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Abstract

A study was done examining the impact of toy-based television programs and program-related toys on children. One hundred and ten first- and second-grade children participated in an experiment which focused on imaginative play. The results indicated that, in general, the combination of watching a toy-based cartoon, followed by playing with a set of cartoon-related toys, produced stories that were more imitative of the immediately preceding experience, whereas watching the cartoon alone or playing with the cartoon-related toys alone led to more imaginative productions from other sources. However, for certain aspects of imagination at a more advanced cognitive level, the cartoon, especially when combined with cartoon-related toys, actually stimulated the imaginative processes of the younger children, thus serving as a learning tool at a transitional stage of cognitive development.