Hot or Not?
Do "Baby Apps" Really Teach Babies or Delay Development?
A Boston-based advocacy group, Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, is asking the Federal Trade Commission to examine marketing claims made by Fisher Price for the company's "Laugh & Learn" mobile apps and Open Solutions' games, such as "Baby Hear and Read" and "Baby First Puzzle."
Their complaint says there's no scientific evidence to support Fisher Price's claims that their learning apps teach infants spatial skills, numbers, language or motor skills. In fact, such apps may actually delay language development. The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages any electronic "screen time" for infants and toddlers under 2, while older children should be limited to one to two hours a day.
Open Solutions provided this statement:
"We also don't say 'get this game and let it teach your child everything,'" wrote the company, based in Bratislava, Slovakia. "We assume (the) child is playing the game with parent/sister/baby sitter. We think we have apps that can help parents with babies, either by entertaining babies or help them see new things, animals, hear their sounds, etc."
Leticia Barr, a former schoolteacher who runs the website Tech Savvy Mama, said apps might be educational but not until a child is much older.
"I think at a certain age, apps can certainly reinforce educational learning in kids," such as working on the alphabet or numbers. "But it's not a substitute for the parent. It's not a substitute for reading. It's not a substitute for the things you do in everyday life."
CCFC - http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/
Tech-Savvy Mama - http://techsavvymama.com/