen some people complain that the real problem was that the toys were too educational and that children of that age shouldn’t spend their time “learning,” but should just be focused on playing, instead.
Comments on “Educating Parents On Educational Toys”
it's the marketing
I spent a brief (measured in weeks) period of time in a marketing consultancy whos chief client was a manufacturer of “edutainment” products. One of the things that struck me was the approach to marketing these items: they’re marketed to parents under the guise of marketing to kids. “The goal,” says the advertising guru (and i’m paraphrasing) “is to make the parent feel they’re a better parent – a SMARTER parent- for buying this product.”
One of their ideas (I don’t know if it ever launched) was a series of print ads showing parents being showered with “my child is student of the month” type awards. Again, the reward focus was on the purchaser, and not the presumed recipient (a child.)
Re: it's the marketing
More often than not, you have hit on THE marketing ploy that some unscrupulous Health-care Providers, and Edutainment Toy-makers utilize, that renders todays children the unwitting sufferrers of the low self esteem and “willing to do anything” to make the parents look Good, or project a healthy , advocate of the perfect childhood environment, within the walls of their respective homes. Not only is it disreputable, and a for of “abuse” by proxy, but the parents are convinced that Junior is actually benefiting as a result of the parents’ search for praise amd external image management. Makes me ill, to tell you the truth. I have lost children as patients, (hopefully to their ultimate benefit), when I have confronted their parents with the truth.
Toys are toys
What else is there to say? All toys, whether marketed as educational or not, have some educational or physiological value. Does my seven-year old learn from playing with his leap pad? Maybe, but sometimes it keeps him busy – and out of our hair – for an hour or two. That’s fine by me.
I agree with researches that educational toys don’t work. My feeling is educational toys suppress kids imagination.
What would you want?
I know when I was a kid, I never played with educational toys. They were all too boring. Unless you count MadLibs. Now is I could only remember what a pronoun is…..
I learned how to spell
I swear that “Talk&Type” taught me how to spell l-i-c-o-r-i-c-e.
Re: I learned how to spell
Teddy Ruxpin was never as cool as the Speak&Spell 😛
I think, Educational toys are good for kids…