How toddlers learn from picture books
Looking at picture books together not only introduces young children to reading culture at an early age, but also trains their sense of reality in other ways. As psychologists from the University of Queensland and Virginia have observed, even very young children are able to take in the images, understand them, and grasp their relation to real objects.
In experiments, they tried to find out whether the tots could carry out new targeted actions after seeing them in the picture book. The experiments involved, for example, replicating a simple rattle. First, the children (three groups aged 18, 24 and 30 months) received a picture book with simple building instructions to look at.
As the subsequent practical test showed, most of the children from the three groups were then able to imitate what they had seen and build the rattle. However, there were differences between the groups related to image quality. The 18-month-old children were better able to work from photos than from painted, colorful templates. Black-and-white photos were used for the older children from groups two and three. Compared to the smallest test participants, who were able to learn from color photographs, these children would have had greater problems rebuilding the rattle. (bf)