Electronic toys are often viewed as educational and fun. But a new research says they actually could impede language development in kids.
The reason? It simple. Since electronic toys can attract and hold the attention of kids longer, kids and their parents talk less to each other.
Research shows that even if electronic toys have a voice feature and can talk, they do little to help language development. Actually, they can even impede it, TreeHugger reports.
Psychology Today has a deeper analysis what happens. The study was published earlier in JAMA Pediatrics. It showed that when children play with electronic toys, they make fewer sounds than when they play with traditional toys.
The same happened when parents also joined the play time. When they were playing with the electronic toys, it was if the kids were letting the toys to speak for them. This lead to fewer parent interactions, shorter conversations and fewer words.
“There is no research showing that children learn language from electronic toys. Electronic playthings are simply not sophisticated enough to have the back and forth social interactions that build phonemic awareness and, ultimately, words. A baby needs feedback and reinforcement delivered with smiles, giggles, touch, and words. The language centers in a baby’s brain thrive on real-person interaction”, Psychology Today notes.
Still, there’s nothing wrong with letting your kid play with an electronic toy. It just should be done in moderation. Less play time with electronics and more play time with traditional toys, stuffed animals included, would be just fine.
Of course, nothing beats the true parent-child play time. Spend as much time with your kids as you can. Engage in creative play with various toys and communicate. This would bring you the best from both worlds. And it will help you create a deep and strong bond with your child.