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WHAT PARENTS SHOULD KNOW BEFORE BUYING AN ELECTRONIC EDUCATIONAL TOY


Dateline: December 20, 2004 ... Kings Point, NY
Contact Name: Alan
E-mail: emjay842@aol.com
Web Address: http://www.fisher-price.com/us/kasey/default_flash.asp


KINGS POINT, NY - December 20, 2004 - For many parents, the joy of
selecting the perfect educational toy can soon become a daunting task
when faced with the wide variety of choices in today's toy market.
Studies show that a properly stimulated young mind becomes a smarter
mind. Electronic educational toys, aimed at doing just that, are more
sophisticated, and more affordable, than ever before. So how does a
parent make the right match between their child's needs and an
educational electronic plaything? Here are 5 important guidelines for
making that decision:

1. Age Appropriate. The most common mistake parents make is to
buy a toy that is geared either above or below the age of the
child for whom the purchase is intended. It is important that
the toy be geared specifically to the age of the child for
whom the purchase is being made. The package box should help to
determine the intended age range. If a demo unit is available
in the store, try it out for at least five minutes. Talk to store
clerks, or call the manufacturer (most have "800" numbers).
Even look for a demo on the Internet or type the toy's name into a
search engine to get reviews and feedback. Many toys have
software programs available for purchase separately that
greatly expand what the toy can teach and the age to which it
can function properly. If you succeed in matching the age-
appropriateness of the toy to the child, you ensure greater
educational effectiveness, less frustration on the part of the
child, and increase the likelihood that the child will truly
enjoy the toy.

2. Buy a Toy With Staying Power. Some toys are cute, cuddly,
unique and fun but will entertain a child for a total of ten
minutes. Stay away from such novelty toys. Look instead for a
toy with "depth"; one that has multi-dimensional play-value.
Add-on programs (usually sold separately) can greatly increase
educational effectiveness and sustain interest for a longer
time frame. Such toys often take on a life of their own, and
will even be enjoyed by younger siblings in years to come.

3. Education is the Key. Most parents want a toy to be more
than just a plaything. A toy that educates is more than a toy;
it's an educational tool. Young minds need educational
stimulation for better academic development and even higher
IQ. So parents should look for a toy that teaches specific
skills as well as being fun. Such toys are more interactive,
will respond to a child's input, and gently reinforce the
child's progression through the material being presented. This
holiday season, many of these toys are less expensive and
better than ever.

4. Stimulation. Generally, the more a toy stimulates the more
it motivates. Motivation is the key to the amount of time a
child spends with the toy. The more senses a toy stimulates
the better. Look for a toy that stimulates multi-
dimensionally: i.e. through the use of sounds, voice, lights,
and movement. The more a toy stimulates on different levels,
the more it can inspire creative thought, develop imagination,
and educate.

5. All of the Above. The more of the above mentioned factors a
toy possesses the better. Parents should look for a toy that
has as many of these attributes as possible. Toys that are
perceived as entertaining have "staying power". Toys that
stimulate often motivate. Toys that interact and reinforce can
educate. Look for a toy with expandable software programs so
the toy can grow as your child's abilities and interests grow.
In addition, more than one sibling can often use such toys.
Overall, a toy that stimulates many senses can better
motivate, boost imagination, and educate. Contrary to popular
belief, a toy that does a lot does not squelch imagination.
Instead, it creates a higher-threshold from where a child's
imagination begins. Imagination and challenge generated
through play toys is an integral part of a child's learning
and development. It was the famed psychiatrist Carl Jung who
said it best, "The debt we owe to the play of imagination is
incalculable."

Buying the right toy is an important decision. If chosen correctly,
the toy will most likely to be cherished by the children who own them
and gratify the parents who bought them.

About the Author

Dr. Michael Freeman Ph.D. is the father of electronic educational
toys. His current toy is the award winning "Kasey the Kinderbot", the
highly educational and stimulating toy robot manufactured by Fisher-
Price. Dr. Freeman began his developing of interactive educational
toys in 1976 by inventing (and doing the voice for) the famed "2-XL
Robot" (manufactured first by Mego Corp. and later by Tiger
Electronics), that successfully educated kids for 15 years, was sold
worldwide, and was translated into six languages. Next he introduced
Electronic "Talk'N Play" (manufactured first by Child Guidance and
later by Hasbro), which was the first toy to allow Disney, Sesame
Street, and Muppet characters to interact and respond to a child's
input. This toy was sold for over a decade. He also licensed other
notable toys including "Activity Fun Alphie". His present toy, Kasey
the Kinderbot, provides over 80 hours of learning fun and teaches over
40 important leaning skills. To learn more about Kasey the Kinderbot
visit: http://www.fisher-price.com/us/kasey/default_flash.asp

For a high resolution photo of Dr. Freeman go to:
http://www.hwhpr.com/prclients/Mfreeman/photo/freeman.zip

For a full interactive DEMO of Kasey the Kinderbot by Fisher-Price go to:
http://www.fisher-price.com/us/kasey/default_flash.asp

For a high-resolution photo of Kasey the Kinderbot go to:
http://www.hwhpr.com/prclients/Mfreeman/photo/Kaseyandfriends.zip

For questions or more information on Dr. Freeman and
Kasey the Kinderbot email Alan at: emjay842@aol.com

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