Electronic vs. print books: which is better for kids?

Author: Ivanhoe Newswire

Today’s parents have choices when deciding which type of books to read to their toddlers. But is there a difference between the high-tech electronic books and the old-school print? A new study shows there is and the results might surprise you.

Do you prefer print or electronic reading? A new study shows there may be differences in how your child learns from each of these formats. Researchers studied 102 toddlers between ages 17 and 26 months. Their parents were asked to read identical books in either a print or electronic format. Results showed the toddlers who read electronic books paid more attention, participated in more page turns and made more content-related comments. They also correctly identified an animal in the book more often, suggesting that the e-books supported learning better than print.

Whichever format you choose, try to read to your toddler every day. Make it part of your routine. Pick a book that’s short, simple, and fun. Whether using tablets or books ask questions about the characters or pictures to help your child engage. Also, don’t expect toddlers to stay still the whole time. Keep reading even if they move around, they can still listen.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, children who are read to at home have a higher success rate in school. But in one study, they also found only 53 percent of kids, ages three to five, were read to daily by a family member.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Julie Marks, Producer; Milvionne Chery, Assistant Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.

Produced by Child Trends News Service in partnership with Ivanhoe Broadcast News and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

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