What Do You Think About Expensive Tech Toys for Kids?

Monday, September 17th, 2012 by from Thrifty Mom's Two Cents

What Do You Think About Expensive Tech Toys for Kids? Picture

Seems Toys ‘R Us has a new technological toy for kids, and it comes in at $150.  For that amount, kids can have a few apps and get online.

I’ve posted before about how I’ve hung back when it comes to technology and my kids. It’s not that I don’t want them to know how to play a computer game. I don’t think it’s bad if they spend half an hour every so often on the computer bursting balloons and accumulating points while moving to the next level. I played Atari when I was little; I get it. They won’t go brain dead, or un-learn their ability to read. They won’t forget how to go outside and make friends and ride a bike.

But if they have that toy and can use it whenever they want, carry it wherever they go, stare at it in the car and in their room and while they brush their teeth – that is what they will want to do. They’re kids. They like blinking things. And it’s so easy to get lost in technology sometimes, even as an adult. I’m guessing we’ve all lost half a night looking up old friends on Facebook!

That’s really the problem I have with tech toys aimed at kids. Kids get lost in screens these days, circling from computer to television to gadget and back again, spending time they should be playing outside, imagining, creating, and being with other kids. They stare at a screen that can’t respond, interact, or encourage them to use their creativity. From what I’ve seen, most technological devices do more to isolate people than they do to bring them together. (Ever seen a couple at a restaurant, each person on his or her own device, tapping at the screen like there’s no tomorrow while not speaking to their ‘date?’ I have, too many times to count!)

It’s not that I think technology is horrible and that kids should never play video games. As it is with most things in my life, I believe moderation is key. But I know if I purchase a tech toy like this for my daughter, I will find her locked in her closet flinging enraged winged creatures through the air rather than marching Barbies around the bedroom floor with her sister, or creating a bird costume out of paper bags, scissors, and craft feathers. It will be an ongoing battle of, “When can I play my game? Why can’t I play my game? YOU NEVER LET ME PLAY MY GAME!” (Insert door slamming here.)

We have enough battles to fight on a daily basis. I don’t need to add another one to the mix.

So the newest technological gadget won’t be under our Christmas tree this year. I know it won’t make me a popular mom, at least in this home. I’ll let the girls play on my tablet every once in a while instead, and then I’ll take that $150 and spend it on a day trip to the zoo, and on a weekend jaunt for ice cream, and on some craft supplies so we can build a volcano, and on a ferry ride across the river in Savannah. Those are the memories I want my girls to have when they grow older and think back to their childhood; and we can’t make those memories while staring at a computer screen.

What are your thoughts on buying kids their own expensive technological gadgets?  Are you for or against it and why?

What do you think? What Do You Think About Expensive Tech Toys for Kids?

Kathy MurdockAuthor

Kathy Murdock works as a full time writer and web designer. Recently planted in the middle of the deep south from the busy streets of Los Angeles, when she's not coding Wordpress websites or writing about women in business and thrifty motherhood, Kathy spends time photographing alligators, playing with her family, and running. ... More

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5 comments

  1. Avatar of brenda brenda says:

    i got my 3 and 4 yo’s tablets 4 Christmas they love educational games and r always fighting over the computer i see no harm in tech toys as long as u don’t take away the outdoors and give them time limits!!

  2. Avatar of Caitlin Caitlin says:

    Should say she has had her Ipad for about a year now

  3. Avatar of Caitlin Caitlin says:

    We have an IPAD. My sister donated it to us for my daughter who has childhood apraxia of speech (she will be 3 next month and has this for about a year now). When my son turns 2 I will be buying him a refurbished one. We have educational apps on there and a few games on there for them to play. They don’t get to just sit in front of it for hours, we monitor their time and have rules for it. While we work them at home this has helped my daughter open up greatly and can sing her alphabet and count to 20. My son can count to 10 and he is 1.5yrs old. We go outside for walks, go to the park and play, we’re going to the zoo next month, we have a huge box we use as a fort, we color, we craft (somewhat, I am not a crafty mom).
    "But I know if I purchase a tech toy like this for my daughter, I will find her locked in her closet flinging enraged winged creatures through the air rather than marching Barbies around the bedroom floor with her sister, or creating a bird costume out of paper bags, scissors, and craft feathers. It will be an ongoing battle of, “When can I play my game? Why can’t I play my game? YOU NEVER LET ME PLAY MY GAME!” (Insert door slamming here.)"
    MODERATION AND RULES! At first my daughter was angry she didn’t get to play on it all the time. But we set rules and told her she could use it in moderation.Monday when I came home from work my kids were in the living room marching stuffed animals across the floor playing zoo and all excited. No sign of the Ipad in site.
    And also, it really doesn’t isolate her or any of us. She LOVES to sit with us in the evenings and show us her Super Why! game or how cool Elmo is when he sings his ABC’s and she realyl loves when we sit with her as she draws us pictures and shows us how to write the new letter she is learning to write.
    Technology is NOT bad if you use moderation and rules and raise your children right instead of assuming that they will become selfish children who don’t care about anything except there technology device and become robots of society.

  4. Avatar of mamaduke mamaduke says:

    My husband and I both work in technology, and I’m definitely "for" in the battle of whether to get the technology for our little one, provided it is milestone or age-appropriate. Thankfully, we have an old tablet and an old netbook computer lying around. When our little guy is old enough to use them (which we’ll determine eventually… not sure how yet), he’ll have age-appropriate games, as well as games that I write for him to help him learn. The benefits of having people in tech in the house is that he’ll be exposed to it probably earlier than some kids and with more of an educational twist than in mindless Bejeweled episodes (as I’m super guilty of).

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