by Mike Masnick

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.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Jeremiah, Dec 15th, 2005 @ 10:05am

    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.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Mousky, Dec 15th, 2005 @ 10:23am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Don, Dec 15th, 2005 @ 10:31am

    Educational Toys

    I agree with researches that educational toys don't work. My feeling is educational toys suppress kids imagination.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    JOe Snuffy, Dec 15th, 2005 @ 11:09am

    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.....

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    David J Cadenhead, MD, Dec 15th, 2005 @ 12:02pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    dorpus, Dec 15th, 2005 @ 12:05pm

    I learned how to spell

    I swear that "Talk&Type" taught me how to spell l-i-c-o-r-i-c-e.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2005 @ 1:35pm

    Re: I learned how to spell

    Teddy Ruxpin was never as cool as the Speak&Spell :P

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Daniel, Jun 21st, 2008 @ 12:47am

    Good post!!

    I think, Educational toys are good for kids...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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