8 Benefits of Audio Stories for Young Children
1. Audio is hands free
Unlike books, audio stories are "hands free" meaning children can listen to them while going on walks, during play time or quiet time, while eating or on journeys. You just need a digital player to be able to reproduce an audio story - which nowadays come in so many different shapes and sizes - making them very easy to play and have close to hand throughout the day.
2. Audio stories encourage and develop inquisitive thought
There are no pictures or images to follow throughout an audio story, the child is left to imagine what the characters, places and situations are like. This in turn encourages the child to ask questions about why a character is doing something, has said something or just conjure up the images by themself.
3. Help build listening skills
To enjoy an audio story, you really have to listen. And by listening attentively, children pick up on small details that may go lost when using their other senses such as sight. My kids ask so many questions when they listen to audio stories and books, far more than while reading or watching something.
4. Accessible for children who don't read yet or who struggle with reading
Audio stories and books are accessible to a much wider range of young children than traditional reading books - children who don't yet read, children with visual impairment, children who struggle with reading.
5. Listening to audio stories can help develop empathy
Lively, vivid narration of an audio book or story helps you connect with the characters and the plot, and children are no exception. They become a part of the story and feel what the characters are supposed to feel, which is basically the root of empathy.
6. Audio is relaxing
Just as reading a book is relaxing, listening to an audio story also helps to calm the mind. Gentle stories are perfect for quiet time or bedtime and being hands free, they also help to relax busy little bodies.
7. Screen free
Screens are part of our modern lives, there's no denying it, and there's nothing that will take them away entirely. But, finding alternative entertainment to screens is hugely beneficial to a young child's education and well being. The right audio stories, tailored to the correct age group, can be a wonderful way to keep a little one entertained and engaged in an educative, safe activity.
8. An activity for children and adults to enjoy together
Listening to a story with your child provides a perfect opportunity for sharing - you can ask each other questions about the story or the characters, imagine what they look like or what the places they're visiting are like. You can listen to stories together on journeys, in the car, on buses, trains, aeroplanes, on wet, boring afternoons, or while waiting at the doctors or dentists where stories are great a distraction.