Fancy a Talking Barbie?

~ Posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 10:00 AM ~

** Disclaimer: For those of you who do not have a positive perception on young children playing with Barbie dolls, you may skip this post of mine. I just had to write this out first as there are some of you who believes that playing with Barbie dolls will make children think that being thin, or big breasted or wearing makeup etc etc is the norm. FYI, when I had my Barbie doll, those thoughts never ever crossed my mind. Not even to this day. So with the same belief, I continued on this tradition with our girls and hope that they will have beautiful memories playing with these dolls just like me.

A couple of months ago, I wrote a post on my Barbie doll makeover project where I bought 2 preloved Barbie dolls and did some makeover jobs on them before giving them to our 3 years old girl for her Christmas presents.

Anyway, I came across this article yesterday and as it is about Barbie, I just have to share this with you guys. It is about a Barbie doll that will be able to have 2-way conversations with your child. Oh wow...

"Toy maker Mattel is partnering with US start-up ToyTalk to develop Hello Barbie, which will have two-way conversations with children. The Barbie will use a speech-recognition platform developed by ToyTalk. A prototype of the doll was at the New York Toy Fair on 14 February, where a glut of smart toys were on display."

Hello Barbie

"The Hello Barbie will be able to play interactive games and tell stories and jokes. It will also listen to the child's conversation and adapt to it over time - so, for instance, if a child mentions that they like to dance, the doll may refer to this in a future chat. The doll requires a wi-fi connection and can provide an hour's worth of playtime when fully charged. A microphone, speaker and two tricolour LEDs will be embedded in the doll's necklace, while rechargeable batteries in its legs can be connected to an external wall-mounted charger."

Interesting... I know with this age and time, toy makers have to catch up with the modern technology and all, but what happened to pretend play?

I seriously feel that pretend play is more important than all this fancy smancy technology. A good toy is one that allows your child to imagine and think up situations and scenarios and cultured their creativity as they play along.

And after reading many articles on how bad intentioned people hacked into gadgets and devices (such as baby monitors) to stalk and scare children, I am concerned whether this new Barbie doll might be affected or targeted as well.

If you have some time to spare, do read up on the following articles:

  • "Young children learn by imagining and doing. Your child is using an object to represent something else while giving it action and motion. But this pretend play is not as simple as it may seem. The process of pretending builds skills in many essential developmental areas. ~ The Importance of Pretend Play"
  • "We often use the terms pretend play or make-believe play (the acting out of stories which involve multiple perspectives and the playful manipulation of ideas and emotions), that reflect a critical feature of the child’s cognitive and social development. Over the last seventy-five years a number of theorists and researchers have identified the values of such imaginative play as a vital component to the normal development of a child. ~ The Need for Pretend Play in Child Development"
  • "Engaging in pretend play (also called symbolic play, imaginative play, dramatic play, or good old make-believe) means your toddler understands that she can choose one object (the block) to represent another (a camera just like Mommy’s). That’s a big concept, and a valuable one. Just think: Numbers and letters work the same way, with unique squiggles and shapes standing in for concepts of number and language. ~ Toddler Pretend Play: Tips for Boosting Your Child's Imagination"


What are your thoughts on this?

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