With the holidays around the corner, parents and grandparents are thinking about gift-giving opportunities. If you are buying for young children, confusion sets in the moment you enter the toy aisle.

With the holidays around the corner, parents and grandparents are thinking about gift-giving opportunities. If you are buying for young children, confusion sets in the moment you enter the toy aisle.

 Toys aren’t what they used to be. Electronics make even the simple games more elaborate.

More toys are available for very young children. In fact, over the past several years, there have been more videos and compact discs available for babies claiming infants will be smarter if they watch or listen to them.

According to the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, “There is no credible scientific data to support the claim that specialized videos or particular music recordings (e.g., ‘the Mozart Effect’) have a positive, measurable impact on developing brain architecture.”

The study from the Center at Harvard concludes that important influences of attention, nurturing and playing with parents or grandparents gives infants as much, if not more, impact on brain development. 

Although varied experiences stimulate learning in the preschool years, promotional statements about the superior brain-building impacts of expensive ‘educational’ toys and videos for infants and toddlers have no scientific support.

So, save your money when thinking about toys for your infant. Invest your time instead and play peek-a-boo, buy books and read, or just interact with the infant. This provides stimulation and learning.