Reading to your toddler before their nap significantly enhances their learning, according to new University of Sussex research. […] children who had been read the same story before their nap performed significantly better than those who hadn’t had a sleep.
Significantly, those children who had been read three different stories before their sleep performed 33 per cent better than those who had stayed awake after hearing those stories. On subsequent tests, the researchers found the wakeful ones never caught up with their peers in word recall.
Children who demand the same story to be read to them over and over again may be learning more than those who get a different story every time. […]
“This research suggests that it’s not the number of books, but the repetition of each book that leads to greater learning. We know that children who watch the same TV programme over and over again do better in comprehension tests afterwards. What we think is happening with reading is that each time a child hears the book they are picking up new information. The first time it might just be the story, the second time they are noticing details of description, and so on. If the new word is introduced in a variety of contexts – as happened with those who were read three different stories – children are less likely to focus on the new word.”