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Winnie the pooh and the talking ball, too

By Staff
Leada Gore, Editor
I read a study recently that suggested instead of purchasing video games and musical toys for our children, we should instead choose items that foster their creativity. Trade in that PlayStaton for a box of crayons, it suggested.
Sounds logical. We want children to be more creative, less dependent of being entertained and able to find ways to enjoy themselves without the constant bells and whistles.
We made an effort to purchase simple toys for Sutton at Christmas. We bought a set of blocks, a puzzle and some ordinary books. She liked them all OK, but only if she could chew on them. What she really liked were the round electronic ball she received from her aunt and uncle. It plays music and makes animal sounds.
She loves it and Greg and I have grown accustomed to its songs (Catch me if you can!” it says) and phrases (Find the cow!). After a while, the talking ball became just another bit of background noise.
Then, Sutton received a plastic book that talks. It’s Winnie the Pooh and makes all sort of sounds (Pooh love honey! Roo is small and Kanga is tall!)
Over and over. And over again.
Then, we discovered the book can play music. Spontaneously, it will burst into song, “A funny, sunny story book is such a wonderful place to look…”
Over and over. And over again.
My first thought was to take the batteries out of the book. One look at Sutton’s face changed that idea, however. She loves to listen to the music and will clap her hands with its songs. On the list of Sutton’s top 10 favorite songs, Winnie and friends hold all 10 places. It’s her version of a platinum album, so we hear it all the time.
Soon, “A funny, sunny storybook…” was playing in my head when I closed my eyes to go to sleep. I find myself humming it all the time. I even find myself referring to a “rumbly tummy” just like Pooh does in the book.
One day last week, we were rushing around getting ready for work. Sutton was playing with, you guessed it, her talking ball and the Pooh book. She had them both going at the same time and the music was a cacophony of kiddie sounds.
I looked at Greg and told him about the study referenced earlier.
Maybe so. Or maybe she just needs a nice, quiet crayon.

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