One thing I’ve noticed as my 10 month old is growing is just how obnoxious his toys can be. Of course, I’m not saying the toys themselves have their own pesky attitude (That would be silly, wouldn’t it?). However, the voices recorded for the children are some of the most irritating and obnoxious sounds to have ever reached my ear canal (and I review music full-time, so you can imagine just how bad these toys can be).
The most common offender is a woman’s voice on various singing or talking plastic “books” that consist of just a couple pages and are made to be durable. They exist in this universe because, unfortunately, children love them. Granted, the discernment of little ones is very weak at such a young age, but the patronizing tone and elated sounds of these voices capture the hearts of babies everywhere (As I type this, I hear a painful rendition of “The Farmer int he Dell” playing in the background. Save me, please).
But while children love these toys, there’s something about a flighty-sounding woman blissfully exclaiming “Let’s sing a song!” or “Let’s have fun!” and breaking into a chorus of “The Cow Jumped Over The Moon” that boils my blood. Perhaps there’s a time and place for these things, but for me, the time isn’t “any time” and the place certainly isn’t ever “here.”
If you’re actually still reading my tirade, I have some positive words for you.
I was shopping in Target one day when I came across the pleasant face of a stuffed green dog (yes… I just used “green” to describe a “dog”). Made by the brand LeapFrog, this puffy plush little pooch is programmable. He comes with a box in his velcro-enclosed back that allows you to connect this little dude to your computer. There, you can program Scout to know your child’s name and repeat it for them, to use their name in a song, and to customize it to sing songs about your child’s favorite food, color and animal. What’s more, you can choose from quite a few different jingles — from upbeat party type children songs to Christmas songs and even the birthday song. I actually loaded this puppy up with four lullabies and you can program it to play up to 10 minutes straight of bedtime tunes for your little one.
Best of all? His voice. His voice is that of a real little boy… not some woman who sounds like she sniffed a mess of Sharpies before recording her songs. While I only know Scout, I did see that there’s a purple pooch for girls called Violet. In addition to the main Scout and Violet plushes, there appear to be some additional themed LeapFrog toys for these two. While I haven’t checked them out yet, you can bet I will.
So if you’re like me and can’t stand the more whimsical toys, perhaps Scout or Violet may be of service to you and your child.