Posted by: crudbasher | August 5, 2013

Do Electronic Children’s Toys Dull Imaginations?

Have you ever heard the expression, “When you buy a toy for a child, they will play with the box it came in”? Why is that? I had some thoughts on children’s toys lately.

My son Nicholas will turn 6 months this week and I have been paying close attention to how he plays. I never knew there were so many toys that needed batteries! Does that hurt a child’s development? Here’s my thinking:

Playing with toys seem to be mostly about exploration. It allows children to use the toy to play out various scenarios they come up with. Each scenario involves the concept of cause and effect. If I stack the blocks up, he will knock them down because he wants to see what will happen. Of course after the 10th time he just thinks it’s funny. 🙂

When a toy has lights and sounds in it, the outcome of playing with it is predefined. The child cannot make up their own outcome because it’s programmed in already. My parents and grandparents had toys in which the child had to furnish a lot of imagination to play with. They also read a lot of books. Books are another toy that requires a lot of imagination. Today kids often watch videos instead. That is a very passive way of playing. Fortunately, Nicholas is really interested in books. My wife and I are trying to do everything we can to encourage that so we are pleased.

I’m interested in if anyone else thinks that modern toys are dulling imaginations. Any thoughts?

Here’s a video about toys. Some have lights and sound, many do not.



  1. I agree and disagree. I have a one year old that loves to play with her stacking cup. She also loves reading books. She loves books as much as she loves toys. This is something that I have promoted from day one. I will continue to promote learning through exploration.

    I will say that we have a lot of toys that light up and sing. I agree these types of toys do not promote as much imagination, but do promote learning. I have seen children learn new concepts and vocabulary through these types of toys. I would not discount all toys that light up and sing. I would promote moderation with all toys.

  2. To be frank, we ve all toys kids can make seen our share of toys for dogs.
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