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I can only vouch for one Leapfrog toy, the refrigerator magnet ABC/phonic thing (sorry, if forgot the actual name of the toy). It has a base that you put magnets into, and a voice sings, "A says ah, A says ah, every letter makes a sound, A says ah." You get the picture.

I got this for dd when she was 20 months old. She loved it, kept putting the letters in and out, listening to the song. Within 2 weeks she could identify and say her capital letters. I bought a standard ABC puzzle for her, with the lower case letters alongside the upper case letters, and in another week she could identify the lower case letters as well (since they were right next to the big ones, she figured it out on her own). Now some time has gone by and she's interested in phonics, and trying to read (we do a LOT of reading around here!). So she's playing with it all over again, this time paying attention to the phonic part of the song ("A says ah").

So yes, I can vouch for that particular toy. I do believe it helped dd learn this skill faster than she would have otherwise. She is the type that likes to do things on her own and by herself, so she enjoyed picking up the letters herself, operating the toy herself, etc. (instead of me working with her to learn the ABCs).

I've only bought one other thing for her, the Writing Pad, but it is too advanced for her at this moment (she's 2 1/2, this is for 4 year olds). I do think that when she's ready, she will enjoy this toy too.

I usually avoid plastic talking toys as well, but in these two cases, I am glad I bought the products.
 

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Let me add that we read a LOT, and we always have. So to address your either/or question about a toy replacing reading together...I'd be inclined to say no, that type of interaction CANNOT be replaced by a toy. I think my daughter was ready and eager to learn these things BECAUSE we read so much. The toy helped her make the actual jump, but she probably would not have been ready for that jump if she had not been read to every day of her life.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by HollyBearsMom
Not to nitpick but I have an issue with your terminology. You may feel strongly about what toys your children play with but the use the term nazi just mainstreams the term and takes away from the true horror.
This is WAY OT, but I feel the need to say this:

The OP, by using the word "nazi," did NOT take away from the true horror of the Holocaust. The term "nazi" has become slang for controlling, anal, etc. -- as we all know. If the word becomes mainstream, I do NOT think it takes away from the true history and horror of the situation. I think most of us are smart enough to distinguish a term that is used as slang (and with a lower case "n") from a word that names the horrific regime (with an upper case "N").

JMHO. I felt sorry for the OP when I read your post, because use of that term is very common nowadays. There's no evidence, as far as I can tell, that use of the term is desensitizing anyone from the horrors of what happened under the leadership of the Nazi party.

Now, back to the topic...
 

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Okay annettemarie, we'll have to agree to disagree. I have Jewish friends who aren't offended at all by the use of the word, and even use it themselves in such a manner. And my gay friends use the term as well (homosexuals were condemned right along with Jewish people). Just one of those things people won't agree on, I guess.

Peace,
Trish
 
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