Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Kindle and Kids

Amazon has launched a new way to read and buy books - through their new gadget, the Kindle. It's a wireless reading screen on which you can purchase, download, and read books. There are lots of pros and cons - from people who think the days of the printed page are numbered, to people who think reading an entire novel from a back-lit screen is about as cozy as snuggling up under one of those metallic emergency blankets.But one reason that you may not want to rush out and buy a Kindle with which to read bedtime stories to your children comes from new research. Apparently, reading to your children not only helps their language skills, it also helps develop their fine motor skills when they turn the pages - a feature that the Kindle doesn't have. The following comes from The Week magazine:

Reading to kids pays off

Moms and dads who spend hours reading The Cat in the Hat or Goodnight Moon to their young children aren’t just lulling them to sleep. A new study says that every time parents read a child his favorite bedtime book, they’re preparing him for a successful future in school. Bedtime reading stimulates nearly every facet of a child’s development, from language to memory to motor skills, as he or she learns how to turn pages, understand sequences, and follow a narrative. “You can imagine if someone technologically came up with a widget that would stimulate all aspects of a 2-year-old’s development, everyone would want to buy it,” study author professor Barry Zuckerman tells the London Guardian. That widget happens to be made of paper and ink. Zuckerman’s study shows that the earlier a kid gets into reading books with family, the better his test scores are as he grows up.

You might also want to check out what the editor at the Horn Book Magazine (articles and editorials about children's and young adult literature) has to say over at his blog, Read Roger.

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