For our family, trips to the library mean hauling huge bags of books home. But even though my kids love books, it doesn’t necessarily mean they love reading. I wanted my older ones, especially, to move on from looking and do more reading.
One discovery that we made was the usefulness of audio books. I never thought much of them, but one of the books we borrowed from the library had an audio CD included with it. One of my kids pulled it out, and asked if we can “watch the movie.”
I explained to them that it wasn’t a movie, but they were still curious, so I played the CD, having low expectations based on their short attention span. Surprisingly, they listened. Once they realized it was the same story that we had been reading together, they grabbed the book and started following along.
Audio books certainly provide some great benefits for children. Here are just a few of them.
Enhance their reading ability
After listening to that audio book and following along in their book, my oldest was later able to pick up the book and read it on his own without the help of the CD. The practice of listening and reading the book at the same time engaged his senses, and I believe that strengthened his ability to read. He was able to get a better command of sight words. And during times when he may have been hesitant to pronounce unfamiliar words, hearing them on the CD gave him some confidence.
Expand their listening skills
A friend of mine had shared that she began using audio books to help her son with his listening skills. I had to give this a try, so I brought home C.S. Lewis’ The Magician’s Nephew, complete with sound effects [affiliate link]. I played the CD while the kids were playing in their room. At first, they were confused. “How am I gonna understand if I can’t see what’s happening?” was the initial protest. But, it wasn’t long before they got into the story.
This is also great way to start your children off with chapter books. After we listened to the CD version, I began reading from the actual book copy of The Magician’s Nephew [affiliate link]. The story was already familiar to them, and they were used to hearing the story without the visual aids.
Enlarge their imagination
Books, as opposed to movies, enlarge one’s imagination. How many times have you watched a movie version of your favorite novel, only to be disappointed because the movie just didn’t measure up to what your mind imagined? TV can put a child’s mind in a more dull, passive state. But a good audio book will help a child’s imagination soar.
Has your child ever used audio books?
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