My son does school with mom in the morning for 30-60 minutes during which time I take care of our daughter. We go downstairs to not be a distraction.

I've been putting podcasts on in the background that are honestly more for me but still family friendly. I figure the additional exposure to speaking might help language development but got to wondering today if there is something else I could put on that might help my daughter more. Would putting classical music on be more beneficial? Are there other background things I could put on that would be most beneficial while we play?

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    The most beneficial thing you can do is to interact with her directly. Nothing comes even close to personal interaction when it comes to development. If you're actually interacting with her, pick the background you like. Watching her while she plays is not the same. Mar 27, 2021 at 19:27
  • Oh of course. It's all direct interaction. I'm just wondering what is most beneficial in the background.
    – Dason
    Mar 27, 2021 at 20:27
  • 1
    Is there a reason you feel you must have something on in the background? If anything, it's probably just a distraction rather than 'optimising' her development or something. Related: it's a myth that playing classical music to children makes them more intelligent.
    – BadHorsie
    Apr 26, 2021 at 14:08
  • @BadHorsie It's probably more for me than it is for her but if I'm going to have something on I was just wondering if there is a better/best option.
    – Dason
    Apr 26, 2021 at 14:35

3 Answers 3


There exist plenty of songs for children, starting with very simple ones, that a toddler may actually learn to sing - it is a very useful activity for speech development. If you cannot remember any such songs from your childhood, you can find playlists for children in podcasts or youtube or by simply using Disney cartoons (provided that the child does not see the screen, which is not healthy for a toddler).


I could not locate any thorough research that indicated whether a podcast or music would be more beneficial for a toddler to listen to for development purposes—only a cursory article covering the matter.

Though one quote seems to be in line that podcasts probably don't have much of a benefit, if any, to toddlers.

Research indicates that recorded voices don't mean much to very young children, since they process language best when it comes from a person who is reacting to cues the baby is giving, according to Radesky.

Music is probably best. We do have quite a bit of research that music is great for toddlers, engages their brains in several ways, and helps. A few resources can be seen here, here, and here.

Of course, none of this replaces interacting directly with a toddler, but if the situation doesn't permit and you need to get things done, interactive toys and music can be a solid replacement.


I suggest a podcast. Kids need to feel to be talked to while they are developing a sense of interaction. Music is nice for sleep and peace but not as much for growth and development.

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    Unfortunately a podcast does not equal talking to a kid. If anything it might diminish their sense of conversation as exchange. However, if there's a lot of banter between two hosts it could be OK for reinforcing turn-taking. May 23, 2021 at 12:54
  • What I refer to here is podcast is better than music because it helps relate to the real sense of communication when compared to music. May 24, 2021 at 13:06

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