Recently educational DVD’s for toddlers have come under fire. Providing more evidence that toddler educational DVD’s are not effective is a recent study which purports that watching Walt Disney’s Baby Wordsworth DVD – a part of its Baby Einstein series – does not improve the language skills of toddlers.
This latest study found that there was no significant difference in the language development of toddlers who watched the DVD and those who did not. Both groups knew the same set of twenty to thirty words with or without the DVD. The Baby Einstein company points out that it does not make any claims that their products are educational. They do state that the video content can be a “useful tool for parents and little ones to enjoy together.” But this is exactly the reasons educational videos for toddlers are being criticized.
How many parents really sit down and watch the video with their child? Many parents use the DVD’s as a media babysitter. Pediatricians recommend no videos or television viewing for the first two years of life at a minimum. Researchers are beginning to conclude that watching educational videos under the age of two actually impedes social and cognitive development. For example, the earlier in age a child started watching Baby Wordsworth, the smaller his or her vocabulary became. What is needed is quality time between toddler and parent, not focused on a video, but focused on the child and his or her environment. More time together in the three dimensional world is what is needed to foster normal development.