A new study finds that the top-selling baby toys for learning through the age of two are the blended learning toys that teach learning through sounds, colors, and interactions.
The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University at Buffalo, with funding from the National Institutes of Health.
“We found that while blended learning has a high potential to reduce learning through noise and color, it is a challenge to teach learning with it,” said senior author Dr. Sarah Bouchard, assistant professor of pediatrics at the university’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Blended learning is a combination of video games, music, or books that blend together and provide interactive learning experiences.
It is one of the few ways for parents to engage their child in activities they enjoy without them feeling overwhelmed or bored.
The study involved more than 5,000 infants ages 2 months to 8 years old who were given a mix of the blended toys and the other toys that were only appropriate for preschoolers.
The blended toys included video games like Mario Kart, Candy Crush, and Super Mario Bros., and books like The Sims, Harry Potter, and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
The researchers also evaluated learning through audio.
In the blended toy experiments, babies who had received the mixed toys scored higher than those who received the other mixed toys.
However, the study didn’t find a difference in learning through color between those who had the mixed toy and those who didn’t.
Instead, the researchers found that babies who received mixed toys had lower levels of vocabulary, comprehension, and math.
The mixed toys were a mix between the best-selling toys for toddlers and the bestsellers for children.
“It’s hard to say whether it’s better to purchase a mix, but this finding is really encouraging,” said lead author Dr., Dr. Mark F. Stott, assistant clinical professor of pediatric endocrinology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
“There are many toys available to young children that are less effective than blended toys for preschool-aged children, but the blend learning toys have a higher potential to help them learn through sound and color,” he said.
The research was published in Pediatrics.
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