Lately I've been doing a research on what to give to my daughter who will be turning 3 in August because I want to give her something that she'll really enjoy and be engaged in. Not just another toy for our huge collection.
I came accross this learning system called the "MobiGo" by VTech, it just came out and it's recommended for kids ages 3-7. Most of these learning systems are recommended to kids at least 4 years-old, so I was happy this one wasn't. You can also buy different cartriges with her favorite characters and she plays while she learns phonics, numbers, math, etc. Kinda like a Nintendo DS, but aimed for smaller children. It is also touchscreen but it has a slide-out keyboard which is also kinda cool.
I wish I knew other parents that have bought this for their children to see what they think. Knowing my daughter though, I think she would play with it in the beginning but if she doesn't get it she's only going to pretend play; like she's typing on a computer or something. So I don't think it would be a problem for us.
Now speaking of learning systems, I've also found all kinds of products, like reading systems (a pen that actually "reads" to your child and supposedly brings the story to life), and even an animated reading system in which you put the book inside the system (of course it needs to be a special "cartrige" book) and it turns into a virtual book, you see the story on a screen, flip the pages with a touch of a button, there's music, games, you can touch each word and it will say the word, touch the pictures and they'll come to life, etc.
What the heck?! This seems really cool actually, but is it taking away from the child the experience of actually reading a real book? Are parents too busy nowadays, that they can't read to their children? Is it taking away the child's chance to imagine?
Would this actually take place of real books or be just like any other electronic toy they have, but better since it helps your child learn? Would they be even more interested in books because of the fact that they can remove the book from the learning system and actually flip through the pages and put it back in and see it come to life as if it were something magical?
As you can see, I'm really torn and I can't decide what I really think about these learning systems. I need advice- Even if you're not a mom, even if your kids don't own these, whatever! Just share your opinion and I'd be grateful!
On another note, what do you think would be a great gift for a 3 year-old girl? ;)