While there are developmental benefits to story time, preschool children pay very little attention to the printed words on a page, the Toronto Globe and Mail reported.
To learn how to read, children must pay attention to the letters and recognize words, said University of Guelph psychology professor Mary Ann Evans. Her research, published in this month's issue of Psychological Science, found that preschoolers focused instead on the pictures.
Evans suggested that instead of simply reading a book to preschoolers, parents also point to letters in the book.
A previous study she conducted found that parents who read with their children, instead of to them, sped up development of reading skills later on in school, the newspaper said.