Monday, 11 March 2013

Repetition is the key


Research shows that reading the same book over and over helps them to retain new words

We have all been there as parents or keep being asked by your toddlers to read the same story over and over again! It gets pretty tedious, and I must admit as a parent I have tried to steer my daughter to another book instead of The Little Mermaid for the tenth day in a row!! I never used to as a practitioner ( I swear it is due to parental related tiredness!), and yet now research has shown that reading the same book to a toddler over and over is actually helpful!

The University of Sussex created nine story books which contained some made up words for two pairs of unfamiliar objects, with drawings of the new items. These stories were read to 16 children aged three over the course of a week in two different groups, one who were read 3 different stories with the same new words and the other group were read just one story featuring the words.

The children were then tested to see if they could remember the objects with the new words in the story and it was the group who had heard the one story who came out as the best when recalling and remembering the new words in comparison to the other group.

It is still a great idea to have a wide range of books in the home and in settings. Some settings already have a policy of having 3 books a week which are read to the children repeatedly over the course of the children's time at the setting, which means they begin to get to know and understand the books. Others I have heard of start with 1 book and as the week progresses, they add a new book each day meaning on Friday, the children have 5 stories to hear!

It just goes to show that although it can be increasingly annoying for the adults reading the same book over and over again, toddlers are learning new words and remembering story lines! In fact, I am sure there are several nursery nurses out there who by now know plenty of stories of by heart!! I in fact recall rather fondly a close friend of mine who could recite "It's a bear" by Jez Alborough word for word, making me laugh every time a child asked her to read it!!

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