The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood announced the winner of the 2011 TOADY (Toys Oppressive And Destructive to Young Children) Award!
The worst toy of the year? Vinci Touchscreen Mobile Learning Tablet.
Priced at $479, the first "iPad" for babies looks harmless, replaces time that babies need to spend interacting with the world...right now...at a time of rapid brain development.
Vinci marketing attempts to convince parents that screen time is educational for babies. Since parents of infants (many first-timers) want to do the best for their child, I'd like to take a closer look at what is best.
According to Dr. Laura Markham, "Newborns are primed to survive, which means they're primed to attach. All learning initially comes through that attachment. What increases a baby's IQ is engaging with parents. Even as a newborn, the baby is actually building vocabulary and other components of IQ in every interaction with the parents. If you want to stimulate your baby's brain development, the best way is to interact with her."
The company claims their product combine technology, quality, safety and creative to nurture you child's growing mind.
Dr Markham explains that "these brain benefits are available without spending a penny, by engaging with a baby. And the baby gets so much more out of it, that she is biologically designed to get -- she is learning about emotion, and forming a secure attachment.
The baby's attachment, and the warm emotional interaction we have with the baby, not only determines emotional intelligence. It has a huge impact on intellectual intelligence. Babies are designed to learn in certain ways, and screens are not one of them."
Every expert out there recommends no screen time for babies under the age of two.
There is a great new book by John Medina, called "Brain Rules." He offers research based suggestions that help, not hinder your baby's development.
Peggy Sissel-Phelan, Ed.D., of Little Rock, "People don't know that without human attention, babies won't develop normally, much less optimally. They will, however, learn how to push the buttons to make the screen react. Rats can do that!"