Books better than tablets for child-parent bonding at storytime, study finds

(CNN) - Bedtime stories are a timeless tradition between parent and child. But with digital books becoming more and more prevalent, experts say there are good reasons to keep print versions around the house.

Reading to our kids has so many great benefits, from inspiring imagination, to cultivating a love for books and even getting them to fall asleep.

Now with tablets, we can have thousands of options at our fingertips. However, a study says it may not be the best idea to incorporate tablets into reading time with kids.

According to findings published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, parents who read to their children from tablets have less overall interaction with them.

While studying the interactions between 37 sets of parents and toddlers reading from both digital and print, researchers observed the toddlers were less likely to listen when it was a digital book and more likely to interrupt their parents and try to block their view of the tablets.

While not all screen time is negative, groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics say that time limits based on age and content restrictions need to be set when it comes to kids and screen time.

Here are the AAP’s screen time recommendations:

  • Keep children younger than 18 months away from screens entirely, except for video-chatting
  • For children between 18 and 24 months, parents can introduce “high-quality programming” and watch it with their children
  • Limit children between 2 and 5 to one hour of high-quality programs (and watch it together)
  • For children 6 and older, limit their screen time and monitor the type of media they’re consuming
  • Designate screen-free zones throughout the home.

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