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Traditional Toys are Best

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Traditional Toys are Best

Traditional Toys are Best Traditional Toys are Best
Traditional Toys are simply the best
Traditional building blocks and Play-Doh are far better for children's learning than high-tech educational toys and videos, experts have revealed.
Psychologists are warning that many expensive games might actually restrict children's progress by stifling their creativity and hindering their social skills. American child development expert Professor Kathy Hirsh-Pasek believes youngsters spend too long in front of television and computer screens when they could be playing with basic toys. In a new book titled Einstein Never Used Flash Cards, she claims that so-called 'smart' toys fail to teach children to play imaginatively. In contrast, wooden blocks, crayons, costumes, paints and balls help them develop crucial lifelong skills such as problem-solving and perseverance. They also make it easier for parents to join in, which is vital for boosting children's learning.

Professor Hirsh-Pasek, of Temple University, Philadelphia, said: "Nowadays, toys we select for children have the hidden agenda of making them learn, but those toys do the opposite. They usually look for a single, correct answer to a problem because they are busy teaching skills. Today's kids don't need to be fed information through toys. They need to combine facts in innovative ways to become creative problem solvers.
Well-meaning parents are simply being caught in an expensive trap. If parents really want to prepare their children for life in the next generation, they would be better looking in the least-travelled aisles in toy shops." Professor Hirsh-Pasek warned that parents are increasingly substituting activities such as reading, playing and singing rhymes for the easier option of placing them in front of computers or videos.

She added: "We learn best by having another person play with us. When parents have opportunities to play with children, they get more out of it. Children gain better reading, maths and social skills when adults play with them."

Her views are backed up by another expert, Matthew Melmed, who agreed that high-achieving parents who attempt to 'hothouse' their toddlers with educational software and toys could be doing more harm than good. Mr Melmed, executive director of the Zero to Three centre in Washington, which collates parenting research from across the U.S, said the trend was leaving children as young as three frustrated and prone to tantrums.

Examples of educational software include Baby Mozart and Baby Beethoven videos which are aimed at one to three-year-olds. They contain music and visual images designed to stimulate youngsters. Next August, Fisher Price is launching Power Touch, an electronic book which teaches three-year-olds to read using phonics.





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