Do the Little Einstein products and other things marketed to make your child smarter than everyone elses really work?
We are living in a society of the Lake Wobegon effect. Everyone is gifted, everyone is talented. In reality we have for years created the most creative people in the world over the past 50 - 100 years. Part of what builds creativity is non-standardization. Yet what do we try to do, package things, more hours in school, less recess, more tests, etc. Parents are having fewer children and a by-product becomes that they feel more pressure to get it right. Keeping up with the Jones was all about material things and now it is about kids competing. I had a parent ask me if his two year old would be at the top of his class so he could go to Harvard for graduate school.
So do the products help? They impact, but they impact the parents far more than they impact the child. The parent is laying the groundwork for what they value and on what the interactions with their child will be based on. Time would be better spent playing with your child and providing a broad range of experiences. Turn off the TV and play games. Turn of the DVD/VCR and go for a walk, visit a museum, have a picnic. Walk away from the computer and go out for ice cream sundaes.