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Thursday, December 02, 2004

Tech replacing toys for kids?

There are definite indicators that it is, not least at your house and mine. "Researchers report what parents already know: that children as young as 8 and 9 are asking for adult toys, like cellphones and iPods, rather than stuffed animals or toy trucks," according to the New York Times. The article cites recent Kaiser Family Foundation research finding that that half of all 4-to-6-year-olds have played video games, a quarter of them regularly. But this is the most interesting point of the article, toward the end: "While some neurologists and childhood historians argue that the growing tendency of children to play with electronic toys may stunt their imaginations, others contend that even babies find a way to adapt electronic toys to their natural mode of imaginative play. Kids may be acting out their own scripts when they play with video games, and many still have imaginary friends." Do you find that to be true with your children, or are you concerned about their interest in video games? Do send in your experience with younger kids and tech!

While we're on the subject, the Wall Street Journal reports that not only are toys going high-tech, they're also going high-end: "In an otherwise-bleak retailing environment for playthings, premium-priced toys appear to be outdoing simpler, cheaper, Easy-Bake Oven-type diversions."


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