Toddlers more interested in print books than tablets, study says

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WPVI) -- According to a new study, toddlers prefer their stories in print when they are learning, not on tablets.

Tests at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital studied 37 parents reading to their toddlers.

Each parent-toddler pair was videotaped while reading three stories from the Little Critter series back to back.

Each story was shared on a different format: an electronic tablet with enhanced visual and sound effects, an electronic tablet without enhanced effects and a print book with illustrations.

Parents were limited to five minutes for each story.

The team counted the number and types of interactions each pair shared, such as parents asking their child questions, parents telling their toddler what they're seeing and parents encouraging their child to point out objects during the story.

They found that 2-year-olds engage better with parents when Mom or Dad read aloud from a book, rather than off a tablet.

With books, parents talked more about the stories with their toddlers.

With tablets, however, their remarks were more technical,such as about how to swipe the pages.

Experts say engagement between child and parent or grandparent during 'book time' is crucial to helping young brains develop.

The team's findings were published in the journal Pediatrics.
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