: : : Baby Einstein

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If you've been around babies in the last few years, you've seen these newfangled toys that are abstract in color (or just black, white, and red) and make curious, crunching noises. Studies have shown that these types of toys stimulate newborns, expanding the capacity of their little sponge-like minds. That concept comes to the video age in Baby Einstein. This 30-minute tape is called a "video board book" and the creators instruct parents of 1- to 18-month-olds to use it that way: huddle around the TV often pointing out objects and interacting with the child as you would with a book. Bright toys, patterns, blocks, and the like move across the screen accompanied by natural sounds, music, and voices. English, Japanese, Russian, German, and other languages are heard telling nursery rhymes or counting to 20. Now the creators don't expect your baby to recite "Humpty Dumpty" in Spanish by the end of the tape, but, as they state in the introduction, hearing different languages invigorates a baby's mind. These educators went on to combine classical music with their program on Baby Mozart and Baby Bach. --Doug Thomas

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Baby Einstein

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