There are a lot of apps and gadgets that kids these days seem to be addicted to, but how many of them help kids flourish as individuals?
I grew up in a household where reading books was highly encouraged because of the numerous advantages it presents. from a young age can help one become a more knowledgeable, empathetic, and well-rounded adult.
Nowadays, there are more ways than one to read a book. Audiobooks are all the rage and they have a multitude of benefits as well. Here are ten easy things you can do for your children to get hooked on to audiobooks.
- Get the Right Device
To start off, you will have to get the right kind of device. If you have a number of audiobook CDs, get a simple and efficient CD player that children can operate. If you are downloading audiobooks or borrowing through an app from the library, tablets and phones become a necessity. So, understand your audiobook requirement and plan accordingly. Invest in a good pair of headphones as it will provide fewer distractions to your child.
- Take Your Child’s Interest and Age into Account
There are a wide range of audiobooks to choose from nowadays. One of the easiest ways to narrow down the options is to take your child’s age and passion into account. By picking audiobooks that are catered to their interests, you are already taking a step towards getting them hooked on to this new medium of storytelling and learning.
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- Begin with a Familiar Book
Starting with a book your child knows and likes could make it easier to help them transition towards audiobooks. Since the story is familiar, they only have to get used to a new narrator. Once they have adjusted, children will feel more inclined towards giving other audiobooks a chance and this enables them to explore the various options out there.
But don’t force them into this new activity as that might make them resent it. Let them discover the magic of audiobooks by themselves; simply guide them along this path.
- Fix a Time and Place to Listen to Audiobooks
Children thrive on routines. Have a dedicated hour for audiobooks so that your child starts to look forward to the activity. You don’t have to carve any extra time for this. Simply include audiobooks during your child’s bedtime reading and follow along with the book in hand. It could even be during breakfast! Choose a time and place in your schedule that can accommodate audiobooks and stick to it.
- Make it a Bonding Activity
Initiate the process of listening to audiobooks as a bonding activity with your child. Spend some time with them in the beginning of their audiobook journey. This will allow children to understand how to listen to an audiobook while simultaneously reading the physical book, and they can start doing the same on their own over time.
It could also become an interactive knowledge-sharing session moulded into family time. Who doesn’t like discussing their favourite characters and stories? By listening to the audiobook together, your discussions with the kids will be inspiring, and filled with interesting and new perspectives.
- Summarise the Plot before Reading
Give kids a summary of the story, or at least the premise for the initial parts of the tale, before they start the audiobook. This will help them to know what to expect from the story and understand the plot better.
Audiobooks don’t always come with a visual aid and it becomes important for children to start with something they know so that they don’t become confused. Help kids by telling them about things to look out for before they begin the audiobook.
- Keep their Hands Busy
Keeping children’s hands occupied will ensure their minds stay on the story and they don’t get distracted. I know it sounds counter-productive – won’t the activities they are doing with their hands distract them regardless, you might ask. But some activities, such as painting, colouring, crocheting, are driven by hand-eye coordination and muscle memory. This makes it simple enough for kids to multitask and pay attention while listening to audiobooks.
Here is a list of fun activities kids can do while listening to audiobooks – https://everyday-reading.com/fun-activities-for-kids/. Try asking them questions in between chapters and you may be surprised to see children responding despite having their hands full.
- It’s Alright to Give Up
If your kid doesn’t like a story, allow them to move on to a different one. There’s no point in trying to get them to finish the audiobook if they start to get restless.
Once you introduce them to a few audiobooks of your choosing, give them the option to choose their own audiobook adventure. After all, there are many kinds of audiobooks available nowadays. They will definitely come across one that will grab their attention.
- Plan Ahead
Always keep a list of audiobooks prepped in the device of your choice. Whether your child powers through the audiobook or plans to skip ahead to another story, it is best to plan and download several stories so that there is a steady supply available. If your child is listening to a series, make sure you have the sequels ready to play. It’s the age of binge-watching; so of course, your kid would want to binge-listen as well.
- Enjoy the Ride!
Most importantly, remember that the point of stories and audiobooks isn’t just to keep your children occupied and for them to learn something; it’s so they can have fun! Audiobooks are not only fun for kids, but for adults as well. Use the opportunity to bond with your kids and enter a world beyond our own. Let the adventure begin!