My daughter Kate-The Gator has a bedroom full of stuffed animals and your kids or grandkids probably do too.  Gator's current favorite is a soft, floppy, big, stuffed elephant.

Stuffed animals are fun, decorative and spur creative play but did you know that stuffed animals could also help your child learn to read?

Researchers from Japan investigated the effectiveness of something called “stuffed animal sleepovers”.  Children take their stuffed animals to a library and leave them there overnight where the library staff  takes photos of the critters 'searching' for books they want to read with their kid owners.

The scientists looked at the behavior of the preschool children who took  the next day, three days later and one month later.

Right after the sleepover the number of children who read to their stuffed animals was significantly higher than the number who did not.  In addition, the sleepover parties not only inspired extra reading but also helped children develop social skills as they read to their stuffed animal friends.  (Daily Mail)


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