Public Service Announcement: Trouble in Toyland

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Who will think of the children?”quoth Maude Flanders. Around this time of year, it’s the no-fun folks at the Missouri Public Interest Research Group, who on Tuesday called a press conference to warn holiday shoppers about dangerous toys. But isn’t a dangerous toy just an educational opportunity in a bite-size bit?

Here, then, are the three of the year’s most educational toys and the three lessons they teach.

Toy: Real Wood Shape Sorter Barn
Lesson: Choking is scary

Anyone with kids knows the lengths precocious little ones will go to find something to chew on (hello, litter box). But taste is so fleeting; fear makes lessons stick. Enter the Real Wood Shape Sorter Barn.

Some of the wooden numbers (see picture below) are small enough to fit through the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s choke tube — a toilet paper tube is a good at-home approximation — which means they will lodge nice and tightly in the windpipe of a 0-6-year-old. Kids will never take air for granted again.

To maximize educational effect, give the “choking is scary” lesson up to a minute to sink in.

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