Old fashioned can beat new fangled. БPlaying together remains the best way parents can help foster their young childrenБs development,Б said Dr. Dimitri A Christakis, who led the research. БOur findings point to a pragmatic and fun way to improve language acquisition.
Though many toy manufacturers claim their products improve childrenБs cognitive abilities, few such claims are substantiated by research. Б The new study, which is published in the current issue of the Archives of Pediatrics Adolescent Medicine, looked at 175 toddlers aged between 18 months and two and a half. Some children were sent free building blocks to play with and others were not. The ones who did receive the toys also received suggestions of how parents could use them, such as sorting by colour.
Activities were tracked in diaries and questionnaires which looked at language abilities such as vocabulary and grammar. On average, children who received blocks scored 15 percent higher in their language than those who didnБt. б One explanation for this is that playing with the blocks replaced other time that did not encourage language development, such as watching television. Dr Christakis, of the Seattle ChildrenБs Hospital Research institute and the University of Washington, is well known for his research into the negative effects of television and DVDs on childrenБs development.