There are quite a few types of talking stuffed animals. Some have simple voice boxes that use several prerecored phrases that they repeat. Others can also sing and move while they speak. There is also a category of stuffies that can repeat what you say to them.
Now there is a new category of talking stuffed animals forming. Ones that can be connected wirelessly to a smartphone and a special app. This way they can tell stories, reply to questions, give feedback during a quiz on the app and so on. All of this sounds pretty fun, but it also raises the question are talking stuffed animals good for children?
Isn’t all of this interactivity creating a risk that the children will develop too much of an attachment with the toys and refuse to speak or connect with others? Or maybe it will hinder their overall development? And some feel that it is a violation of childrens’ privacy to have a toy that can listen to their conversations and use them with an app and the internet to find appropriate answers.
“Kids using ‘Hello Barbie’ aren’t only talking to a doll, they are talking directly to a toy conglomerate whose only interest in them is financial. It’s creepy — and creates a host of dangers for children and families.” Susan Linn, Commercial-Free Childhood organization director, says in a statement, Yahoo reported.
Linn feels like there is much about the toys that companies don’t realize. “Children confide in their dolls,” she told The Washington Post. “When children have conversations with dolls and stuffed animals, they’re playing with, they reveal a lot about themselves.”
On the other hand some are saying that this can actually be beneficial. It is a widely used tactic to get close to troubled children. They often tend to reveal more about what troubles them to a stuffed animal which they feel comfortable with. This allows the parents or specialists to find out more about the issue and provide better care.
So there is definately both a good reason to get your children talking stuffed animals and a little bit of concern if their deepest secrets can be transmitted over the internet. Companies are saying their cloud services are very secure and there is no reason to worry as noone will listen. But in the end it all depends on the given child. Some will respond well to talking stuffed animals while others won’t be all that interested.