The hubs and I were watching some Sunday afternoon tv and a commercial for this came on. It really just made me sick to my stomach cause I know there are parents out there that see that and feel like they need to provide something like that for your children. The commercial was pointing out how this toy helped with socialization, developement and imagination.
Children value the time spent with them far more than any gifts they are given, you could probably have more fun with them if you played a game in the sprinkler. Toys like these suck your imagination out of your body so quick its not even funny. How can you learn to imagine far off lands, silly languages, or just spend the afternoon as a pirate on a "treasure hunt" if you believe you need to have huge expensive props to fuel your imagination. You DO NOT NEED TO TURN YOUR BACKYARD INTO A MINI SIX FLAGS FOR YOUR KIDS TO HAVE FUN. I HATE when advertisements equate loving your children, mates, friends with buying things for them; how sad for those who believe this lie. No wonder why people are having thier homes forclosed left and right; there is a false sense of need in our culture. I'm learning and becoming such an advocate for being content with what I have, I just pray that our culture learns this lesson before a whole generation of children loses their imagination.
If you're stuck for idea's on what to do to spend time with your children just start playing with them, like get down on the ground. For birthdays and holidays give your kids toys that foster imagination; toy blocks, sidewalk chalk, lacing beads, ribbons, shiny bits and fabric are great starters. These could be purchased at thrift stores, yard sales, etc. Take time to turn off the tv and just play, let your children lead once they realize that you are investing time to play with them they will help you retrieve the imagination that might have taken a break in adulthood. Play catch, shoot hoops, ride bikes, play soccer, climb trees, plant gardens, turn the hose on each other, color your sidewalk, play hopscotch, read, play I spy, take a nature walk, make food from scratch and let them help; just be there with your children. That is the best gift you can give them.
Dude it also looks really hard to clean and reminds me of the Playboy Grotto; do you really want your kids playing in a mini version of the Playboy Grotto?