Reading to your toddler? Print books are better than digital ones

By | March 28, 2019

In a study recently published in the journal “Pediatrics,” researchers at U-M found that parents and toddlers reading print books together resulted in a more engaging experience than reading together using an electronic device.

Tiffany Munzer, a fellow in developmental behavioral pediatrics at the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, who was the first author on the study, said the researchers wanted to study toddlers in particular because of a concern that they might be particularly susceptible to distraction by electronic enhancements. The study examined interactions using print books, basic e-books, and enhanced books that included animation and/or sound effects.

“They were susceptible,” Munzer said, “but the basic electronic book without the enhancements was also distracting to toddlers, and they had less engagement with their parents than with print books.”