Children talk more when they play with man-made objects than with natural objects. This interesting discovery was made by researchers at the University of Portsmouth. Babies communicate using “protophones,” which are the first sounds that turn into words and sentences. They found that these sounds are more likely to be produced when babies play with toys or household objects rather than natural objects such as sticks or rocks. They also show more interest in household objects such as mugs and pens than in natural objects such as flowers or trees.
Dr. Violet Gibson, lead author of the study, attributed this phenomenon to the fact that household objects are designed to attract a child’s attention, while natural objects may be less interesting. She also noted that household objects may have a role in human language development.
The researchers also looked at the social aspect of this issue. They studied how often infants looked at their mothers when they played with various objects. It turned out that babies were more likely to look at their parents when they were using natural objects. This may be because they are less interested in natural objects and look to their parents to appreciate their value.
It is interesting to note that chimpanzees also exhibit similar behavior. Like human infants, they use objects to communicate and may be influenced by social factors.
These studies show that the objects that babies interact with can have a significant impact on their communication skills. They also emphasize the importance of playing and interacting with children using a variety of objects to stimulate their speech development.