What happened to kids just having basic cool shit? Wood blocks, no color. Some balls. Bikes. Action figures. Dolls. A yo-yo. None of that has anything to do with direct learning. Bang stuff around, throw it, build. Then you go to school and learn. Learn from your parents. Learn indirectly from the interaction of things around you. What happened to cool ass cartoons with stories that taught lessons through actions rather then having counting and color games, plus dead air time with funny cartoons looking back at you with extremely large eyes?
Kids figure out they are being taught, forced, then they don't care. They realize they could have had remote control cars verses the color learning truck. Then they put aside learning and beg for cool shit you never gave them.
Give your kids some basic cool shit, be a good parent, and then they might care about direct learning in school. In 10 years they aren't going to accredit their intelligence to a jump start they got with that alphabet bear you gave them in place of reading with them.
You know who likely had some cool toys when they were a kid? Einstein ... from Wikipedia:
His father once showed him a pocket compass; Einstein realized that there must be something causing the needle to move, despite the apparent "empty space".A damn compass! I bet his dad never explained why and how it worked to him. This is what I am talking about.