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Do Babies Really Need an iPhone Accessory? Fisher Price Says ‘Yes

Apptivity Case

Why wouldn't Fisher Price come out with a play iPhone instead of a case for a real one?

I’ve made no secret or been unashamed of my unbridled enthusiasm over the new iPhone. It’s been a long time coming for me, and when it arrived in the mail earlier this month I acted like I had just given birth for the third time (which is how I justified blowing off the two children I had actually birthed to favor and care exclusively for my new newborn — sweetly named 4S — for half a day).

I get that I’m not the only one on the iPhone 4S bandwagon, and riding the smart phone wave in general. When done correctly, iPhones and their ilk make lives easier and more fun. In just a little over a week I’ve downloaded enough apps to keep me entertained, oriented and organized for seemingly the rest of my days.

I’ve also downloaded some apps for my 3-year-old daughter to keep her amused when necessary. But just because I might occasionally turn over my iPhone for her enjoyment, it doesn’t mean she’ll ever have it long enough that an iPhone accessory for her benefit is justified.

Meet Fisher Price’s new Apptivity Case.

Just because my iPhone has games does not make it a toy. Touching a fingertip on the screen is one thing; allowing an accident-prone baby or toddler to rattle and shake a $200+ device is quite another.

But that’s precisely what Fisher Price says the Apptivity Case — which has rattle beads and chunky handles — is good for. They also say it can help refine eye-hand coordination and improve motor skills. Little ones can also practice calling the pretend police with it.

Here’s the thing — aren’t there apps for that? Why does the toy have to include the actual iPhone? Can’t Fisher Price simply create an app for the benefit of those six months and older (the recommended age for the Apptivity Case)? Or can’t they create a pretend smart phone? We have a bucket of toy cell phones in our house, why not add a brightly colored, plastic, fake iPhone to the mix? That, I’d buy.

Now that my older daughter knows there are games on my iPhone I have to be extra vigilant in keeping it from her grubby little hands at all times. Buying a toy that encourages her to physically play with the device and not just on it is not something I would ever, ever do.

Do you think the Apptivity toy is bizarre, or is your curiosity piqued?

Image: Fisher Price

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