More children are ditching their board games and barbies for digital screens with apps on an iPad, video games or TV.
The toy industry has been trying to keep up by merging tech and toys with a Siri-like Barbie that talks back in the works and hybrid consoles such as Activision’s Skylander and Lego Dimensions that merge video games with hands on toys that interact on screen.
More children plugging in for play have raised concerns for parents, pediatricians and psychologists alike. The Association of Pediatrics recommends parents make a media use plan with rules limiting use of all screens at home including tablets, television and phones.
Disney’s latest interactive toy, Playmation, may have a solution. It includes wearable technology where children are guided by a narrator on missions where they can role play, run and jump indoors or outside. The only screen connection involves using an app for more missions and to track scores. It’s release is set for the fall and is priced at $120.
If you're a parent, how do you regulate screen time for your kids? How is it helping or harming children's development? How else can toys keep up with tech-connected kids?
Christopher Byrne, content director at TTPM (Toys, Tots, Pets and More), a toy review publication, and author of "Toy Time!: From Hula Hoops to He-Man to Hungry, Hungry Hippos: A Look Back at the Most-Beloved Toys of Decades Past" (Three Rivers Press, 2013)
Catherine Steiner-Adair, Ed. D, Clinical psychologist and author of "The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age" (HarperCollins, 2013)