Household objects are as beneficial to a baby’s development as toys

(STUDY FINDS) – Left to their own devices, toddlers will play with household objects as much as with toys, a new study reveals. Although there are plenty of studies on the benefits of playing with toys, scientists from New York University were keen to study kids outside a lab where there are other distractions. They discovered that babies display a burst of curiosity and, given the choice, will spend equal amounts of time exploring bins, boxes, pillows, remote controls, and cabinet doors as toys.

The team from NYU studied 40 young children, 20 13-month-olds, 10 18-month-olds, and 10 23-month-olds. Most of the infants were from white, middle-class, English-speaking families, local to New York. Researchers used cameras to record the infants in a home environment since previous studies usually take place in a child-friendly lab, where children engaged with predetermined objects for a fixed amount of time. The results show that both toys and household objects are beneficial in helping small children to develop and learn.

“Our findings show an essential first step in identifying the everyday inputs to infants’ natural learning,” the report’s lead author and Professor of Applied Psychology at NYU, Catherine Tamis-LeMonda, says in a media release.

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