Fiona Macrae writes in the Daily Mail:
Parents who buy educational DVDs to give their toddlers a head start may be doing more harm than good. A study of almost 100 boys and girls aged between one and two found that regularly watching a DVD from the Baby Einstein range did nothing to boost their vocabulary.
In fact, the younger the children were when they began to watch the programmes, the worse their word power. Researchers tested the children over six weeks. Half were given a Baby Wordsworth DVD, which their parents were told to play 15 times over six weeks.
The 35-minute disc, costing around £18, is part of the Baby Einstein range – popular with parents keen to boost toddlers’ IQs before starting school. It uses puppets and people to introduce 30 words for rooms and household appliances, including ‘fridge’ and ‘phone’.
The remaining children’s parents were told to ‘go about life as normal’. Not surprisingly, older children picked up more new words than younger ones, the California University team found. However, those who watched the DVD did no better than the others, and in fact appeared to learn little or nothing, their parents told Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine…
[continues in the Daily Mail]