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Is it safe to use 'early learning kits' for my 18-month-old child?

Q: We have a 1.6 years old baby boy. Is it advisable and safe to use early learning kits, which use flash card methodology and stress on right brain development, for him? What steps should we take for his proper mental development?

A:There are people manufacturing such cards and marketing them. So, some commercial interests are involved. Without condemning them outright, I would say that there are many ways of playing with a one year old. Lots of toys, music and picture books are designed with the child's age in mind. When parents and others in the family or community are warm and sensitive to the child's needs, these are tremendous resources for the child's development. A positive approach should be used rather than looking for some cards that the child can recognize.

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