Smart Toys: What are they? Should you get one for your child this Christmas?

You might be surprised to hear that not every tech entrepreneur is focusing their efforts on going to Mars.
Some are actually focusing on making learning more interactive and fun for future generations.

This is what the purpose of Smart Toys is. What are Smart Toys? These are toys that use A.I. to adjust to the experience of the player: they can ‘speak’ with the user, have interactive features, and personalize learning lessons. Imagine the traditional train toy. Now imagine it being accompanied by an application that teaches children how to create simple algorithms that can make the train make sounds, go faster, stop/start and change colours. You don’t need to imagine this, it already exists.

Smart toys are creating a “wonderful bridge” between traditional play and play that is focused on preparing children for a better future and for the jobs of tomorrow, says this episode of the Radio Davos podcast. “Traditional toys are the same for 2 year olds and 6 year olds. Smart toys will change that.”

Now you might be thinking: this sounds a lot like online education. How can smart toys keep a child’s attention?

Smart toys take into account the balance between exciting learning and frustrating learning: based on how the child interacts with the toy, they either make tasks slightly easier or slightly harder. So playing with smart toys will not feel like work for your children. It has also kept the exciting aspect of ‘unexpected rewards’ that can keep children interested in making more discoveries!

“Anything I should be worried about?” Worried, no. But here are some things you should consider:

  • Selection: be mindful of what smart toys you select for your child. Make sure that there’s an educational experience attached. Some toys capture attention, but not in a productive way (if you are a TikTok user, we are sure you know what we mean!).
  • Be engaged with them: Children want you to be part of their play. Not only is it important for their normal psychological development, but it teaches them fundamental skills of collaboration, communication and, last but not least, teaches them how to ask for help!

So, the next time you’re busy with work or cooking or with friends, don’t leave your child in front of the TV or give them a tablet to play with. Get them a smart toy!

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