A group of us were looking at new early childhood product possibilities recently and we saw this large, colorful slinky. Everyone was so excited and thought it was so cool. A product developer said, "Yes, everyone thinks it is great. But what do you do with it?" That became the big question. They gave me the slinky to try out with my grandchildren to see if we could think of activities to do with the slinky. This was a difficult assignment. Because the slinky is prone to knot and bend and really was too big to do the token 'walking down the stairs.' We did have fun shaking it up and down like a parachute, but beyond that there wasn't much to do with it. I certainly realized I couldn't write an activity guide to accompany the slinky. It was a lesson learned about how sometimes things are cute and attractive, but not very useful in building skills. I see early childhood products like that occasionally. Sometimes they're just a slinky.


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