Are Electronic Gimmicks Needed to make Learning FUN?

Once upon a time educational toys for children included compact flash cards, spelling games or reading with a parent or teacher. Today free educational games seem like a thing of the ancient past. The educational toys of today seem to cost a small fortune and completely take the parent or teacher out of the picture.

Take a moment to think about the commercials for educational toys you’ve seen this week. Most of them involve batteries, noise and of course lots of fun, but how much learning really takes place when the toy does all the work for the child. Unlike free educational games of the past, these battery-operated educators cost money to supposedly help children advance their learning skills. But are kids really learning anything from these toys?

Some parents and teachers are doubtful that the so-called educational toys of today are doing anything close to educating. Pricey toys that tout learning advantages, such as developing reading, vocabulary, spelling and phonics, may simply be a flop. After all, how much work does a child have to do when the toy reads the sentences, spells the words and does it all while it’s batteries are fully charged? With so many high-tech monster toys on the market, many adults are opting to go back to the good old days of free educational games, where all it took to make learning fun was a great book, an index finger and that all too famous sentence, “See Spot Run.”

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