Picture this: Your child receives the most splendid battery operated car as a gift. It’s the fanciest toy on the block and he is hooked ON! You unwrap it, set it up, the kid is going crazy playing with it, and you bought yourself some time off.
Now Picture this: Your child has been flipping and maneuvering it like a Formula One Racing driver, when the battery runs out. Didn’t you JUST charge it??
OR your child has abandoned the remote after a while and is now playing manually with it.
Battery Operated toys might look cool initially and the kids definitely get mesmerized, but the fun stops soon enough, and the learning…well, that never really began!
Parents (including me, a few months ago), are brainwashed into believing that such toys are important for growth and development. Whereas in reality it is entirely the opposite.
The definition of Play in Early Childhood, as per the dictionary, clearly states ” Play is the work of the Child”.
Now, what part of WORK is the child doing while playing with a battery operated toy? It is the toy that is doing all the work, not the child.
Quoting Paula Polk Lillard from Montessori: A Modern Approach:
“Instead of opportunities for serious accomplishment in our culture, we supply our children with expensive toys, hoping that these will occupy them and keep them from disturbing us.
In actuality, even in today’s world of the “educational toy,” most of the toys adults give to children do not meet their needs for growth and involvement with the real world. Consequently, they are a source of frustration to the child, and he does not remain occupied with them for long.”
Reasons why giving Battery Operated Toys a miss is beneficial:
- There is no social interaction, creativity or cooperative play. Children are entertained with a mere remote control, and their curiosity along with growth goes for a toss.
- There will be a continuous need to be KEPT entertained, rather than keeping themselves busy (read more on Independent Play). Trying to steer clear of technology in an already tech-dominated world, is a major Parenting Goal!
- Need to constantly replace/recharge batteries which is a blunder for the environment.
- Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) is a major cause of worry amongst growing children (12-16 years), due to the exposure of loud and inappropriate sounds during early childhood.
- Expensive on the pocket (specially the imported ones).
- Sooner than later, it will be discarded and either dumped in the ocean or piled up on a landfill.
Alternatives to Battery-Operated Toys:
DIY Toys: Enhances Cognitive + Fine Motor Development
c. Lacing Toys
Sensorial Toys: Stimulates and Activates various Senses
a. Sand Box
c. Stampers/Rolling Pins
d. Sensory Board
e. Sensory Play Tools
Moving Toys: Gross Motor Development
c. Balance Board
d. Ride on Toys
Pretend Play: Social Interaction + Creativity + Emotional Development
a. Doctor/Kitchen/Tool Set
c. Peg Dolls
d. Character Costumes