Dr Shinskey said: “Books with these sort of features are very popular with parents who hope the interactive feature will aid learning and enjoyment of reading.“However, if parents want their children to learn factual information about the world from books, it doesn’t appear to help to make books more toy-like by adding 3D features.“This seems to enhance their tendency to treat books as just another type of physical toy, rather than a tool for learning.“As the findings suggest young children can find these features in a book distracting we would recommend having a range of books available so children learn to love reading as well as learning more about the world around them.”The research was presented at the British Psychological Society’s Developmental Psychology Section annual conference. They are meant to make learning more fun and interactive, but lift-the-flap books could significantly harm a toddler’s chance of learning words, a new study suggests.Picture books for children often include unusual textures or pop-ups, which are thought to encourage engagement and keep youngsters interested.But researchers found that when toddlers have to hunt for a word or object they are less likely to remember it.In tests with 31 toddlers, those who used books with lift-up-flaps were half as likely to remember words compared to those using normal books. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Dr Jeanne Shinskey, a senior lecturer at the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway, University of London said: “Many educational picture books for toddlers often feature manipulatives like flaps or texture to encourage interaction, but do these actually help toddlers to learn new words?“We wanted to test how a commercially-available book with or without flaps affected two-year-olds’ learning of a new word for an unfamiliar object.”For the experiment the toddlers were split in to two groups. Each group were asked to look through a book with a researcher that contained nine food objects including a new fruit they had not seen before – a starfruit. We would recommend having a range of books available so children learn to love reading as well as learning more about the worldDr Jeanne Shinskey Children were half as likely to remember the word starfruit when using flap books The books were exactly the same but one had lift-the-flaps and the other had these sealed.Around 68 per cent of the youngsters who looked at the book without flaps correctly remembered the starfruit at the end of the session compared to just 30 per cent of those who were given books with flaps.