Listening to stories - whether read by a parent, librarian, or narrator on a CD is very enjoyable. It helps kids develop their attention and imagination, just as reading does. Audio books let kids who can't read yet, hear more stories when Mum and Dad are busy, or allows older children to hear stories when they are too tired to read. It can also give your eyes a break from close up work, while you relax and let someone else do the reading!
I remember as a kid, having a Famous Five story on vinyl record, which I listened to over and over again. Another favourite was on a cassette - a story my aunt brought back after her time living in South Africa. It was called 'The Beobab Tree' and is a beautiful story of all the creatures living in and around a Beobab Tree - the tree itself has a voice as do all the animals. We have managed to preserve this story for our children, through transferring it from cassette to CD, then to the computer and onto their MP3 players.
I also remember listening to stories on the radio now and again - back in the UK, on Radio 4. I wonder if children still listen to stories on there?
Our girls love listening to audio books. They have some Famous Five stories, some Roald Dahl, The Beobab Tree, and several fairy tales from when they were younger, that they still occasionally listen to.
We have found audio books are great for car journeys - and we all enjoyed listening to some Roald Dahl stories together on a recent driving and camping trip.
Our girls often listen to them too when they are tired after swimming, or as an alternative to TV. They even have them playing as background noise, almost as much as they do their music! I guess some of the stories they've heard so often, and know so well, that it doesn't matter if they miss parts while they're busy playing or talking!
There are so many audio books available - to buy, or hire from your local library. There are also many available to download for free online.
One such place I have found is
However you find them, audio books are a fantastic resource to have for both children and adults alike.
How about you? Do you enjoy audio books? Do your kids?
Do you remember listening to stories as a kid yourself? Which ones?
Do let us know, we'd love to hear about your favourites and where you listen to audio books!