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Need some advice- in my perfect world, dd would only have quality waldorf-type toys. But, this is not my perfect world and we get a lot of dd's toys as gifts or hand-me-downs, so she has plenty of plastic toys, toys that make noise, etc.
So now to my current dilemma- what are your thoughts/experiences with technology toys like little laptops for toddlers? I've been very resistant to the idea, after seeing other kids get obsessed with them and, imo, lose some of their natural inclinations towards creative play. Plus, all the ones I've seen have characters plastered all over them, which I'm not ok with, and idk, just really annoy me. But my 17 mo dd has started getting upset when one of us is on the computer. certainly i can save things like mdc for naptime/bedtime, but we also have real work to do!! it's only the computer that she gets upset by, and i think that's because that's the only thing that she can't participate in. so, i pulled out my old laptop that got some massive virus and won't work at all. she's enjoyed banging on the keyboard since yesterday, but dh is afraid some sort of toxic poison is going to explode out at her, or she'll pull off a key and choke, etc.
So, thoughts/opinions on getting her her own little laptop so she can pretend to work while I work? If you think I should, do you have one to recommend? Or do you think it's ok to let her play with the old real laptop? Or do away with any laptop completely?
Oh, and I started to feel like a hypocrite- I know kids play to learn, and they play at the things they see adults doing, and that's good. So I felt like I was being too judgmental, saying that it was ok for her to pretend to do laundry or cook or take care of a stuffed animal or write, etc, etc, but it wasn't ok for her to pretend to do computer work. kwim?
Thanks in advance for any ideas!
 

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Anything that I can take the batteries out of and still have it be something to play with (Little People stuff etc) I lose the batteries! My children both have a Leapster that has restrictions on it. They have to ask to play with it unlike their other toys.
I think moderation is good in the case of technology toys and prefer to allow my children to play with them a little because they enjoy them and they do teach skills.
 

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I am probably less crunchy than the average MDC mama, so take what I say with a grain of soggy salt.


I don't think technology toys are automatically evil or bad. We live in a techno world, and it's good to get introduced to that in some small doses at a young age. I think it is all about parenting a child with a tech toy, and not letting the tech toy do the parenting. My DS loves some of his tech toys, but my policy is that I don't let him play with them alone... instead, I interact with him as he plays with them. Also, we limit the time so he isn't on a tech toy for a hour or something. (Of course, his attention span isn't that long anyway.)

So we have tech toys, and I'm cool with that. But... his favorite toys are wooden blocks, books, and crayons and a blank sheet of paper.


I would be a little nervous about letting your baby play with an old laptop -- mostly because I'd be worried about a choking hazard. Those aren't meant to be toys. If she's supervised closely, that's fine... but if not, I don't think it's a great idea. Our toddler has pulled two keys off our laptop quite easily. Get a toy laptop (or other toys with buttons) and simply remove the batteries. That will be much safer to play with, and it'll be ok if you aren't supervising every second of play.

Children do learn and want to mimic what they see us doing. (That's why they have pretend phone calls with their toy phones!) Computers are very much a part of the modern world, and if they are a part of your family's world I don't think you need to say "no computers, even toy computers, for toddlers"... you just need to supervise, limit the time as you would with any toy so it doesn't become an 'obsession', and above all keep your child's safety in mind. So I think it's fine if she "works" on a little toy laptop while you work on your real computer.

So that's my slightly soggy take on things.
 

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I don't purchase (nor keep if gifted to us) technology toys. We are all exposed to far too much technology. Given that, I feel like I have to place limits with my DD (and myself!). She will receive more than enough exposure to technology through watching television, listening to the stereo, playing with our laptop and iPod/iTouch and so on. I certainly don't want to add more than necessary.
 

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We have tech toys, including two toy laptops. The first one we got because it also had a "mouse", and so looked more like what we use, but it is a little bit advanced for him. Of the thirty games it has, there's about two he can really get anything out of, and it doesn't start with those automatically.

My MIL bought him the second, a baby laptop that's just buttons and lights.

Neither of his laptops have commercial characters. He has like both, and gotten bored with both, and then come back to them.
 

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I wouldn't personally get any of those laptop type of toys b/c I prefer my toys non-plastic & non-noisy as possible. But, as others have said, I don't try to limit exposure to it, rather make a point of teaching responsible use of it with ample adult interaction & supervision.

I would, and have, just make some time for your LO to surf the net with you. Maybe show her some old sesame street youtube videos or visit PBSkids.org to play an easy game. I explain that usually momma's doing boring things like checking my email or writing letters. He knows that he's not to touch the computer alone, because he can "make its brain hurt" by doing things like pushing that big blue shiny button.

But I try to set a few times a week when DS can play computer for 15 minutes or so, and that satisfies him.

Personally, I think that kids are born with a lot of this knowledge built in. Even before we started introducing TV & stuff, DS at age 11 mos had set a custom banner on my cell phone. You know, that message you can have it say when you open your phone? We looked at it, and it was a full 11 clicks/choices in, plus all the buttons he pushed to make the message, then to successfully save it on top of it!
: Just the other day, he opened & successfully placed a DVD inot the DVD player while I was in the kitchen. He couldn't quite convey what hat happened, though, I thought he wanted to watch it, but was confused when I couldn't find the actual DVD. Imagine my surprise when later I opened the DVD player to find it in there!
 
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