Friday, June 6, 2014

Raising a Reader: Read on the Road

If your summer is anything like mine, you will find that your minivan becomes more like a second home. There are family reunions, summer vacations, and weekend camping trips to be had. It is all so great- but it certainly adds up to some SERIOUS time spent in the car. Add kids to the mix and the trip time seems to magically double… yeesh.

I know that pretty much any family car you will ever see comes equipped with a DVD player. The man who sold us our minivan lovingly referred to it as “the babysitter.” I also know that an iPad is a toddler’s best friend and that your phone probably holds enough apps to calm a daycare. I, too, have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to road trip survival kits and lap games for kids. I get it. Traveling with kids is requires an advanced form of parenting.

Before you pass another tablet to the backseat or spend the night before a trip laminating another folder game, make sure you first consider adding an audiobook to your arsenal.

Audiobooks? For kids?
Yes… and yes.
There is a whole world of audiobooks out there catered to your wee ones.  And the best part? It is an AWESOME way to boost your child’s reading skill. Studies show that listening to books helps readers to:

-Develop a sense of narrative
·     - Build vocabulary
·      -Emphasize reading as a source of pleasure rather than a skill
·      -Model the cadence of the reader
·      -Develop listening skills (don’t we all want more of that…)
·      -Boost creative play

Audiobooks have become our favorite way to spend time in the car. We first started out listening to The Magic Tree House series. My girls were only 3 and 2 at the time but they LOVED it. The books topics led to awesome discussions about medieval knights, what a mummy was, and how to travel to the moon.

We have since moved on to Beverly Cleary books, Shel Silverstein poems, Roald Dahl and a collection of short stories. Each time, my girls get wrapped up in the story and beg for more!

You can find audiobooks on Amazon or but no need to spend big bucks on your personal collection. Head over to your library! The children’s section of my library has a whole case of audiobooks your littles will love.

To start you out, here are a few of our favorites…

Have any of you found a great audiobook for kids? Tell me about it! We have another 8 hour road trip coming up fast…



Anonymous said...

Such a great idea! My little guy always asks for my phone to play on when we are driving to the grandparents house which is 45 mins away. This is such a better alternative! They might even be excited to leave places if I remind them of the story we are listening to. Thanks! Great post!

Sarah said...

my kids love audiobooks too!... the boxcar children books, Dinosaurs Never Say Please, Mrs. Piggle-wiggle, a Bear Called Paddington, Steward Little, and the Wizard of Oz are some they've loved recently. (my daughter is 4.5 and my son is 6.5)

Now that it's summer break, when they ask to watch tv or a movie I keep saying "it's summer break we don't watch tv, we play more!" SO far they're buying it :-) But I do have audiobook time and they sit on the couch or in bed with their headphones and except for the very loud-jabbering 1 year old it brings some peace and quite!