What is with all these ridiculous electronic toys?
A few months ago, my husband and I went shopping for toys for our then-8-week-old son for the first time. We went to an 'educational' toy shop thinking we'd find things to help his development. After the initial shock over the prices of some of the toys, I spent the whole afternoon saying, 'No, I don't want that, the song will get on my nerves' or 'No, I don't want that, it just teaches him to push a button, nothing else'. We got back home with precisely nothing because every single toy that was of the type we wanted was electronic.
When my 13-year-old son was a baby he had only one toy that needed a battery. It was a cuddly octopus that had a different texture or 'activity' on each tentacle. One of them, when pressed, played Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. When it ran out of batteries, it wasn't even possible to get a new one as the battery compartment (one of those tiny watch batteries) was sewn inside.
These days it seems that you can hardly get a toy without needing to stock up on batteries.
It's really getting on my nerves.
My loathing of electronic toys came to a head the other week when I wanted to buy my son a ring stacker. My first son had the classic Fisher Price model and loved it. He played with it for years, so I thought it would be a good choice for my new son. Imagine my surprise when I realised that the only Fisher Price ring stacker I could find was an all bells and whistles electronic one!
I decided to get onto eBay to see if I could find one of the old-fashioned ones and ended up buying a whole bunch of retro toys - the old Chatter Phone, an old shape sorter, an old cot toy... I couldn't find, however, an old-fashioned Fisher Price ring stacker. Instead, I bought one of the new ones for 99p.
It arrived the other day and it's even more ridiculous than I thought. Every time you put one of the rings on the pole it makes a sound and lights up. When you put the star on the top, it plays one of a selection of annoying songs. I've just decided to remove the batteries.
No longer are kids allowed to be satisfied with completing something correctly, instead there needs to be a big song and dance about every little thing they do.
Are these electronic toys a sign of the coming apocalypse? Because, honestly, if my son is given even one electronic toy for Christmas and then I'm forced to listen to it being played over and over again because the person who gave it to him is there, I will be begging for the world to end.
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