Toys vs. Screens: Finding the Right Balance for Your Baby's Brain

Baby IQ Boosters

Baby IQ Boosters

· 5 min read
A baby playing with toys instead of screen

As parents, we all want what's best for our children, including their cognitive development. In today's world, screens and digital devices have become a ubiquitous part of our lives. But with concerns about the impact of screen time on children's brains, how do we find the right balance between traditional toys and technology?

Research has shown that excessive screen time can have negative effects on children's brain development, including language and social skills. On the other hand, playing with traditional toys has been linked to enhanced cognitive, motor, and social-emotional development.

But I've been told my baby can learn from interactive apps?

Studies have found that infants as young as six months old can learn from watching educational videos and playing with interactive apps. However, experts recommend that screen time be limited and that young children receive more interactive and hands-on play opportunities. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children under 18 months should not be exposed to screens at all, except for video-chatting, and children between the ages of 2 and 5 years should have no more than one hour of high-quality screen time per day.

Ok so what are the benefits of toys?

Toys, on the other hand, can provide a wide range of benefits for a child's cognitive development. Studies have shown that playing with traditional toys like blocks, puzzles, and art supplies can promote creativity, imagination, problem-solving, and spatial awareness. These types of activities help children develop essential cognitive and motor skills that they will need throughout their lives.

In addition to traditional toys, parents can also incorporate educational apps and games into their child's playtime routine. According to a study by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, high-quality educational apps can have positive effects on children's vocabulary, math skills, and cognitive development. However, it's important to choose apps that are age-appropriate and designed for learning rather than entertainment.

In addition to limiting screen time and providing traditional toys and educational apps, parents can also promote social interaction and physical activity by encouraging outdoor play and providing toys that encourage cooperative play and social interaction. Toys like board games, pretend play sets, and dress-up clothes can help children develop important social skills like cooperation, communication, and empathy.

In conclusion, finding the right balance between toys and screens is crucial for your baby's brain development. While technology can be a useful tool for learning, hands-on play with traditional toys and activities is still an important part of cognitive and social-emotional development. By following these tips and staying mindful of your child's screen time, you can help set them on the path to healthy brain development.

Research referenced in this article

  1. "Associations between screen-based media use and brain white matter integrity in preschool-aged children" by John Hutton et al., published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.
    Link: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/article-abstract/2766111
  2. "Screen-based media use and brain development during childhood and adolescence: A systematic review" by Yuan Fang et al., published in the journal PLOS ONE.
    Link: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0204888
  3. "The impact of background television on parent-child interaction" by Matthew Lapierre, published in the journal Child Development.
    Link: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/cdev.12853
  4. "The effects of different types of toys on the play and interaction of preschool children" by Sandra J. Stone and Amy L. Stark, published in the journal Early Childhood Education Journal.
    "Associations between screen-based media use and brain white matter integrity in preschool-aged children" by John Hutton et al., published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.
    Link: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/article-abstract/2766111
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About Baby IQ Boosters

At Baby IQ Boosters, we believe that every baby has the potential to thrive and reach their full cognitive and developmental potential. That's why we are committed to providing parents with the information and tools they need to help their babies reach their full potential. We use our knowledge to create evidence-based resources that parents can use to support their baby's cognitive and emotional development. From interactive toys to music and language learning tools, we provide parents with a wide range of resources that are backed by research.

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