Traditional books vs. e-books for toddlers…?

National News

Traditional books or electronic books…what’s best when reading to a toddler?

Chris Martinez has the results of a new study that looks at the differences.

Two-and-a-half-year-old George can’t get enough storytime with mom.

While George’s mom, Mary, owns a tablet, her daily reading ritual with her son only includes traditional printed books.

“I just think it’s fun for them to hold them, it’s fun for them to turn the pages, they can point things out… then he can go pick them out for me too and bring them to me,” said Mary Ryan, George’s mom.

A new study in the Journal Pediatrics finds ‘real books’ have an advantage over electronic books when it comes to creating quality interactions.

Researchers found parents and toddlers talked more and had more collaboration like turning pages and holding the book when reading printed books together.

When using electronic books, toddlers were more focused on tapping or swiping on the device instead of focusing on the story.

“You really want to make sure that you’re not just reading the words but making this an experience,” said Dr. Corinn Cross.

Dr. Cross says that parent-child interaction is critical for helping children develop and improve their reading and language skills.

She has this advice for parents using e-books.

“Turn off the things that when you tap the dog it barks, so the child can focus on the story and then you’re also gonna have to put extra leg work in to make sure you embellish and engage in the dialogue as you would a regular book,” said Dr. Cross.

Ryan says she cherishes storytime with George.

“I just think there’s something so special about a real book, she said, “especially for kids.”

She hopes it fosters a love of reading he’ll carry the rest of his life.

Pediatricians recommend parents read to their children from the very beginning of life because it can help with their cognitive and emotional development.

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