(Mirror Daily, United States) – In spite of their promotional tagline, it appears that noisy toys might harm your child’s verbal skills more than help them, according to a new study. Now that the gift-giving is over, or still ongoing for some, researchers have placed in more time for the purpose of analyzing children’s toys.
This is around the time of the year where parents scramble for something beautiful, fun, and educational for their kid. Electronic toys that make noises, talk or sing, have been said to aid in the development of language skills. They perhaps provide a sort of inspiration to mimic. However, researchers from Northern Arizona University believe them to have exactly the opposite effect.
The team of researchers conducted a study on 26 parents and their young children between the ages of 10 and 16 months. Each were given three sets of toys: one electronic that made noises, one traditional with colorful building blocks, and books. All were then assessed to properly understand parent-child interactions, along with the added effects of toys.
Their results showed that electronic toys, ranging from baby cellphones, talking robots, or several others hampered the children’s verbal skills, and limited interaction. Reportedly, the kids were less likely to talk while they played with them, be it indiscernible cute little babbles or any sort of noise. Furthermore, parent-child interactions were also much more limited in the presence of electronic toys.
On the other hand, traditional toys and books both encouraged parents to engage in more conversations with their children. This adds better quality to their developing skills. More verbal exchanges essentially lay the groundwork for literacy. They teach children role-playing, social skills such as turn-talking, accepting another’s lead, and offer parents a look into their development stage.
Electronic toys, on the other hand, hamper all of it. Children are less likely to talk around them, parents less likely to interact, and it captivates their attention. It forces their concentration on just admiring the visual or auditory stimuli instead of engaging in it themselves. This limits their skills and possibly slows down their development even though they’re fun.
Books have, thus, been deemed as the best toy to encourage language skills. The rich vocabulary, ongoing conversation, and parent-child interaction aids in a proper development of verbal skills along with many others. It promotes high-quality communication. However, if they’re not available, traditional toys will be better.
They’re likely more boring, but colorful building blocks or puzzles have shown to be much more beneficial for the child at such an early stage. In conclusion, the whizzing, buzzing, singing, and talking electronic toys look like a lot of fun. However, they might be preventing children from interacting with the world around them.
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