Stuffed animals help children with a lot of stuff. You can add learning and reading to that list, too. A new study says stuffies motivate children to read.
The researchers from Okayama University, Kanazawa University, the Osaka Institute of Technology and Kyushu University in Japan are the authors of the study. They have found out that if you send stuffed animals to stuffed animal library sleepovers, this helps children a lot.
Stuffed animal sleepovers are very popular with libraries in the US. Libraries in other countries are also starting to organize such events more and more.
The events usually begin earlier in the day when the kids and their parents bring the stuffed animals to the library. Usually there are some activities like reading stories or a few games. Then the kids leave and the stuffed animals stay behind for the night.
The toys spend the evening with the library staff who take a lot of photos of the activities. We see the stuffies playing, reading even more books and having fun. Then the next morning the kids and the parents return to pick up their stuffed animals and a few small gifts. They also receive the photos of the event.
All of this has a tremendous effect, the study says. The team explored the activities of 42 preschool children. They studies the behavior of the kids for a few days before the sleepover, at the very same day, three days later and one month later. The goal – to see for how long the kids are interested to read more after the event.
Before the sleepover, the kids didn’t pay any attention to the books at the play area at preschool. After the sleepover though, more than half of the kids read books to their stuffed animals. Sadly, after the three days the effect worn off.
Then the researchers showed the kids the photos from the event once again. The result was impressive. A lot of the kids started to read stories again to their stuffed animals. So, yes, it’s possible to motivate kids to read more, thanks to stuffed animals. And that’s lovely.