Thursday, February 24, 2011

Follow up on TOYS ARE FOR FUN!

I got a kick out of Lenore Skenazy's latest article for the Wall Street Journal. So I decided to post a link to it here, since I have talked about my irritation with toy sellers peddling "educational" toys.

She says:

Or consider the IQ Baby brand blocks at Small World Toys. These are "designed to reward infant development." That they do. They're blocks. It's rewarding when they don't fall down. Other toys at that booth encouraged "concentration and memory while reinforcing dexterity and hand-eye coordination."

Hand-eye coordination, I quickly discovered, is the go-to claim for any product that can't find anything else to say for itself. ("Develops spatial awareness" is a distant second.)

At one booth I asked the salesman if there's anything on earth that doesn't promote hand-eye coordination: "Like, if you're a baby and you grab something, even a toe, aren't you developing hand-eye coordination automatically?"

"Would you rather we not create toys?" he huffed back.

Oh brother.