Touchscreen devices top toys for tots

This LeapFrog device is a child-oriented touchscreen toy My boyfriend’s two-year-old niece owns an iPhone. Me? I use an old Blackberry Curve with a broken track pad for my smartphone needs.

It’s pretty sad that a toddler has a phone that cost three times my mobile device, at least to me. It also makes buying birthday presents rather difficult. What child wants a plastic Fisher Price telephone when she already has an Apple gadget at her fingertips?

But while most tykes might not have ownership over their own touchscreen devices, many use iPhones and similar devices on a daily basis. It’s been recently identified as the most common “toy” for kids ages 12 and under in a survey of 350 parents.

Conducted by research firm The Michael Cohen Group, the survey found 68 percent of parents consider touchscreen devices to be toys, either some or all of the time. Smartphones and tablets have outpaced dolls and action figures as the leading object of playtime by nearly 10 percent.

Courtesy PRNewsFoto/The Michael Cohen Group For those who are well aware of the negative effects of TV viewing and video gaming, the findings may sound alarming. But as far as usage goes, touchscreen devices were utilized mainly for educational purposes by 53 percent of child users, with music and free play close behind at 50 percent and 49 percent, respectively.

(Photo courtesy CNW Group/LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc.)