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Oregon Scientific Barbie Junior Laptop

by T Akery | September 26th, 2011 | Elementary, Helpful Hints

The Oregon Scientific Barbie Junior Laptop is a toy that appeals mainly to girls. It is pink and purple and decked out with plastic jewelry on the case. It has a convenient handle and is designed to flip open like a laptop.

While it is geared toward three years of age, it is actually more for kids who already have some capacity to read, have more than a 30-second attention span, and who will find the games interesting. In other words, a three-year-old will find this toy less interesting than a box. The reason is that the three-year-old won’t understand most of the games that are available.

The screen is very small. For the most part, it can only handle three-letter words and about ten small shapes. Apparently, the decoration was more important than the screen. But that’s not the only problem. Everything is black on grey, black type against a grey background. It will need light if you want your child to see it.

The other problem that specifically parents will have is with the music. The music is annoying. Turning it on is an assault on the ears. Nor does it shut off without saying that high-pitched message that takes way too long to say. The music can be turned off, but only after the toy has been powered up.

Sure, there are eight games on it that your child can choose from. These are number, alphabet and shape games, but the games themselves come with very little direction on how to play. This is why a child of three will quickly ditch this toy. They are also limited in the number of words. Number games tend to repeat the same numbers before moving on.

Clearly, this toy was designed more for little girls who have a fascination with princesses rather than as any real type of learning tool. It is severely limited by its small screen, black and white display, and limited games.

Don’t waste your money on purchasing this for your child. By the time they can play it, they will already have learned their numbers and letters. The price —  at about 20 dollars — is too high for such a cheap toy.

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