Interactive environments are generally better than passive environments for learning.
Research shows that parents do not typically ask babies questions until around 12 months of age – about when most babies say their first words. We encourage parents to ask young infants questions. In many infant learning studies, babies’ looking time is measured as a way of determining if infants can differentiate objects or events. Parents can determine what their babies know by asking questions and using their infants’ gaze as a response. For example, I asked my 5-month-old babies questions such as “Where is Tweety?” and they could respond by looking at two objects that were held fairly far apart.
By making the learning interactive, babies also have more social interactions with their parents. In addition, parents can figure out what their babies already know in interactive settings.
We encourage the learning to be interactive. We want babies, toddlers, and preschoolers to do physical actions such as clapping or waving, touching parts of their bodies, saying words, or answering questions.