Young children love to hear the same stories over and over again. In a classroom where there are several books available, you will often see children picking up the same few stories that they have selected as their favorite. Part of the reason might be that children enjoy the stories or illustrations, but research suggests that there may actually be deeper learning happening too.
The Power of Repetition
Research has found that re-reading the same books several times can facilitate better comprehension, retention and vocabulary development. For example, a 2011 study found that 3-year-old children were better able to recall and retain new vocabulary from books they had re-read when compared to children who had heard the same story only once. Additional research found that preschoolers who watched the same episode of a children’s show five times performed much better on follow-up comprehension questions than children who had seen the episode only once.
This means that children are learning every time they hear a story. Each time we re-read a book with young children, we are reinforcing the story’s vocabulary, themes, ideas, and lessons.
Favorite Books to Enjoy Over and Over Again
Because young children like reading the same books again and again, it is important to be thoughtful in your selection of books. Choosing books that are interesting, engaging, and fun to re-read are keys to supporting children’s learning. Below are a few of our favorites.