Cranium’s Giggle Gear: Dress-up Play with Batteries

Suck the last ounce of imagination out of your toddler’s pretend play by buying a Cranium Roaring Dinosaur, Wondrous Wizard, Fancy Fairy or Magical Unicorn.

Marketing photo of a girl wearing the Cranium Giggle Gear Fancy Fairy costume.
Let’s look at the Fancy Fairy. This toy for ages 3-and-up consists of a tiara, fairy wings, anklets and magic wand.

Batteries in the wings and wand produce motion-activated "twinkling, magical sound effects" or "a magic spell sound." In other words, dance around and your kid sounds like what the manufacturer thinks a fairy is supposed to sound like.

Kids would love this toy. They would love dancing around with sound effects. They would giggle and jump and enjoy themselves.

That’s a very bad thing. Seriously. My daughter was playing dress-up by the time she was 20-months-old. She has a pair of non-powered wings, the generic type sold at many toy stores. Sometimes she’s a butterfly, sometimes a fairy and sometimes a ladybug. She makes her own sound effects and has a hoot dancing around our home.

Why would I want to give her a battery-powered costume that:

  1. Makes sounds for her instead of her creating them on her own?
  2. Is so detailed that she is always a fairy and not a butterfly or ladybug or anything else her imagination might conjure up?
  3. Makes all of our other dress-up clothes seem dull because they don’t have electronic sound effects?

The Amazon sales page for Cranium’s Roaring Dinosaur actually states that the costume, "Includes motion-activated parts that inspire kids to get up, be physical, and play!" If you have a physically and mentally fit toddler who needs help getting excited about playing, you are doing something seriously wrong in your home.

Here’s an idea. Take the $20 you would have spent on this product and visit a thrift store. Buy some interesting old hats, ties, scarves and whatnot. Estate sales are also a great place to find dress-up clothes. If you want to get your kid running around and jumping, simply chase him around the house making excited noises. It’s a game called "tag." It costs nothing and your toddler will still be enjoying it in fifth grade.

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