Thursday, April 24

While reading the book "Parenting, Inc.", subtitled "How we are sold on $800 strollers, fetal education, baby sign language, sleeping coaches, toddler couture, and diaper wipe warmers--and what it means for our children", I came across some comments the author had about books. Being a book-lover, I am particularly interested in how reading relates to my soon-to-be-born child.

"...parents who discuss the content of traditional books while reading to their children promoted early literacy, while electronic books encouraged a 'slightly coercive parent-child interaction' and were not as effective. The researchers described parents and children reading electronic books together as a 'severely trucated' experience." --p. 102

"The smartest toys, according to educators, are the ones children have played with for generations....A good rule of thumb: the simpler, the better, because the more open-ended and generic a toy is, the more opportunities for varied play experiences. Blocks, building materials, art supplies, balls, pretend play props, and puppets (the old-fashioned kind) trump toys with buttons any day. 'Books should be books,' Linn says, 'not padded with electronic buttons or noised or accompanying CD-ROMs, all of which train children to expect gimmicks from reading, rather than storylines and characters.'" --p. 106

I hope to keep this advice in mind when purchasing toys for my child.


DaddyMan said...

I'll say this, we have too many kids books, but it doesn't matter if I'm reading a board book or a dinosaur book and struggling with the pronunciations, the girls look at me with every word I say when Little Blue is on my lap.

I don't think the type of interaction is key, I think interaction itself is key.

k sime said...

I agree, daddyman--interaction is key. The book's focus is on the idea that our children need something more than we can provide, but they don't. They just need our interaction.

carmelle said...

"Simple is better" is great, too, because then the kids can use their own imaginations to embellish instead of having it done for them. I used to scoot a pencil across the table with my nephew and grab it and bring it back and also put things in pockets and have him get them out or have him put things in pockets. This play could very well last an hour and I am telling was really fun - no joke. Better than electronic gimmicks any day. Course I don't have kids, but I know a lot about them.

k sime said...

so true, carmelle. when I babysat, I would bring a bag of tricks. One thing i brought was string. we could play cats cradle and other games for quite some time. now, how expensive and gimmicky is a piece of string?