- You have a shelf..or two full of [tag]books[/tag].
- You read books to the kids
- They read the books…….. but still many of them remain on the shelf.
How do you [tag]encourage reading[/tag] with some of those other neglected titles?
There was a time we regularly rotated our books. But lack of time has seen that slacken off recently. That is a big shame as finding a ‘new’ book was always a time for celebration. Now I hear cries of “Do you know where The Gruffalo book is?” and we hunt through our books and can’t find it. It’s one of our favourites and even though we probably know it off by heart nothing beats having the book in your hand and thumbing through the pages.
We rotated our books by dividing the books up into two or three boxes of books. I tried to keep a variety of picture books, short stories, poems, manuals, old cataglogues etc in each box.
During the night I would swap out the books for a new set for the morning. We have books around the house so these would move places as well. The previous set would be put out of sight. Favourite books would be ‘found’ again but the ‘new’ books were usually the fun books. Well worth doing and getting into a system to do it…………note to self.
Whilst I was reading..”We’re Going on a Bear Hunt ” for the umpteenth time and wondering how I could get some of these neglected but still exciting titles out of the bookshelf dungeon. I saw some computer headphones and a [tag]play activity[/tag] started to form.
- Plugged in the headphones with microphone into the computer.
- Sat the kids around the computer.
- Open up [tag]Audacity[/tag] program
- Read the story and recorded via Audacity program
- Saved it as an MP3 file ( Click of a button)
What did we get?
Our bookshelf stories read by mum. Whatever title we wanted from the shelf had a newness as mum could read it for us.
Now, when my toddler comes to find me sometimes he wants to listen to me read the book and other times he points at the computer as he wants to listen to the same story.
He pulls up the chair next to me and whilst I check email he listens to the same story.
Each day each child has chosen their favourite story and I’ve had a recording session.
The big guy suggested some sticks to tap so ‘ …my brother knows when to turn the page.” Both kids like that part. I think they are both secretly hoping to get that role soon as the official turn page tapper!
So far I’ve kept all the [tag]audio stories[/tag] on my computer. But just as easily you could burn them on to CD and listen to them in the car, upload them to the iPod or other players in the house.
Family are visiting soon so I’ll rope them into a story or two.
Your local library has a selection of books you can book out that are audio just for kids. But right now we are rediscovering we love reading books from our shelf.
This is just a twist on reading; a complimentary activity and not meant to stop you reading with your child. That activity we still do but this is another way to take in the story.
Active listening to audio stories gives your children
- another reason for reading.
- a chance to follow the pictures/ words and wait for cues ( pausing/sound) to know when to turn the page.
- allows independent reading of books at any age
- allows younger ones access to favourite older books usually only the older sibling or adult can read to them. They love that independence.
- practice at following a story at the reader’s pace.
- New and upcoming readers a chance to follow and hear the correct pronunciation
- Read along with the speaker
- Start noticing pace, tone, pitch and using different voices for characters.
- Increase vocabulary and hear it in context.
- Chance to slow down/ calm down / change pace and follow a story by actively engaging with the text.
We’ve started small with picture and board books. These have worked well with both my toddler and preschooler.
- Short enough to listen.
- Long enough but not too long for either age group.
Audacity is a free, easy-to-use audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and other operating systems.
Computer headphones with microphone available from shops where headphones are sold.
For more information on the benefits of listening to stories see below
Use audio books to bring life and depth to your childâ€™s reading experience.
By Susan B. Neuman PhD
- Developing preschool reading skills
- Fun activities to promote listening skills
by Holly Hanke
- Benefits Of Buying Educational Audio Books For Your Child
By Trevor Kassulke
- Reading Aloud to Preschoolers
Ways for Parents to Make Storytime fun for Children
Â© Charlina Stewart
Disclaimer: None of these audios we record are used for commercial use. We use them for our own enjoyment. You can buy the audio stories of your favourite books in shops and via downloads.