Do you prefer print or digital books for children?
While we have plenty of ebooks, and my kids love to scroll down and enjoy the interactivity they may offer, I still prefer print.
Which at first seems silly because ebooks are often cheaper and easier to manage than print. And they are more ecological.
But if you prefer print books for your children as I do...
There's some interesting research that explains it and, useful studies that recommend keeping storytime as a family activity to engage with your kids and their development.
Doberman Dan mention there are MRI studies on how the brain responds differently to words in print vs digital format.
It was done with advertising, and it likely carries over to any print content.
The brain perceives printed words as more persuasive (by over 19%).
It's 21% easier to process material in print.
And the emotional response is higher to words in print.
In my experience, the act of physically holding printed pages makes the content seem more "real" and valuable.
You can read some of the research here https://www.insights4print.ceo/2017/12/neurological-research-print-vs-digital/
A study from the University of Michigan suggests that parents and children interact less when reading electronic books together than printed ones.
With ebooks, parents talked more about the technology than content when using electronic books. "Don't press that button" or "don't change the volume" when interactivity or audio was offered on the ebook.
Dr Tiffany Munzer, the lead author of the study, says "The frequency and quality of interactions were better when the book was a print one."
"Research tells us that parent-led conversations are especially important for toddlers because they learn and retain new information better from in-person interactions than from digital media."
The study found that with electronic books, parents asked fewer questions and commented less about the storyline.
The researchers found that electronic book enhancements were likely to be "interfering with parents' ability to engage in parent-guided conversation" during reading.
The study authors advise parents who do use e-books for storytime to "consider engaging as they would with the print version and minimise focus on elements of the technology itself".
Dr Munzer said non-verbal interactions, including warmth, closeness and enthusiasm, helped create "positive associations with reading that will likely stick with children as they get older".
"Reading together is not only a cherished family ritual in many homes, but one of the most important developmental activities parents can engage in with their children," said senior author Dr Jenny Radesky.
"Our findings suggest that print books elicit a higher quality parent-toddler reading experience compared with e-books".
"Paediatricians may wish to continue encouraging parents to read print books with their kids, especially for toddlers and young children who still need support from their parents to learn from any form of media."
So, read print or digital. Read aloud, changing voices, asking questions, encouraging a conversation around the book, the characters, their behaviours... and enjoy it!
Read, Imagine, Create and Play!
Maria Vergara - Wolols' Mom