Sometimes it’s hard to get my wee boy to read – he just doesn’t sit still for long enough. He is very much one of those classic reluctant readers. He is so active, there is almost always seems to be something better to do. He’d rather kick a football, jump on a trampoline, watch a spider spin its web, or build a new Lego car. We were very pleased to be asked to try out a new mobile Audiobooks service called BookBeat, so that both myself and my son could enjoy books together. We hoped it would re-ignite the joy in story-telling for our active boy, when I wasn’t using the account. Use the code KIDDYCHARTS if you want to try it out too – for a month free. And check out our five reasons why we think Audiobooks are great for kids like my son too!
BookBeat has a lovely collection of Audiobooks for children; great for fans of David Walliams, and David Baddiel amongst others. Classics such as Heidi even make an appearance!
The app is easily laid out for your kids, with titles split into those that are the most popular, and by the age of the child.
The icons on the bottom of the screen allow navigation through the app, and are simple to use – perfect for little hands, and slightly larger slower ones as well!
The app caters for older readers, alongside the kids…as you can see from the collections available within its bookshelf.
The most important thing for us though, is that the app appeals to the active, tech mad kid; that doesn’t really like picking up a story. Using Audiobooks remind them that they LOVE a good tale, and that it IS worth stopping for a few moments to listen to one.
Particularly one that is read by the author themselves, which was the case with the first book my son chose to listen to; Gansta Granny. There is nothing quite like listening to the author of a book inject personality into his characters by actually reading the words to you. It is magical for the young, and inspiring to the old.
Though sometimes, if kids are as active as mine, you might find you need a boat to keep them occupied at the same time!
The use of eBooks to encourage the reluctant reader is well known. However, did you know that the same can be said of Audiobooks too? Teachers suggest that adding Audiobooks to your bookshelf for your kids can have a significant impact on:
- Active listening skills – That might sound strange, but all it really means in when your children are really fully concentrated on what is being said to them….and we all struggle to get our kids to do this properly, right? ;-)
- Reminding kids that reading is a pleasure – Sometimes when your child, like my boy, is a bit reluctant to read, it can become a chore. He’d rather be playing football than sitting down and engaging with a book, and when we ask, they feel like we nag. Audiobooks as so beautifully presented now, including sound effects, reamind us all that reading is fun!
- Critical thinking – Believe it or not, listening to the Audiobook can actively encourage critical thinking around the story, with children. Listening to it being read aloud, can help children to better understand the nuances of the tale, and make the necessary connections to be able to think more criticallly about the plot, and beyond. Thinking like this can really help reluctant readers to see beyond the book, and help to capture their imagination.
- Improving vocabulary/recognition – If kids are happy to listen AND look at the story while they are doing so, this can provide an excellent way to actually improve word recognition too. If those reluctant readers are struggling to read at their level, then an Audiobook can provide an opportunity to keep them motivated and engaged as their reading limitations catch up. Listening comprehension, and reading comprehension often don’t match in child reading progress – and Audiobooks can help bridge that gap. No bad thing, I am sure you will agree.
- Your sanity on car journeys! If YOU have an active child, you KNOW how impossible it is to keep them entertained for three hours in the car. However, we have used BookBeat to great effect to insure that we don’t go stir crazy travelling. 3 hours of David Walliams is preferable to over an hour of fidgeting, I am sure you would agree!
BookBeat offers unlimited listening (for £14.90 a month), and you can cancel at any time with no charges, so its flexible and easy. In addition, you can download the Audiobooks to your devices, so if you are travelling – you don’t need to be connected to WiFi to be able to listen to those stories.
And it is even possible to play football while you listen – sort of ;-). Just kidding – this was my iPad, and it is actually rather simple to both watch your kids, and listen to a great story all at the same time *sneakily*
So who’d have thought it – Audiobooks are a great solution for the kids and reluctant readers; to help them re-ignite their story-telling joy; while actually helping them make progress too.
Oh, and it can even make the most active child look very, very chilled out as well.
How do you encourage your reluctant readers – do give us some more ideas, won’t you?
This is a sponsored post – but Audiobooks are a great way to get my boy reading, and to keep him reasonably quiet on longer journeys! ;-)