Educating Kids: How Stuffed Toys Encourage Children To Read

A new study found out that children could be encouraged to read by allowing them to sleep over with their favorite stuffed toys. This could also help in the development of their social skills.

The slumber parties for stuffed animals has been hosted by New Jersey's West Orange Library for over four years. The sleepover parties have been drawing in children up to the second grade.

Library director of youth activities Faith Boyle led last week's sleepover party, according to CNN. She read Mo Willems' "Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale" to a group of kids and their stuffed toys. The kids kissed their stuffed toys goodbye and good night after the story time.

Teen volunteers took photos of the slumber party and posted these to the Facebook page of the library. Boyle said they tried to engage the children and got them excited about reading books.

A study published in the Heliyon Journal showed how 42 Japanese preschoolers were monitored by researchers to see how their stuffed toys would influence them to read, as per Medical Xpress. The preschoolers did not only attend the library slumber party with their stuffed toys, but they also read to them.

"We wanted to know if there really was an effect, and if so, how long it lasts," study lead author Yoshihiro Okazaki of Okayama University said. "Surprisingly, not only did the children show interest in the picture books, but they also began to read to their stuffed animals."

Okazaki added this showed the emergence of a new pattern of behavior not exhibited by the children before. The researchers hoped the study results will pave the way for the observance of this approach on a global scope as it has a positive effect on the reading habits of children.

It is good when parents read to their kids, but it is a passive form of reading, according to Daily Mail. It is better when the kids read to their stuffed toys as it is a spontaneous act. Reading to their stuffed toys help children become more active readers.

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