Sitting down with your child to read a book at bedtime is a time-honoured tradition. It builds your bond, helps your child learn new words and is a great way to wind down for sleep. But we don’t always have the time. Luckily, audiobooks are a thing. Here we’re going to explore all the kid’s audiobooks options out there to help them continue to learn, including:
- Read-along CD sets
- Children’s books on Audible
- How can I make my own audiobook?
Reading with your child is the best, but these time-saving audio options are an excellent support act…
Improving child literacy is an important step in child development. Research from the National Literacy Trust shows that it’s not only important for their later life stages, it improves their performance in their current classroom. So, reading with, or encouraging your child to read themselves is pretty essential. But how do kid’s audiobooks fit into this?
“Audiobooks can help boost the literary skills of all children but they can be a real aid to children who otherwise struggle with reading.” Harper Collins Children’s Books
Audiobooks are a way for children to become absorbed in a story and boost their imagination without the negative impact of any difficult-to-read text. It can aid their understanding of pronunciation and difficult words, not to mention improve their listening and focus skills. Reading is invaluable, but we’re not confined by the written word anymore, so let’s explore how you can get your child listening and learning.
Read-along CD sets
Back in the days before the internet and apps, CDs were the name of the game. More importantly for us, Read-along CDs. This niche market is still going strong today and the idea is that you buy the book and it comes with a recorded CD of the same words.
With these, you can set them playing and just listen wherever you are with your little one – in the car, at bedtime, when you’re eating – whenever. Or you could grab the book and snug up to read along with the audio. This method is perfect for developing literacy as it can help your children with pronunciation and takes some of the fear out of reading.
Another option is to buy or rent the audio version of a book you already have – then you can read along with your favourite book, no matter if there’s a CD set available or not.
If you’re going the audiobook route, then it might be worth investing in an online audiobook service.
There are loads of different subscription options out there, and a lot of them come with deals such as free books each month. It’s worth shopping around and finding the one that has the right selection for you and your children.
How can I make my own audiobook?
There is one other option that you might want to consider if you’re a frequent traveller or if you’re trying to encourage your child to be a bit more independent. Why not try recording your own audio version of a book? It’ll help your child feel close to you if you’re away as they can hear your voice when they want, and it’ll help them start reading alone and developing their literacy.
Some books come with the function for you to record yourself telling the story, but they’re not always affordable and they are incredibly hard to find. You’re more likely to find them in baby departments and gift stores.
The other choice is to purchase some recording software and record the audio yourself, here’s a little guide:
Step 1: Get the equipment.
This kit is typically for podcasters, but it has everything you need to record clear audio including an illustrated ‘How-to’ guide to help you understand the tech.
Step 2: Download some audio software.
Audacity is free and easy to use. It’s a popular option for beginner podcasters and audio recorders. It’s got some excellent in-depth guides on how to get started and more.
Step 3: Do some test runs
Things are never perfect the first time, so have a little play around and practise the whole process of recording and exporting with a short piece of audio before you do the book.
Step 4: Record your audiobook
Remember to take it slow and enunciate your words to get a clear recording. Don’t rush through – you want your little one to hear all you have to say.
Reading a book is a lovely and important activity you can do together with your child, but with the advent of kid’s audiobooks, audible and the accessibility of recording equipment, it doesn’t have to be same as it was when you were young.