Christian Fehr u0815777
There are many ways in which infants and children learn, both from their attachment figures and their environment. One of the most important ways in which children learn, especially in today’s age, is through interaction with toys. The Fischer Price Bright Beats toy is an interactive toy for infants, meant to help them develop in a fast and fun way through multiple sources of stimulation. The toy features different figures, and a learning dance mat which lights up and plays music for your baby to get them happy and excited. The toy also features a light bar that has many different touch displays, including numbers and colors for your child to touch and interact with. Along with being very visually stimulating, the bright beats also claim that having sung songs and voice interactions included into the toy helps with the child’s learning (colors, numbers, alphabet) and overall experience with the toy.
After looking at an Ad and the website for this product, I found what this products benefits are for children and their families. There are three main areas in which the bright beats toy is meant to help your child. The first is cognitively, saying that the energizing music helps introduce the youngsters by dancing along while learning letters, colors and more. The second benefit that is promoted is physical, ensuring that the bright beats toy helps build motor skills and coordination by clapping and moving around/dancing with the toy. The third benefit is social, stating that the music along with the various visual and auditory stimulations helps produce a fun and mood-lifting environment for both the child and their caregivers. Research shows that interactive learning is the most effective for children at this age. Many toys targeted at this age group will be simple, yet extravagant by design to stimulate the child. The bright beats toy provides an abundance of this through song, dance, interactive touch, and auditory responses. The different methods of information processing for the infant is thought to enrich their level of learning and boost their cognitive and physical ability.
The product’s website, while simplified, highlight how some of these mechanisms are used in the toy and how the child benefits. I agree with the claim that the product helps the child cognitively and physically, but not socially. Like many toys today, the bright beats can be used handily without a caregiver’s help or presence. While this may help promote problem solving and independence for the infant, it does not promote any interaction with a caregiver or an attachment figure. We know this attachment is crucial for the infant as it develops throughout their life, and we also know that play is a crucial way in which infants learn through their environment.
Children learn though play and their experiences as they progress through their lives. Early learning experiences can be enhanced by toys and a rich environment. These experiences as we know are crucial for development, and toy companies are trying to promote this development in their products. The bright beats is a good example of a toy that is designed with the child in mind, with simple yet engaging features with different aspects of development targeted. Whether the product reflects what they are trying to achieve developmentally is another story, but the idea that toy companies are open about what their toy is meant for is a good thing. As we discover more about how infants learn and develop, toys companies should continue to integrate new information into how they develop their products.
Using toys to Support Infant-Toddler Learning and Development., Guyton, Gabriel. Young Children, September 2011
Development in Infancy, Borstein, Arterberry, Lamb, 5th edition, Chapters 7,8