Audiobooks – Creativity, Vocabulary, Entertainment and …. Spare Time for Parents!
Whether you’re traveling or needing an elevating distraction for the kids while you get things done, audiobooks are wonderful!
Besides the entertainment value there are so many reasons to choose audiobooks, especially over TV, gameboys, and movies.
One of the best things you can do for your child is help cultivate, express, and articulate their creativity and imagination. One of the best ways to do that is by having them listen to audiobooks.
The thing that differentiates audiobooks from the more visual things, like TV and games, is that the child is free to imagine the scene, people and places in the story they’re listening to. Later, you’re likely to find them acting out imaginary scenarios and constructive play as they’re inspired to conjure up their own magical lands. Creativity can keep kids going for hours, but more than that, it actually helps to develop their mind and brain!
While it may be harder for a child to read a ‘real’ book, they can typically grasp audiobooks at a higher reading level. This also allows them to hear words in context, embellished with tone and inflections, and sends their imaginations on exploratory adventures.
If your children aren’t into reading, this is a great way to get them into it. They’ll be able to hear someone else reading and be entertained, and it can inspire them to pick up a book and read on their own, and hearing words in proper pronunciation can help them to unravel the words they encounter on their own from their auditory memory.
It really makes sense when you consider the “picture’s worth a thousand words” concept. In visual entertainment, many scenes can occur without words, whereas in the audiobook or written word environment, every little details has to be described to the reader, which cultivates fertile ground for mental development.
Discussions: Audiobooks provide a good opportunity for family discussions. Whether you listen to the audio together or have the kids listening on their own, you can always ask them questions, help them articulate what they think about the story, and engage them in the spelling and meaning of the words they’re using to share. They can also ask questions about any words or phrases they didn’t understand, while you help them to learn over time how to summarize a story. By the time they’re in school writing book reports, it’ll be a piece o’ cake…and they’ll likely enjoy it more as well.
Free Time for Parents:
Do you often need to get some work done but the kids keep coming to you every few minutes for attention, or nagging to play electronic games, or watch cartoons and such? Plug them into an engaging audiobook, while they sit and color, draw, or even walk outside. If you have a swing, that can be a great companion to listening to books. They’ll be swinging away, mind creatively and constructively engaged while getting a bit of exercise.
And if exercise is lacking in your family, as in so many American families with 2/3 of adults overweight and 1/3 of children, you can each have your own audiobooks on while going for a brisk walk together. You can alternate between walking and listening to books and walking and talking together.
Resources for Audiobooks:
There are many places to get audiobooks. One of the best free resources is the public library.
Other options include:
Audible.com: They have a kids section, and you can pick the age range and they’ll recommend titles.
iTunes: Also has a kids section though it’s mixed with teens & young adults so you’ll have to pick through, but they have a lot to choose from.
KidsAudioBooks.co.uk: Geared more towards preschoolers, and they have all the classic fairytales; Aladdin, Cinderella etc.
Great audiobooks kids will enjoy (preschoolers)
The Tale of Peter Rabbit
The Three Little Pigs
Oh, The Places You’ll Go (and anything by Dr. Seuss)
The Tale of Benjamin Bunny
Chester the Brave
For a list of other good books for preschoolers: http://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/preschool-booklist?auto_login_attempted=true
Great audiobooks kids will enjoy (ages 5-8)
The Emperor’s New Clothes
Mr. Popper’s Penguins
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Little House on the Prairie
The Box Car Children
Wizard of Oz
Other great books: http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/835.Books_for_eight_year_old_children
Some great audiobooks kids enjoy (ages 9-12)
The Lightning Thief (6 book series)
My Side of the Mountain
39 Clues (11 book series)
Charlie Bone (8 book series)
Maximum Ride (8 book series, great for whole family!)
Magyk (6 book series)
A Wrinkle in Time
Other good reads: http://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/age-9-12?
Audiobooks can become a great family tradition and are meaningful part of family culture. Investing a little now in an iPod or MP3 player will yield big results in keeping your kids engaged while entertaining and educating.
Do you already listen to audiobooks as a family? What are some of your favorites kid and adult favorites?