We must admit, technology makes life easy. The benefits of technology have spilled over and enhanced how we can catch up with our favourite reads. Instead of having piles and piles of books taking up space in our homes, not withstanding the high cost of buying them, we can now store our gems in our phones and tablets.

But is this penny saving development good for our children?

A new study in the Journal of Pediatrics has revealed that reading print book over digital versions has more impact in the cognitive and emotional development of toddlers.

The study gathered 37 parent-toddler pairs and had the parents read stories using different formats  including a print book, a basic ebook, and an enhanced ebook (one that comes with music, sound effects, and animated characters). The researchers then recorded the sessions to observe the interactions between the parent and toddler.

Source: AmReading

Researchers found that parents and toddlers talked more and had more collaboration for example 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.

Speaking during an interview with ABC News, Dr. Tiffany Munzer, the lead author of the study said parents who read to their children print books had more positive interactions with them.


“The print book is really the gold standard in eliciting positive interactions between parents and their children,” said Dr. Tiffany.

Perri Klass, a paediatrician who co-wrote the study’s accompanying commentary, notes that ebook enhancements diminish story engagement and obstruct text comprehension as both parties are too busy engaging with the device.

If you want to teach your child to read and be smart, print books are a great start. Children learn a lot from their parents and by reading books aloud for them,  you will be teaching them how to be confident and love reading from an early age.