Study suggests traditional toys may be better for language development

The New York Times (12/24, Belluck) reported in its “Well” blog reports that a study published in JAMA Pediatrics “found that when babies and parents played with electronic toys that were specifically advertised as language-promoters, parents spoke less and responded less to baby babbling than when they played with traditional toys like blocks or read board books.” The study also found that babies vocalized less when playing with electronic toys. The Times explained that parents said about 40 words per minute when electronic toys were being used “compared with 56 words per minute for traditional toys and 67 words per minute with books.” The Times pointed out that the study involved on 26 white, educated families and that “researchers say the results might be different with a larger and more diverse group.”