This product, Laugh & Learn® Puppy’s A to Z Smart Pad, is a board, about 12”X12”, it has buttons on it that have all of the letters of the alphabet on them and a picture that pertains to that letter. (1) A is an alligator, B is a bee, C is a car, etc. There is a speaker in the upper-left-hand corner where it says the letter so the child can learn how to say it and the picture associated with that letter. There is also a clock in the upper-right-hand corner where the child learns numbers and about different times of the day. On the left-hand side of the board there is a column of shapes that are all different colors. This is for the child to learn shapes and colors. When you put the orange slider over a particular shape it tells you what shape and color it is. The puppy button in the lower-right-hand corner says phrases and sings different songs for your child to hear. You can switch up the learning difficulty by switching the level on the smart stages slider. There are three stages: Level 1 – “Learn—Introduces your toddler to letters, shapes, colors, animals, objects & more!” Level 2 – “Engage—Objects & Sounds.” This option gives your child two modes to differentiate objects and learn different sounds. Level 3 – “Imagine—Plays songs about what the hands on a clock do, as well as numbers, colors & shapes too!” (1).
This toy is marketed towards kids between 1½ and 3 years old. It’s $25.00 so it is pretty reasonably priced for all of the benefits you get out of it. Some benefits that you get out of this toy: all of the different colors and lights stimulate the senses of your child making it so they come back to play with it again and again; it teaches your child about letters, time, and different objects at an early age so that they will be ready when they go into preschool; and this toy also helps your child learn eye-hand coordination with all of the different buttons they get to press. This toy is interesting to write about to me because it has so many different things that you can do with it and it’s a really good way for your child to learn about the basics and have fun while doing so.
In Bornstein, at this point in a child’s life, (1½-3 years), they now know how to (2) “imagine the whereabouts of an invisible object for the first time.” If a ball rolled under and out from under a couch they now know that they can look on the other side of the couch to get the ball back and play with it again. Children of this age group can now imitate things that they have seen or people that they interact with when that person isn’t there. They are picking up on how to do things by themselves and adapting to how other people act; this is called deferred imitation. One more thing that children learn to do at this age is how to problem solve.
The goals of the study in (3) The Development of Infant Memory are that they wanted to find if the memory of an infant is as similar to that of an adult. How they tested this was they took infants and had them do different tasks for a couple of minutes. They would have the child do the same thing a couple weeks later and see if they remembered what to do to be successful in the task again. They noticed that the longer they had the child do the task the first time the more-likely they would be to remember the task a couple weeks later. They also had different delays between the time that they did the tasks to see if that would distract the child and make it so they wouldn’t remember how to complete the task.
I think that because of this study and the findings I can say that the Laugh & Learn Puppy’s A to Z Smart Pad does support the claim of academics. The study shows us that infants can remember things almost to the same degree that an adult can. Because of this it shows me that an infant playing with this toy learns the alphabet, colors, and different objects even if they were under the age limits (1½-3 years old.) This study doesn’t really support the claim that this toy (1) “fosters eye-hand coordination with variety of buttons to press.” That doesn’t really have anything to do with memory, but I guess memory comes into play because they have to remember what button to press to have a certain sound come out of it.
Overall I think that this product is very useful for children between the ages of 1½-3 years old because it has so many different learning options. From learning the basics of colors, numbers, and the alphabet to learning different songs and allowing them to be more creative.
(1) Mattel. (2016). Laugh & Learn ® Puppy’s A to Z Smart Pad [Advertisement]. Retrieved from http://fisher-price.mattel.com/shop/en-us/fp/15067?_ga=1.97503833.738863941.1486547796
(2) Bornstein, M.H., Arterberry, M.E., & Lamb, M.E. (2014). Development in infancy: A contemporary introduction (5th) (pg. 172). New York, NY: Psychology Press
(3) Rovee-Collier, Carolyn. (1999). The Development of Infant Memory [Journal]. Retrieved from http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/1467-8721.00019