Verbal skills in toddlers may be slowed by electronic toy noise, such as talking, singing, and music according to a recent study. When toys talk, sing, and make sound, babies do just the opposite.
According to researchers from Northern Arizona University, “These results provide a basis for discouraging the purchase of electronic toys that are promoted as educational and are often quite expensive.” The report was published in the December 23 edition of JAMA Pediatrics.
The researchers recorded sounds in the homes of 26 pairs of parents and children aged 10 to 16 months. The objective was to monitor playtime.
Each families received three sets of toys: electronic, traditional, and board books. Electronic toys included a talking farm, a baby cellphone, and a baby laptop. The traditional toy set included a shape sorter, rubber blocks with pictures, and wooden puzzles. The board books had themes of shapes, colors, or farm animals.
Researchers found that when the children played with electronic toys, parents spoke less and did not speak as much with the children. The children were less vocal, and did not attempt to use words. Books elicited the most verbal response between the babies and parents.