Helping Parents Choose the Best Kid's ToysAll parents wish to make the right choices and, in doing so, to give their children the advantages available. As such, parents attempt to evaluate the legitimacy of these promises and put their consumer dollars to work in the most efficient ways possible.

What Happened to Blocks?
Unlike when many parents were children, today’s kids’ toys integrate electronics in ways never before imagined to the fledgling toy buyer. Even those toys that are not filled with their own circuitry are often accompanied by DVDs to enhance the play experience. Add to this that parents want to choose toys and activities that will be engaging, but that will not completely disrupt the sanity of the adults, the propensity of toys to make noise is often a whole separate challenge.

The good news is that flashing lights, motion, and interactive challenges all act to provide positive stimulation to developing minds. The repetition that electronic toys can provide helps to reinforce major concepts like colours to young children and alleviates the need for parents to spend quite as much time repeating themselves. Current research suggests that repetition is one of the most powerful learning methodologies available, making simple electronic games amongst the best for teaching many basic concepts.

Does Every Child Need to Be a Nuclear Physicist?
With names that use words like Einstein, genius, and advanced, an increasing number of products suggest that they can help your child to fall into the gifted category. These kids’ toys tout their own ability to give children a head start over kids who are deprived of these modern miracles of play technology. The nasty by product of this push is that many parents are left feeling that if their children are not advanced, they are falling behind. Words like “normal” become pejorative and something to be avoided. The companies that make kids’ toys have discovered that parents will universally open their wallets in order to protect their children’s future place in the world.

Parents of the World Unite
In response to this growing phenomenon, more and more parents have banded to together to form consumer advocate groups with several purposes. Some are as basic and straightforward as providing parents with a forum to review toys and share their experiences – what worked, how their children reacted, and which toys seem of little interest. Others are more ambitious, looking for clinical research to support or refute many of the claims made by these companies. In this latter group, some perform their own studies, while others form coalitions with public universities or industry leaders. These groups have determined that no corporation ever got bad press trying to protect kids. These parents realized that the same fears and motivations that led them to purchase the toys could be used to get them tested.

Overall, the landscape for kids’ toys has become significantly more complex over recent decades. The pace of technology is present in this billion-dollar industry, just as it is throughout society. The best thing a parent can do is to remain vigilant and make conscientious choices.

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