A lot of people are saying all these educational toys are cop-outs and such... honestly, yes, I think if your child is sitting there all day in front of educational toys without any parental interaction, then that would be a cop out... but for all parents that I know, there is some point in the day when they need to get something done. So your kids can't be outside playing (depending on ages) by themselves.. so most likely they will be playing with a toy, right? Why not let it be something educational?
Laundry, dinner, and cleaning doesn't get done by itself.. so while I am folding clothes, I love sitting my baby down with a toy, or put her in her activity station. I think it is good for her, and it's the only way I'll ever get things done. I would much rather her be playing with a toy that talks about colors or shapes or sings the alphabet, than just some toy that lights up.. That's just my opinion and how we do things in my household.
What do you let your kids do when you're needing to do the laundry or wash dishes or cook dinner? How old are the kids?