The New York Times:
Baby laptops, baby cellphones, talking farms — these are the whirring, whiz-bang toys of the moment, many of them marketed as tools to encourage babies’ language skills.
But in the midst of the holiday season, a new study raises questions about whether such electronic playthings make it less likely that babies will engage in the verbal give-and-take with their parents that is so crucial to cognitive development.
“When you put the gadgets and gizmos in, the parents stop talking,” said Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, a professor of psychology at Temple University who was not involved in the new study, but who has found similar effects with e-books and electronic shape-sorters. “What you get is more behavioral regulation stuff, like ‘don’t touch that’ or ‘do this,’ or nothing because the books and toys take it over for you.”
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