How children’s e-books are ruining storytime

Once upon a time, some researchers studied whether parents and toddlers got more quality time out of reading e-books or print books together. And they found that kids and parents talk and interact less when swiping through a story on a screen than they do by turning traditional pages.

The University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital watched 37 parent-toddler pairs page through print books, basic electronic books on a tablet, as well as enhanced e-books on tablets that featured animation and sound effects (like a picture of a seagull that squawked when the child tapped on it.) And the parents and toddlers (children ages 2 or 3 in the study) not only interacted with each other less with both types of e-books than they did with the print books; when they did speak, they were more likely to talk about the device than they were about the story.

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