TOADY 2014: The Case for the LeapBand

Each year, the Toy Industry Association gathers to present its TOTY (Toy Of The Year) Awards. In honor of the industry that has led the way in commercializing childhood, CCFC will present its TOADY (Toys Oppressive And Destructive to Young Children) Award for the Worst Toy of the Year. From thousands of toys that promote precocious sexuality to children and push branded and screen-based entertainment at the expense of children’s play, CCFC has selected five exceptional finalists. Our next nominee is:

LeapBand by LeapFrog

Wearable screens are all the rage. Shouldn’t your little one have one too? The LeapFrog LeapBand, the first fitness tracker for kids, is an ingenious solution to the vexing problem of preschool sloth—far better than turning off the TV and telling your kid to go play. With the LeapBand, she’ll get a virtual pet personal trainer, who encourages her to exercise . . . and rewards her with video games if she does. Which means she’ll need to exercise more. Which means she’ll get more video games. Circle of life.

TOADY 2014 voters make their case for the LeapBand:

"It is making something natural and exciting like PLAY for a young child into something abstract and driven from the outside i.e. the leap band. Then it "rewards" the child with a video game. There are So many things about that picture that get me feeling toady." - Bonnie Bolz

"I chose the LeapBand by LeapFrog (a company with a history of misleading parents with their "educational" products designed to boost their children's intelligiences). I chose it because fitness bands are very popular with adults these days, and this poorly conceived "toy" capitalizes on this trend." - Anne Deysher

"Exercise should be fun not something that you have to be rewarded to do. The rewards are health, well being and Fun among many others." - Erica Newcomb

"I think young children already have enough exposure to digital screens, and don't need to have one attached to their arms." - Pat Williams

"They're at the age where they'll move and groove if you could just find the time to take them outside! And being physically active is a glorious thing on its own. Don't teach them that it's an onerous task that need to be made up for with a video game." - Marina Garland 

"This defies efforts to give children at least some time away from screens. The other pernicious aspect is that the "rewards" are video games, which are in no way consistent with the stated goal of encouraging exercise." - Linda Soukup 

" teaches children that exercise isn't fun, but rather a chore that you need to be rewarded for. It's also a perfect example of the trend of making children's versions of adult technology devices (whether or not they are appropriate for children.)" - Jennifer Brown 

"A preschooler should not be consumed with monitoring their physical activity, nor should they begin to think of it as a chore for which they deserve a sedentary reward." - Ashley Pascual

"Anyone who thinks a preschooler needs a screen to tell him to run around has clearly never met a preschooler before!" - Annie Silk 

If you have yet to make your pick for the 2014 TOADY award, you have until Sunday, December 7th to do so! Click Here to cast your vote!