Learning toys that fail
Not all teaching toys pan out: Some are boring; others fail to make a point. But these dangerously failing toys cross the line from "educational" to "injurious."
By Hank Pellissier
Failing toy: Wooden animal drum
What it's supposed to teach: Music and percussive rhythm
Why it fails: This $7 hexagonal horror from China depicts idiotically grinning creatures on its six vertical sides. Yes, the paint color is nice and bright, but the pigment chemicals are foolishly toxic: They have illegal amounts of lead. Tykes licking the pink butterfly – in search of a multisensory learning experience — would slobber an excess of the poisonous 82nd element into their innocent systems. Licking lead leads to brain-stunting, learning disabilities, behavior disorders, teen violence, elderly mental dysfunction, and numerous other neurological and anatomical atrocities. You may’ve been inspired to buy this toy after reading the Swedish study "Drummers more intelligent." Alas, musicians beating this drum might have had their music muffled if they slurped lead between boom sha-ka booms.
Advice: Return this mentally-crippling musical monstrosity immediately to Cost Plus World Market, and spend the refund bucks on supplements of vitamin C , zinc, iron, or calcium, which can potentially counteract lead effects.