In my searching on the internet, I recently came upon an article surrounding the recent recall of Baby Einstein videos by Disney. The core of the case of against the video series relies on two real cornerstones: they don’t actually teach babies anything, and they foster social problems in children.
I’ll spare you a boring summary of the article, but this serves to elaborate on our discussion about the essential nature of play. Play provides a “dress rehearsal” for real life and the social situations it entails. Plunking a kid in front of a TV for hours a day, especially at a young age, deprives them of this necessary “social tuning” and has potential to result in severe social retardation. Video’s and games may be educational, but they will never be a substitute for human interaction. So, not only was baby Einstein useless, but it may have been damaging to the tens of thousands of kids forced to watch it.