With a one year old and a three year old, it’s hard to get a minute’s peace these days. One of the things both my children demand from me is that they want me to read to them. All. The. Time. Now, I know this is wonderful, and good for their brains, vocabulary, blah, blah, blah, but seriously, when you’ve read Railroad Toad 8,376 times, it can get
seriously annoying a little frustrating.
And then someone mentioned audio books. And the heavens sort of opened for me. Why didn’t I think of this sooner?! Let someone else read while I put my feet up and have a wonderful cup of tea? Sure!
Of course, that hasn’t happened yet, but the audio books have given me a two-minute window of sanity in two places: at home, and in the car. I don’t think talking on your cell phone is as dangerous as having children in the back of your car- they can seriously make you lose your focus. A good audio book? My 3 year old is quiet. Seriously- quiet. It’s like a God given miracle. Once, she asked us not to go inside the house so she could listen to the rest of the story. I kid you not. I sat there sipping my iced tea and answering my emails while my one year old slept. It was like a mini-vacation.
So why choose audio books? Here are some benefits.
1. Enhances a child’s listening skills – Your child will pay attention and pick up on the small details. This is a great tool for them as they grow older.
2. Allows child to become creative in using their imagination – If you get a cd without the book, be sure to know that your child’s imagination is working overtime while listening. There’s no Disney cartoonists dictating what everyone looks like in the story, just their wild imagination. How fun!
3. Builds vocabulary – What better way to learn new words than to keep hearing them being used in a sentence?
4. Allows child to listen to stories above their reading level- With audio books, there’s no limit on what they can listen to (as long as you feel it’s appropriate for them). My daughter loves listening to books aimed at older children.
5. Introduces new genres – Perhaps your children only like a certain type of book like science fiction. An audio book allows them to listen to something new and different, and may open up a whole new world of books.
6. Brings the family together – Have you tried listening to an audio book as a family? Try it in the car, it’s fun to talk about afterwards, especially to see what struck your children the most.
One of the best places to find audio books is your local public library. You can also purchase your own from various websites such as Scholastic. The possibilities are endless, so try one out and see how much your children enjoy it!