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Toy tyrant works for me.

And can I say that the car would be the absolute last place I would want one of those battery operated thingies? I would probably drive into a tree just to make it stop.

That was hyperbole. I would never actually drive into a tree.
 

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I don't think the Leap Frog stuff will make a kid "smarter," but it may help him learn something he is ready to learn. The Leapster stuff wasn't around when my son was little, but he did use computer games and a V-tech toy early on to learn some phonics stuff. He taught himself to read at 2.

OTOH, my daughter didn't learn to read until almost 7. At age 2, she could have played Leapster stuff 24 hours a day and it wouldn't have taught her to read. She just wasn't ready yet.

I don't think the toys are evil. But I don't think a kid needs the toys, either. They'll learn to read either way.
 

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I don't mind them, I grew up in a family owned electronics sales and service business, LOL! Gadgets were a part of everyday life and I'm okay
However, I don't think they necessarily put a child ahead, just something fun to play with and reinforce ideas.

Our first leapfrog item was that louda$$ talking stuffed frog, gifted by a friend. I can't tell you how many times I threatened to cut that frog's throat in the middle of the night after I would step on him and he would wake my dd
Then, of course, went out and got dd #2 one, since the first one suspicously disappeared about 2yrs ago, foul play may be involved


We have several other products, mostly given to us secondhand, and they are fine with me
 

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My DD isn't old enough for most Leap Frog products; she's only 9 months
but my mother bought her the Leap Frog Learning Table, and that thing is the noisiest, most irritating, most ADD-inducing monstrosity I've ever seen. I can't throw it away, because my mom looks for it every time she comes over, and DD LOVES it, but I'll tell you right now I won't ever buy any of their other products, just on principle, because they made this THING that I hate so much.


I think I'm a little bit of a toy tyrant myself, but in order to keep peace in the family, I let DD keep what my mom buys, which most of the time is pretty tasteful and appropriate anyway. I would draw the line at war toys, I think, but my mom won't buy those anyway.

And no, I don't think even the best-designed electronic or computer toy puts any child "ahead" of the game at all. It may help a child to learn a low-level skill that the child was ready for anyway, but it won't increase understanding, thinking and reasoning, verbal or written expression, or creativity at all.
 

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Mayhaps this is offtopic, but electronic toys are a personal bane of mine. I grew up with them too, and my (5) siblings all had multitudes of them. I just remember wanting to absolutely MAKE THE NOISE STOP as a kid, taking the batteries out of my brother and sister's toys and saying "oh look,it's broken." Young children love repeating things, and hearing my brother repeatedly push a button that says "HI I'M BARNEY AND I LOVE YOU" I think permanantly fried my brain. Of course, I feel differently about video games - loved the Nintendo. I don't know how I feel about that now.

So, we have insisted on no battery-operated toys for my daughter, very pointedly, and so what do grandma and grandpa do first Christmas? Get her this remarkably annoying car that says "This is grandma. Buckle up for safety." Among other things. I said, "Oh how nice, you got her a toy to leave at your house she can play with here!" And made them keep it at their house - I refused to take it home, pointing out what I'd specifically asked for and how they'd specifically went out and got her something like that. They'd ask now and then over the next two years if I wanted to take it home...nope.

It all worked out, and we have no other gifts coming down the pipe that involve batteries. And I really don't care if she goes to their house and pushes that dang grandma button a thousand times! Yay for them.
 

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AM, to each her own I guess! It goes without saying, I hope, that a good conversation or music is my first car choice, but given the choice between LeapFrog and shrieking/whining, I take the electronic choice any day. (And lots come with headphones, thank goodness)
 

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My dd had the My First Leap Pad and the regular Leap Pad.
She hasn't used them much. We only have a couple books for it.
She learned her alphabet pretty easily by age 2-3 just by singing the alphabet song and alphabet books. Not even refrigerator magnets here. She learned to read mainly because she was ready but also because we read books to her, she sees us reading on our own and I worked with her using Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons. The Leap Pad we have has not taught her to read. I think it is an okay toy but don't like battery operated toys in general. I wouldn't rely on them to teach my child.

I don't think any toy gives your child an edge over other kids. I think it is weird to think that competitively about young kids. Knowing how to read at a sixth grade level by age 5 doesn't make you a better person. It doesn't mean you are nicer or have more common sense. It doesn't mean that the kid who doesn't know how to read won't match or surpass you in a few years when they are ready.
 

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Cant' stand them. But I also strongly dislike any toy that lights up or makes noise.

We have the fridge magnets only b/c a friend recommended them. I HATE those things! The computerized voice on there doesn't pronounce most of the letters right.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by RedWine
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 have been wanting to get this and appreciate another mom's perspective on it. We have a few Leapfrog toys mostly purchased from my mom and sister who "love Leap frog". I haven't liked any of them at all. I got the leap pads and my 2 1/2 year old is scared of them, my infant has no interest and they are annoying in my opinion. I even got the Leap start learning activity station and it seemed to be more geared toward an older child rather than an infant as it claims to be.

I guess just don't follow fads and go with your instincts!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by moominmamma
I believe the research shows the following:

Early spontaneous reading is indeed associated with prodigious intelligence and higher academic achievement. Early reading instruction (whether electronically or via real human beings), on the other hand, is not associated with higher academic achievement.

Miranda
But I would argue, Miranda, that no learning is spontaneous in the truest sense. I mean, if you had a prodigiously intelligent child raised on a desert island, she wouldn't know how to read just spontaneously.

What I would argue, to make a really fine-point distinction, is that kids of prodigious intelligence need very little direct instruction and seem to "pick it up" out of the air (when in fact, they're simply taking in the data around them -- the parent reading aloud and running her finger under the words, the advertisement for "BIG SALES" on television, and so on). You don't have to repeat the instruction again and again -- indeed, you don't have to give lots of it at all beyond a few basics (e.g., "This is a J. It says JAY.")

Just speaking of my kid for a very limited statistical sample
, we taught her the consonant sounds, played with magnet letters, read to her a lot, and without much more than that, she figured it out and was reading at a fourth-grade level within about six months. I was all set to go with crud like, "Silent E makes the vowel say its name!" and "This is your friend the schwa," but I didn't have to. When I tested her using Phonics Pathways, fearing kindy teachers' dire predictions about "gaps in her learning," the only phonic combination she didn't already intuit was the internal "ph" sound -- she said "orphan" like an Irish person does: orp han. I told her what the deal was once and that was the last time I needed to.

Now with math, it's another story. :LOL

However, I think you and I are basically in agreement: you can't force a rose to bloom before it's ready.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by LeftField
And then, with instruction, you have to define what reading is. My son can sound out CVC words, but he's definitely not reading yet. And if the children are taught early, does it come after time-consuming instruction, i.e. how long does it take for them to learn the tasks? And then if they are taught early, say at 4, how long do they stay at that level? I'm sure that many 4yos, maybe even most, can be taught to "read", but I doubt they will hold any long-term advantage over their peers, because their progress is very slow. But a gifted child just takes off and does it and requires little (if any) help.

I'm only saying this, because, in my area, academic preschool is huge and people seem to define "reading" by being able to recite Bob books. I doubt many of the children could read the words in a different context, however.
I'd have to agree. To me, my admittedly unscientific opinion about what constitutes "reading" is when the kid can pick up a Henry and Mudge or Frog and Toad they haven't seen at all and read it with a reasonable degree of fluency with no help at all. The stuff that comes before -- sight word recognition, sounding out phonics combinations -- is overwhelmingly important in terms of building the foundational elements required of any reader, but it's not reading in the fullest sense any more than doing first position or a plié means you're dancing.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by annettemarie
Considering you don't know anyone's background, or whose relatives might have been a victim of Nazi-ism, I find that to be a particularly callous remark.
Considering you don't know my background, or whether my relatives might have been a victim of Nazism, I find that to be a particularly ignorant remark. Moreover, you were claiming that use of the term "toy nazi" or "soup nazi" desensitized people. It obviously didn't work on Hollybear's mom. Therefore, using her as evidence, I find her concern -- and your comment -- unwarranted.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
Good thing it didn't work with you, though.
I am deeply bothered by your remark. Nazi-ism is no laughing matter and I ashamed that there are still people who feel that way. I highly suggest you talk to victims or at least visit a holocaust memorial to get a true perspective on what the term Nazi means to them. Soon there will be no more victims still alive but the memories for their families everywhere will remain. It is hurtful to trivialize.

Or maybe you are one who feels it never really happened, that it was just a hoax?? But that is a conversation for another thread…..
 

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we got Leappad to prepare our daughter early for the endless hours of mindnumbing enjoyment with Nintendo, Xbox, and Playstation!
Whoo hooooo Mario Bros Rule!!!!!!!!!

just kidding. Our daughter uses the My First Leappad with Dora stories, Thomas and Winnie the Pooh. She uses it occasionally, and prefers books to it actually. I think it's neat but not intentionally part of her schooling. Kwim?
 
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