Do Baby Wordsworth DVDs Help Your Baby Talk?
Although quite chatty now, our daughter wasn’t an early talker. I clearly remember the worry I felt when her doctor expressed mild concern over her lack of words. As a parent, it’s hard not to obsess over such developmental milestones, and you do what you can to help your child learn and grow.
One tool many parents turn to are educational DVDs for babies and toddlers, some of which focus on language. However, a new study suggests that such tools do not actually help young children learn new words or improve their overall language skills. The study focused on the Baby Wordsworth DVD, which is part of the Baby Einstein series.
Ninety-six children aged 12 months to 24 months participated in the study, and half watched the DVD regularly for six weeks. Parents were told to use the DVD as they would any other type of children’s media, allowing them to decide whether they would watch the DVD with their child.
Every couple of weeks, the researchers tested both groups’ knowledge of the 30 words featured in the DVD by showing the children pairs of pictures and asking them to point to the one showing the word. The parents were also interviewed about their child’s use and understanding of these words.
At the end of the study, there were no differences between the groups in overall language skills, or in the numbers of words understood, words said, or pictures identified.