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The AAP Says Kids Need Old-Fashioned Play, Not New-Fangled Marketing Spin

Monday, November 13, 2006
It's great to see the American Academy of Pediatrics taking a swipe at marketers just as the barrage of holiday toy ads is really starting to ramp up. In a clinical report entitled The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds the AAP stresses that kids need more time for play -- and by that they mean low-tech, low-stress play, not some of the ridiculous "educational" toys and appealingly packaged activities that are pitched to parents as Junior's ticket to the genius stream or the executive suite.

The AAP writes:

Parents are receiving carefully marketed messages that good parents expose their children to every opportunity to excel, buy a plethora of enrichment tools, and ensure their children participate in a wide variety of activities. Children are exposed to enrichment videos and computer programs from early infancy as well as specialized books and toys designed to ensure that they are well-rounded and adequately stimulated for excelled development. Specialized gyms and enrichment programs designed for children exist in many communities and there is an abundance of after-school enrichment activities. These tools and programs are heavily marketed, and many parents have grown to believe they are a requirement of good parenting and a necessity for appropriate development. As a result, much of parent-child time is spent arranging special activities or transporting children between those activities. In addition to time, considerable family financial resources are being invested to ensure the children have what are marketed as the "very best" opportunities.

Related links:
The Journal News: "Lapware" Introduces Babies to Computers

| posted by Ann D @ 1:08 PM