The best educational toy for toddlers

Disney is offering exchanges for books and CDs for people who bought Baby Einstein DVDs from June 5, 2004 and September 4, 2009 as educational aids.  Because they aren't educational at all - and studies show that children under 2 who watch DVDs (any DVDs) have a smaller vocabulary than their peers. I remember when these were "all the rage".  Besides the fact that the music and the imagery made me a bit batty, I found research where the logic was so rational and obvious that I was sure these were not good for kids.

If you want details on the rationale for the Disney guarantee, Thingamababy has a great write up.  

When my eldest was born, I became a voracious reader on the development of children's brains - particularly boy brains since I didn't have brothers, male cousins or any other exposure to little boys growing up - except in school where we each had sufficient cooties to stay separated.  Check out Our Resources for my brief reading list.  

What I learned was that any sort of electronic play - DVDs, games, read to me books - create too narrow a range of responses. In effect, they are thwarting creativity and imaginary play.  So the very best toy, according to What's Going on in There, are wood blocks.  Classic, quiet and endless fun.