Technology and the Brave New World
October 1, 2002
the frenetic pace of modern life races forward, parents are more
likely than ever before to seek out activities for their children
that nurture the mind and discipline the senses. Educational toys
and learning accessories have always been popular alternatives to
fad activities. But advancements in computer technology, learning
theory application and the related changes in work, school and social
environs are reflected in the mushrooming range and sophistication
of this category of children’s products.
are a few standout items:
Gym. By Vtech Smart Sensations
The Safari Gym provides baby with an interactive play experience
where little hands or feet activate lights and calypso music via
proximity sensors. The soft, colorful swinging parrot, butterfly
and monkey encourage reaching and touching. The plush animals teach
cause and effect by rewarding babies with music and nature sounds.
Naptime gets soothing soundtrack when Mom or Dad selects soft classical
melodies set to calypso rhythms. By Vtech Smart Sensations.
Treasure Hunt. By
Write-To-Read Treasure Hunt, Inc.
Write-To-Read Treasure Hunt, Inc. helps young children learn to
read and write (in French as well as English versions) via the Rainbow
Treasure Hunt. The game can be played for 10 minutes or two hours
with pictorial cards identifying letters and words along with hunt
clues that lead to the next letter of the alphabet. The game can
be played in a number of ways and does not involve winning or losing,
with each child getting to the “Pot of Gold” while practicing
how to read and write. Dr. Toy recently rated this item as one of
the “Best Vacation Children’s Products for 2002”.
of Stories. By The Blue Kangaroo
The Blue Kangaroo is a company where designer Susan McManus believes
“active participation helps children learn faster, retain
information longer and increases attention span”. The Bag
of Stories includes a deck of colorful character cards to use as
story prompts, along with a cloth board game and a carrying case.
Players randomly draw four cards and make up their own fairytales
or action adventures incorporating the items on the cards. Ideal
for vacation travel activity, developing creativity, language skills
and spontaneous thinking as Dad puts the pedal to the metal.
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