Children who are read to five days a week before kindergarten will hear one million more words than peers who are only read to once a month. That’s the gap researchers from Ohio State University believe exists for children who are not read to regularly in early childhood.
They account for this large gap by explaining that children’s books contain words and concepts that are unlikely to come up in everyday conversation. Take, for example, a book about penguins in Antarctica, which will have “more complex, difficult words than [a child] hears just talking to their parents and others in the home.”
Not only should parents read to children each day, but new research by Dr. Tiffany Munzer at the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children's Hospital found they should read from print vs. ebooks. Dr. Munzer's research determined, “Electronic books are becoming increasingly popular for storytime, but the researchers found the bells and whistles, such as sound effects and animation, can sometimes distract young children.”
She also noted that, “The dialogue was really centred around some of the aspects of the technology itself and so it was displacing some of this more rich language that parents use …[to] teach [toddlers] new concepts and bring things back to their own lives."
- Early Childhood