Forget about traditional toys made simply of little wooden blocks and plastic materials. That was decades ago when life was still a lot less dependent on technology. This is now the age of digital technology, the age of computers, the age when parents can no longer afford to ignore the need for their kids to be technologically competent. This is now the age of electronic toys.
Let’s cite an example: Drop by any Danish toy store these days and you will see electronic toys, electronic games and robots occupying a huge portion of the establishment. All these toys and games promise to help Danish kids in their development and growth. A visit to any toy store in Denmark will give one an idea how modern, high-tech and at the same time educational today’s toys have become.
But along with the rising popularity of electronic toys come the debate on whether these modern-day playthings are actually beneficial to kids, or if they do more harm than good, instead. There are groups that oppose the use of electronic toys, believing that they eliminate the human element of games and entertainment.
But while they sometimes have a point, their arguments are drowned by the numerous benefits that electronic toys offer to kids. Let’s talk about smart toys, to prove our point.
Smart toys are called as such because they help kids grow up to be, well, smart. The term “smart toys” is often used to mean two things: first, it refers to computerized toys that are designed and programmed to respond to a kid’s actions, which makes these toys “smart;” second, the term may also refer to the educational activities of the toys themselves, which help kids become “smart.”
Smart toys are available in many different types, but they share three basic characteristics: they teach new skills to the child, they bring out the fun in learning, and they encourage child participation instead of the child just being passive about the whole experience. A robot that inspires a child to solve problems is a smart toy. An electronic car that races back and forth while being watched by the child is not a smart toy.
Electronic toys that are smart toys provide numerous benefits to the child. These toys are not just for show, they serve the basic purpose of developing the mental, physical and intellectual skills of the child. They are not simply toys that do nothing but occupy a child’s time until he falls asleep. These are interactive toys. They engage the child into action. They challenge them to think, to feel and to react.
But perhaps the most important benefit of electronic toys is found in their long-term effect on the child. The world is becoming highly technological and digitalized. Practically some aspects of the Danish life are growing dependent on computers and modern-day gadgets. If today’s kids are not exposed at an early age to technology, how can they become competent when it’s time for them to go out to the world and find their places in society? The choice of toys is crucial. Parents must make sure they pick the right electronic toys for their kids.