Monday, November 13th, 2006
Cranium’s Giggle Gear: Dress-up Play with Batteries
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:
- Makes sounds for her instead of her creating them on her own?
- Is so detailed that she is always a fairy and not a butterfly or ladybug or anything else her imagination might conjure up?
- 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.