For their new study, the researchers explored whether parents' who used iconic words as they played with novel objects with children between 1 and 2 helped them learn those objects' names. The objects were novel toys and foods that the researchers made and gave names to, like the word "blicket" to describe a clay toy with a made-up shape. They found that when parents named a novel object, their children were more likely to remember those novel names later if the parent also used highly iconic words in the same sentence. This was true both for parents speaking English and Spanish. "Consider when a parent teaches their child about 'cats' by talking about how they 'meow,' or about a sweater by talking about how 'fuzzy' it is, or about 'honey' by talking about how sticky it is," Perry said. "The resemblance between the sound of a word like 'sticky' and the texture of the honey helps the child pay attention to that property. If the parent also says 'honey' while describing its stickiness, the child can form a stronger memory of that new word and its meaning, because they are paying attention to its important properties--its sticky texture in this case."