Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Classic Toys are Better!

In an article entitled "Do We Need Bells and Whistles? Educational Toys May Be Coal In The Holiday Stocking" by Morentz at Temple University published in 2007, retro toys are evaluated against their modern counterparts and found to come out on top! It proves what we all knew - retro toys (OUR toys) are better! Yeah - we win!

Ok seriously, what the article does go on to point out is that toys of today think for your child in many ways - and the child simply responds. The toys we grew up on required our creativity and thoughtfulness to be ANY fun at all. “Your child gets to build his or her imagination around these simpler toys; the toys don’t command what your child does, but your child commands what the toys do.” says Hirsh-Pasek, the Lefkowitz Professor of Psychology at Temple and co-director of the Temple University Infant Lab.

And what about all of these new toys out there that promise us they will make our kids smart? You know, the ones that we buy constantly and force our children to play with so that they can grow up to be brain surgeons in order to support us in our old age - yeah, those...well, do they work? According to this study and article, Dr. Hirsh-Pasek says “If the toy is promising that your child is going to be smarter, it’s a red flag. If it is promising that your child is going to be bilingual or learn calculus by playing with it, the chances are high that this is not going to happen – even with a tremendous amount of parental intervention.” In other words...better start saving for your retirement!

So...what is the bottom line? Quit paying so much for all the "smart toys" and the ones with all the bells and whistles and make sure that at least some of the toys your kids are playing with are the simple ones - the ones that require them to think, create, imagine and well, be kids!

To see the article by Temple University in it's entirety: http://www.temple.edu/newsroom/2007_2008/11/stories/christmastoys.htm