Stuffed animals could help your child learn to read. Researchers from Okayama University in Japan investigated the effectiveness of stuffed animal sleepovers-- or having children take their stuffed animals to a library, and then leaving the toy there overnight. Library staff then takes photos of the animals 'searching' for books they want to read with the child. The scientists looked at 42 preschool children who took part in a stuffed animal sleepover, following their behavior the next day, three days later and one month later. They found immediately after the sleepover, the number of children who read to the stuffed animals was significantly higher than the number who did not. The sleepover parties not only inspire extra reading, but also help children develop social skills as they read to their stuffed animals.
The new study has found that if a child believes their toys have been reading, they will do the same.
WHAT IS A STUFFED ANIMAL SLEEPOVER?
Stuffed animal sleepover programs are designed to get children interested in picture books.
Children take their toys to a library for the night and drop them off before going home.
The animals then 'search' for books they want to read in the children's absence - staff and volunteers take staged photos of the animals exploring the library and reading together.
The next day, the children collect their stuffed animals and the photos of what they did during the night.
They're also given the books their animals 'chose' to read.