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11 March 2011

Baby media not good for learning

Parents who want to provide their babies a learning advantage these days often turn to what's been nicknamed "baby media" - videos specifically designed to stimulate very young minds.

Parents who want to provide their babies a learning advantage these days often turn to what's been nicknamed "baby media" - videos specifically designed to stimulate very young minds.

"I don't think we've seen anything to suggest that kids younger than 18 months, even with parents' support, will learn anything from a DVD," said Rebekah A. Richert, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside.

  • Pre-watch a video to make sure it goes at a slow, deliberate, "Mr. Rogers"-type pace. Children learn best at that pace, and less so with what he called "Warner Brothers"-style pacing.
  • Watch the video with their baby, talking throughout it like a colour commentator would do for a sports event and drawing connections between ideas in the video and objects around them in the home.
  • Turn off the television when the video is done and let their baby play a while, possibly engaging in activities related to the video. "If they're watching a video showing them how to construct something or feed a bird, then go out and do it in real life," he suggested.

 
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