outbrain
Close  

Children prefer books which explain how the world works, says new study

/ 09:26 PM April 19, 2020
girl reading

Image: Tashi-Delek/IStock.com via AFP Relaxnews

If you’re not sure how to entertain the kids during the current COVID-19 lockdowns, then new United States research has found that giving them books that explain how and why things work could keep them more engaged than a simple storybook.

Carried out by researchers at Vanderbilt University, the new study looked at 48 children aged 3 to 4 years old from Austin, Texas.

ADVERTISEMENT

The children were asked to listen to an adult reading them two books about animals, which were matched for their content and complexity, but had different amounts of causal information in the story: while one book explained why animals behave and look the way they do, the other simply described animals’ features and behaviors

Afterwards, the children were asked to say which book they preferred.

FEATURED STORIES

The findings, published in Frontiers in Psychology, showed that during the readings, the children appeared to be equally interested and enthusiastic in both of the books and understood both to the same degree.

However, when they specifically expressed a preference for a book, they tended to choose the book filled with causal information, which reveals or explains how and why things work as they do.

“We believe this result may be due to children’s natural desire to learn about how the world works,” explains researcher Margaret Shavlik.

“There has been a lot of research on children’s interest in causality, but these studies almost always take place in a research lab using highly contrived procedures and activities,” continued Shavli. “We wanted to explore how this early interest in causal information might affect everyday activities with young children, such as joint book reading.”

The researchers add that the findings could help parents choose books which boost their children’s interest and motivation to learn and read, which in turn can improve their literacy and language skills in early childhood.

“If children do indeed prefer storybooks with causal explanations, adults might seek out more causally rich books to read with children; which might in turn increase the child’s motivation to read together, making it easier to foster early literacy,” said Shavlik. JB

RELATED STORIES:

ADVERTISEMENT

Young children using smartphones, tablets at risk of speech delays — study

Children who feel connected to nature are also happier, finds new study

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .

TOPICS: Books, Children, coronavirus, Health, Learning, Psychology
Read Next
EDITORS' PICK
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.