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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Repetition is Good for Kids:
Books for Babies and Toddlers

Kids love repetition, and it's good for them. As parents, reading the same story over and over again might get to be a little boring, but we do our kids a disservice if we force them to read something different thinking it will expand their minds (and keep our own from turning to mush).
According to the February 2011 Frontiers in Psychology article, "Get the story straight: contextual repetition promotes word learning from storybooks", children who read the same stories repeatedly are more likely to increase their vocabulary as a result. In the study, 3-year-olds were either read the same story three times or were read three different stories. Each story contained the same novel (made up) words. Children who heard the same story over and over learned the novel words and retained the words over the long term, thus increasing their vocabulary, whereas the kids who were read the three different stories did not.
In addition to allowing your kids to choose the same book night after night and reading it to him two or three or four times in a row some days, you can choose books that are written to emphasize repetition.

For suggested books that use repetition, visit Cookie's Book Club.


  1. At least there is a good reason for reading the same darn book over and over again. Some are fun though. Have you heard of "Press Here"? Even my 5 year old loved it.

  2. No, I haven't heard of that one, but it looks fun. Thanks for the suggestion, Theresa!

  3. That's good to know because I sing the same song over and over and over. And she loves it every time!

  4. I felt better reading this too, Rach! Jack picks songs to sing each night and he goes through phases that last for weeks where he'll sing the same two songs. I always worried that I should be trying to encourage him to sing something new. Guess I can stop worrying!

  5. This is great advice. As a mom and a teacher, it sometimes pains me to reread books, but I know it's important. My only goal now is to get my five-year-old to choose something besides princess stories!

  6. Oh, dear. Good luck with that, Kate! I'd happily trade you a few vehicle-related stories for a few of your princess stories!