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#1 of 50 Old 12-20-2009, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ever some across something while shopping that makes you really WONDER!!

I was in Wal Mart last night doing some shopping for baby dd and was looking at the Garanimal brand puzzles. There was a wooden alphabet puzzle there that was labeled 3 + years old. It wasn't even a 26 piece puzzle (some of the letters were combine) and it wasn't interlocking.

3 + years old?? Is that for real???

Share your reality check story....
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#2 of 50 Old 12-20-2009, 10:36 AM
 
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I noticed that when I was in Home Goods shopping for puzzles for my 2 year old nephew. A lot of the toddler puzzles were marked 3 and up. Really? I kept wondering if maybe, just maybe, they could be a choking hazard in a way that I don't understand, and that the 3+ marking was for that and not for developmental ability.

That being said, my DD's preschool has lots of puzzles and most of them are pretty low level (12-24 very large pieces, interlocking).

I don't know that DD is gifted, and if she is, I'm sure she's just moderately gifted. But, her father and I were labeled gifted, as were both of our siblings. Our friends are all relatively intelligent people, and therefore, it seems, the kids are all a bit brighter than average. My reality check always happens when I hang out with kids outside of my social set!

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#3 of 50 Old 12-20-2009, 10:41 AM
 
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Yes - I think that 3+ is just the default for choking hazards.
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#4 of 50 Old 12-20-2009, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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That definitely makes sense but it still was a bit like "huh"!
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#5 of 50 Old 12-20-2009, 11:01 AM
 
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I agree that the 3+ is a choking hazard warning.....
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#6 of 50 Old 12-20-2009, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, my mistake! I think we established that it was for the choking hazard!!

Share your story now....
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#7 of 50 Old 12-20-2009, 11:37 AM
 
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conversely, i just noticed that those big blocks/lego-type sets? they have a 1+ label. umm..my almost 4 yr old likes to build castles with that

he's good with 50-pc elaborate puzzles so it's not like he's behind or anything... so idk what these labels are all about.
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#8 of 50 Old 12-20-2009, 04:58 PM
 
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so idk what these labels are all about.
Usually safety. On things like the Duplo, the "1yo and up" will mean that they are safe for 1yo and many 1yo can do something with them.

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#9 of 50 Old 12-20-2009, 05:58 PM
 
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This isn't really a story so much as a question...I've been dying to know...

Is Calliou really what a typical 4 year old sounds and acts like?

Mother of two. : 4/05 and 1/07 Wife of one. : 7/01
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#10 of 50 Old 12-20-2009, 08:23 PM
 
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I just realized that while he still enjoys it very much, DS has just about mastered the skills "taught" in his High Five magazine (for ages 2-5), and he's not even 3. But I hope he keeps enjoying them for a long time (doesn't seem at all bored), I love them!
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#11 of 50 Old 12-20-2009, 10:06 PM
 
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Legos. Is it a reality check that my 5yo can do the ones that are labeled to start at 8yo? I mean, mine is almost 6, but he's been able to do the 8-14yo sets for almost the whole year.

But maybe that's normal? I'm just thrilled that he has something that requires sustained focus.

Another reality check: when your at some kind of gathering and tell your dc to read a story to the other kids... who are all his age but can't read yet.

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#12 of 50 Old 12-20-2009, 10:52 PM
 
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Is Calliou really what a typical 4 year old sounds and acts like?
I think so. It's grating. Maybe it wouldn't bother me so much if my kids ever talked like that. One more reason they don't watch TV.
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#13 of 50 Old 12-21-2009, 02:09 AM
 
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This isn't really a story so much as a question...I've been dying to know...

Is Calliou really what a typical 4 year old sounds and acts like?
He seems like a bright but typical four-year-old to me, yes. His speech is a bit more clear than most fours and he understands new concepts relatively quickly, but other than that he strikes me as quite typical. I've known lots of four-year-olds like Caillou.

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#14 of 50 Old 12-21-2009, 09:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think so. It's grating. Maybe it wouldn't bother me so much if my kids ever talked like that. One more reason they don't watch TV.
I think his voice is just very whiney!
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#15 of 50 Old 12-21-2009, 09:56 AM
 
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This isn't really a story so much as a question...I've been dying to know...

Is Calliou really what a typical 4 year old sounds and acts like?
I've been wondering this forever!!! Glad to hear the responses! My soon-to-be-3 y/o has been obsessed with that show for almost a year!

Over the last six months, I have listened to his speech and his logical/problem-solving skills catch up to Calliou, and wondered if that was typical. He's about at Calliou's level now. And his voice is probably equally whiny--which must be why Calliou doesn't bother me so much!

Which raises another question: do kids typically watch shows and read books about kids their own age, or kids a few years older?

When I was growing up, I always sought books and shows about kids 2-4 years older than I was. (For example, reading Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing in 2nd grade. Liking Saved by the Bell in early middle school, but hating it as my own HS years approached.) I thought all kids did that, aspiring to be older, and that kids shows were designed to attract audiences 1-3 years younger than the characters in the show. Since Calliou is 4, I thought it was designed for 2-3 y/os. Is that true, or am I just skewed?

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#16 of 50 Old 12-21-2009, 11:48 AM
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Yes, I think it is normal for kids to like shows about other kids that are older. I have 4 kids (only 1 gifted) and they are all like this. I have a 9 and 11 year old and they like shows like Drake and Josh, I Carly, Tru Jackson VP, Ned's Declassified Guide.. about middle school/high school kids. I can't imagine they will watch these shows when they are 13 or 14. In fact, my 11 year old is already losing interest in them. I think they gear them down for younger kids.

My kids (all of them) watched Caillou as todders - around 2.5-3. I find Caillou very annoying (his voice) but they seemed to like how he was like them as opposed to shows like Dragon Tales, Little Bear, Franklin, Max and Ruby, etc which were all animals or fantasy. Caillou in contrast is reality based. I think Caillou is pretty typical of a 4 year old. I think that's why my kids liked him so much. I am glad they are past the Caillou stage and I had a few friends who refused to let their kids watch him b/c he is so whiny.
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#17 of 50 Old 12-21-2009, 08:06 PM
 
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Which raises another question: do kids typically watch shows and read books about kids their own age, or kids a few years older?

When I was growing up, I always sought books and shows about kids 2-4 years older than I was. (For example, reading Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing in 2nd grade. Liking Saved by the Bell in early middle school, but hating it as my own HS years approached.) I thought all kids did that, aspiring to be older, and that kids shows were designed to attract audiences 1-3 years younger than the characters in the show. Since Calliou is 4, I thought it was designed for 2-3 y/os. Is that true, or am I just skewed?
I was so into Sweet Valley High when I was in late elementary school...

Anyway, Susan Linn talks about this in Consuming Kids. Yes, kids are more attracted to things that they perceive as being for big kids, and yes, marketers use this to their advantage.

Stacey teaching teens to read & write... Daddy plays ska, DD1 (7/05) loves trees & princesses, & DD2 (3/10) loves mommy-milk! Please get your kids tested for lead.
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#18 of 50 Old 12-22-2009, 12:47 AM
 
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Legos. Is it a reality check that my 5yo can do the ones that are labeled to start at 8yo? I mean, mine is almost 6, but he's been able to do the 8-14yo sets for almost the whole year.

But maybe that's normal? I'm just thrilled that he has something that requires sustained focus.

Another reality check: when your at some kind of gathering and tell your dc to read a story to the other kids... who are all his age but can't read yet.
your DS sounds like mine! I think the whole lego thing is about the number of small parts. Last year my DS1 really got into legos at age 3, and was consistenty doing the sets for ages 5-8? This year he's moved into the sets that are for ages 6-12 and 8-12. He even sleeps with the lego instruction booklets.

my DS is often the one reading to other kids during free play at preschool as well.

DS1 04/2005; DS2 08/2008
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#19 of 50 Old 12-22-2009, 03:28 AM
 
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Anyway, Susan Linn talks about this in Consuming Kids. Yes, kids are more attracted to things that they perceive as being for big kids, and yes, marketers use this to their advantage.
When I was a graduate student back in the 90's, there was a research project in my department looking at changing children's food preferences (in the direction of eating more fruit and veg.) They used the age difference as an important part of the process. It turned out if you let 5 yr. olds watch 7 & 8 yr. olds eat fruit and veg, and give the 5 year olds stickers when they ate the same, you could get 5 yr. olds to eat all the right things.
The problem was that the 7 & 8 yr olds had to be bribed to get them to model fruit-and-veg eating for the younger kids, and they weren't bribable with stickers - they wanted walkman's and videos. The project wasn't cost effective enough to be adopted in a wide-scale practical setting.
It always seemed to me that they just needed to ask some mums about the idea before they started....
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#20 of 50 Old 12-22-2009, 12:24 PM
 
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Good to know about Caillou! I can't wait until my children's love affair with him ends!

Mother of two. : 4/05 and 1/07 Wife of one. : 7/01
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#21 of 50 Old 12-23-2009, 01:12 AM
 
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I agree about the choking hazards. They have to pay for special testing to get stuff on the market for under-threes. I think what they do is just label it 3+ and plan on some people buying it for "off-use".

That is why there are A LOT of toys for kids 3+ and way, way fewer for kids of any other age group, in my opinion. A lot of baby toys are labeled 3+.

That said, puzzles are one of those things that appeals to a specific intelligence and I wouldn't be surprised if there were five-year-olds with even above-average intelligence who enjoyed doing those puzzles. Only a puzzle-obsessed preschooler would tire of them that quickly. My child didn't even look at a puzzle until this year, and then she learned to do all of them in like, one afternoon. I know another child who has been doing puzzles from age 17 months an on, and she learns them one by one.

It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
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#22 of 50 Old 12-23-2009, 03:24 AM
 
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Moving to Parenting since it applies to many children and parents.

HeatherB ~ mama to 3 wonderful boys:  reading.gif 03/02; modifiedartist.gif09/04; sleepytime.gif 09/07 - and Eliana, babygirl.gif 11/13/10!  
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#23 of 50 Old 12-23-2009, 07:17 AM
 
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How about board games? So many "junior" versions say 8+ or 9+ but really the requirement is only being able to read. The games themselves are actually pretty easy to understand. My dd adores board games and has been playing these type of games since she was able to read when she was 4. I absolutely do not go by these age recommendations for skill as I think kids are too variable in abilities. The choking hazard, I follow that one to a T, though. Dd is 7 now, so we never have to worry about this anymore, but did so when she was a toddler as she put everything in her mouth.
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Bean's been playing Settlers of Catan for a few years now. The box says it's for 10+, but while there are small pieces involved there's almost no reading whatsoever. There's a little bit on different cards you can draw, but there are so few cards that Bean had no trouble memorizing them (and in fact had memorized them before he started playing). There's strategy, and the game is infinitely variable, but if you can count the pips on a pair of dice and remember what the development cards are for, you should be able to play the game without any reading at all and with little effort. He loves it, it's one of his favorite things to do with his father and grandfather.

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#25 of 50 Old 12-23-2009, 10:50 AM
 
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I absolutely do not go by these age recommendations for skill as I think kids are too variable in abilities. The choking hazard, I follow that one to a T, though.
I didn't even follow the choking hazard one after about 18 mo, because my kids didn't put toys in their mouth after that. And, we have a 6 year age gap between kids, so there were always "bigger kid" toys around when ds was a baby--impossible to avoid! So I was just vigilant with supervision.

But, yes, the age recommendations are just that--recommendations. Some children will be able to enjoy the toy before that age. My mom said that she never paid much attention to them, back in the '70s, because my sister and I could enjoy the games and puzzles much earlier. When I give a gift, however, I find the age recommendations to be helpful. Even if a child was able to do a 500 piece puzzle at age 5, she will likely still enjoy it at age 8+, kwim? I still like to do 500 piece puzzles, and I'm way older than 8
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#26 of 50 Old 12-23-2009, 12:11 PM
 
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My kids aren't really into puzzles. I thought they would be because I just love puzzles, but we have all the wonderful wooden puzzles that never get played with.

What has suprised me is that dd2 got all these toys for her birthday that say ages 9 months +, and she never plays with them, the four year old does! I think it is because they make noise and have flashing lights, but dd1 just loves all the "baby" toys. DD2 still gets the most joy out of empty boxes and beating my pots and pans with a wooden spoon.

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#27 of 50 Old 12-23-2009, 01:13 PM
 
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I think his voice is just very whiney!
Yes! I'm not sure what's more annoying - his whiney voice or the fact that his parents seem to have infinite patience!

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#28 of 50 Old 12-23-2009, 01:16 PM
 
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Yes! I'm not sure what's more annoying - his whiney voice or the fact that his parents seem to have infinite patience!
We banned Caillou because dd1 started whining so much. She started sounding just like him and since I don't have infinite patience, it had to stop!

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#29 of 50 Old 12-23-2009, 01:26 PM
 
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I think his voice is just very whiney!
His voice is VERY whiney! I like the show's concept... but wish he wasn't such a whiner. Even Rosie has a stronger resolve than him.

And, why aren't his parents a little concerned that he hasn't grown any hair yet?
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#30 of 50 Old 12-23-2009, 07:54 PM
 
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I agree about the choking hazards. They have to pay for special testing to get stuff on the market for under-threes. I think what they do is just label it 3+ and plan on some people buying it for "off-use".

That is why there are A LOT of toys for kids 3+ and way, way fewer for kids of any other age group, in my opinion. A lot of baby toys are labeled 3+.
This explains a lot. This annoys me to no end. There area bunch of things (like puzzles) that DS would love to do, but they're all labeled 3+! I figured it was the choking hazard thing, and I'll buy them anyway, but I always wondered why they didn't make these age-appropriate things for 2+.
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