- Audiobooks are a great alternative to screens.
- 8 reasons why your little one should listen to audiobooks.
- Create your own audiobook.
If your little one finds reading hard but loves stories, audiobooks are a fantastic tool which will allow them to experience thousands of adventures alongside their favourite characters
Audiobooks are stories told by professional narrators in audio format. Are there advantages? Yes, many. Benefits? Even more. Audiobooks have gained traction in recent years thanks to their easy access and transportation. After all, the only space required is a couple of megabytes on whatever device you’re using and sometimes not even that! The Internet has heaps of free audiobooks which don’t need to be downloaded. So, needless to say, these stories are on hand any time you need (or want) them. Long journey? Audiobook. Little one unwell? Audiobook. Little one struggling with their reading? Audiobook. Don’t feel like reading a bedtime story tonight? The audiobook is here to save you!
There are not only advantages to audiobooks, but benefits too: imagination, creativity, motivation to read, improved vocabulary, good intonation...the list goes on. Your child may even be able to access stories above their reading level, which is very useful during the summer when they often prefer to take a break from the books (we get it!) but need to start school again in September with their reading level more or less intact. And in case you need any more convincing, find 8 other reasons why your little one should be listening to audiobooks below:
8 reasons why your little one should be listening to audiobooks:
- They improve your child’s listening skills and attention span.
- They encourage children to imagine a story for themselves, with no visual cues, which in turn develops their creative side.
- For most children, an interest in reading comes a little later than being read to. But by listening to audiobooks, your child will benefit from an early initiation into interpretative cognition.
- Since our voices allow us to use all the richness of language, including different tones and pitches, audiobooks are very stimulating for children.
- From a pedagogical perspective, they introduce little ones to books way above their reading level.
- They provide a model for reading out loud, which will benefit children’s verbal expression.
- They are a very motivating tool for little ones with learning difficulties such as dyslexia or some form of visual impairment.
- They are perfect for learning foreign languages.
As well as audiobooks, the use of screens amongst little ones has also increased in recent years. Here at Fabulastic we’re not anti-screen; we’re pro-responsible use. We understand that screens can also provide diverse, accessible content and aid children’s development if they’re watching the right thing. However, only accessing audio-visual materials impedes their imagination, limiting it to what they see, and also leads to problems with visual fatigue. This is the first sign of physical damage to the eyes, caused by constant contact with screens. Increased visual effort means that the eye loses contrast and becomes dry, and if use is prolonged it may even cause migraines.
Create your own audiobook
It’s easier than you think. Are you up for the challenge?
To create your own audiobook you will need:
- A story: We recommend the Fabulastic Adventure because it is also personalised (the world’s first personalised pop-up book) — your little one will be blown away!
- A mobile phone: It should have a recorder.
- Background music: You don’t need to be Spielberg, just use your imagination.
- Attitude: We know you have it in you ;)
Now what? How do I record my audiobook?
- Your mobile recorder should have an option to start and pause the recording so that you can return to it later. Got the hang of it? It’s important that you get this right because it is the key to a good audiobook.
- Once you’ve got the recording down, it’s time to split the story into scenes. This will help you find a good backing track for your story. Ha! You’re getting into this, aren’t you? It’s going to be great, just you wait. Find a theme for each scene. Is it a river scene? Cue flowing water… A forest? How about some birdsong!
- Differentiate your characters. Come on now, are you really going to use the same voice all the way through? Don’t even dream of it! Children are very demanding in this sense. Think about it: do bears and mice speak the same? No they do not! You’ll have to give each character their own voice and if you really want to go for gold…their own accent too!
- Lights…recorder…action! Get your soundtrack ready and press play. Take a deep breath, press record and start with the title. Leave a space of two to three seconds, take another breath in and set the scene. When you’re done with the first one, press pause, change the background sounds and then start recording again. Repeat until you finish the story.
- Save down your audiobook. Your little one is going to love it!
What about you? Do you like audiobooks? Does your little one? Which are your favourites? Let us know in the comments, we can’t wait to hear from you!