Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Traditional toys and child development

I was just starting to buy Morris toys when the lead paint scare from China came about.
It made me paranoid about finding safe things for him to play with.
I love wooden toys.
They remind me of being at Grandmas and stacking blocks in her living room. Plus, I like to tell myself that wooden toys are educational (even though maybe not all are).
Recently I read this: (entire article found HERE)

Traditional toys may in fact be the most beneficial partner to stimulate a growing child's mind and body. Christine Rosen the author of My Fundamentalist Education (Washington Post Non-Fiction Book Of The Year 2006) believes we are too quick to see technology as a fast track method to nearly everything in life, including development and that we need to appreciate that there is in fact no 'microwave' method to understanding.

Two recent studies suggest that the oft-touted educational benefits of such toys are illusory, and child development experts caution that kiddie electronics, even those bought purely for fun, can have negative side effects such as inhibiting creativity and promoting short attention spans. A government funded 2 year study by Stirling University looked into the direct benefits of so called 'targeted electronic learning toys' and found that such offerings from the market leaders such as Leapfrog and V-Tec offered no identifiable benefits to children. Researcher Lydia Plowman told the Guardian that parents were wasting their money on expensive educational electronics.Further studies have also demonstrated that electronic toys can limit or inhibit a child's ability to think beyond the limits of their electronic device. For example most electronic games had a defined start and end with a single purpose that limited a child's imagination whereas the majority of traditional toys proved less restrictive allowing a child to 'dream up' various games and outcomes that stimulated role play, interaction and general cognitive development.In addition many of the electronic learning toys on the market have a significant price differential with their traditional wooden counterparts meaning that a child can have a more limited range of toys due to the costs involved with making the purchase of such electronic games.
Today I found this website that sells really cute wood toys.
Thought I'd share it with ya: )

8 Stacking boxes $19.98

Wooden Horse $89.98


Anonymous said...

I love wooden toys too. And because I love them (and have elminated most that aren't) cleaning up after the kids isn't as awful anymore. When I see and hold those toys, I am grateful they have something of nice quality to play with. :)

Emily Ruth said...

Yea! I'm so glad you see it that way. The quality is definitely something to mention--cause plastic toys these days? Not so much quality.
: )

Beth said...

I also love wooden toys. Not only are they more aesthetically pleasing, but I've found that they are the toys my children play with the most consistently. I'm not sure why, they just seem to be drawn to the natural feel and durability of them. I try to only have wooden/vintage toys. I hate all the light up noisy busy stuff. This is a great post, it just reassures me that I don't need to buy all the high tech flashy stuff that is out there!

Tanya Leigh said...

Battery free is SO for me! I {can't stand} battery operated toys :P Ever notice how kids are never more happy & imaginative than when they are playing in the great outdoors with a stick?