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About Young Explorers:
I know I am going to apologize more than once here. I don't feel sorry when children have a toy or an electronic item that I feel/know can educate them (while compelling them) when it's either worth the money or has a technological-advanced bent. However, when a company tries to sell items that are unoriginal and not innovative, but their marketing strategy tries to bilk parents and/or other potential buyers by portraying the "educational toy" as something more than a bunch of plastic pieces-that is something worth complaining about. The "pretend and play" doctor kit on the YoungExplorers.com website is just one of the many examples I can point toward.
Yes, that particular item is an Oppenheimer Gold Award winner. Awards carry a lot of weight. As a consumer and as an educator by profession, I find this item ridiculous, for lack of choice words. At the suggested price, first of all, it doesn't even include batteries to simulate a heartbeat on the stethoscope. What about selling a low-end version of a real stethoscope? Why is the child taking a bear's pulse? If we are going to simulate a real-life situation, why not use humans? Why not market the product for two children to interact? I realize children are often alone learning, but how about encouraging interaction?
I'm also unnerved by the "gifts for girls" section on the YoungExplorers.com website. Way to categorize and stereotype genders. I wouldn't recommend this site to anyone cares who about progressive thinking or values their dollar.
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