New research shows that children’s character Elmo is more effective in helping toddlers learn basic skills than if the toddlers were taught by unrecognizable faces.
Researchers from the Children’s Digital Media Center at Georgetown University conducted an experiment using three groups of 21-month-old toddlers. The first group watched a video of an Elmo puppet placing nesting cups inside one another, the second group saw the same task being performed by an unknown character puppet with the same Elmo-like voice, and the third group did not watch a video.
When applying what they had learned to their own nesting cups, the first group was able to complete the task significantly better than both the second and third groups. The first group was also more likely to smile and say the character’s name.