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Toys "R" Us Holiday Ad 2013

Is Toys "R" Us Teaching Kids to Hate Nature?

Toys "R" Us always goes big when it comes to holiday campaigns, and 2013 is no exception. This year, the mega toy store turns a Boys & Girls Club trip to the forest into a shopping spree at Toys "R" Us, where the kids receive their favorite toys. Sweet, right? Maybe not. The retailer is under fire for sending the message that toys trump Mother Nature.

Though 245 people liked the ad on Toys "R" Us's Facebook page, almost 300 users left comments of disappointment and disgust. "This ad disregards the physical and intellectual aspects nature hiking and exploration offers to children," one woman wrote. Another user critiqued the company, writing, "this ad makes me weep for the kind of values we are passing down to future generations."

Parents aren't the only ones upset by the ad. The North American Association For Environmental Education expressed its disappointment in an open letter to Toys "R" Us. In it, the NAAEE expressed its shock that the toy retailer created an ad that "values consumerism over education and connecting with the natural world," asking Toys "R" Us to reconsider running the ad.

What do you think of this Toy "R" Us ad? Weigh in on our poll and the comment section below!

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Studies compiled by the Children & Nature Network suggest that children who don't spend time outdoors may be at higher risk for attention difficulties, obesity, and physical and emotional illnesses. For many of us, our happiest memories of childhood took place outdoors. At Texas Parks & Wildlife we posted a short video response on our YouTube channel called "So You Think Nature is Boring? Game On!" We're encouraging people to share it to show kids (and their parents) why nature is actually pretty awesome.
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