Tune In to Reading This Month
Posted by STAIR-Annapolis on June 23, 2021
June is National Audiobook Appreciation Month and we're celebrating by sharing some free resources for kids' audiobooks!
Experts agree that listening to audiobooks can be really good for young readers, especially emerging readers or those striving to reach grade-level competency.
According to a recent article by Jamie Martin, an assistive technology specialist at the New England Assistive Technology Center in Hartford, Connecticut, audiobooks can actually help kids develop a love of reading:
One of the greatest benefits of audiobooks is that they can motivate struggling readers. When kids aren't reading at grade level, they might not yet be reading the same books as their classmates and friends. As a result, kids...might feel really frustrated. When kids listen to those books, it can make them more engaged and motivated.
Audiobooks also help children who have trouble with phonics and reading comprehension because they remove the obstacles to understanding caused by a student's efforts to sound out words. This leaves kids free to focus their mental energy on understanding the text.
Want to raise an independent reader? Audiobooks can help with that, too. Busy families don't always have time to drop everything and read, and that can be frustrating for kids who are just beginning to explore books or who aren't yet able to read their favorite book independently. Audiobooks provide on-demand storytelling from professionals that not only give kids easy and instant access to wonderful books, but also model excellent fluency and expression (two important components of basic literacy).
To magnify the benefits of audiobooks, have children read along with the text as they listen. This multi-sensory approach has the same benefits as listening to a fluent reader recite a story out loud or reading along with a teacher in the classroom, helping kids make connections between the words they hear and the letters they see on the page.
So where can you find free audiobooks for kids?
Start with your local library! With the Libby by Overdrive mobile app, all you need is your Anne Arundel County Public Library card to borrow thousands of audiobook titles for readers of all ages. Learn more here.
Here are some other great resources that offer free audiobooks for kids:
Audible Stories offers a variety of classic children's books on audio, available for instant download at no cost.
Spotify, the popular music streaming service, has dozens of playlists of public domain audiobooks available for free. Titles include classics like The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett and Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
LibriVox is another library of public domain audiobooks available for free. Stories from beloved children's authors like Beatrix Potter and Louisa May Alcott are read by volunteers from around the world.
Storynory is a great resource for the littlest listeners, featuring a range of free audiobooks that includes original stories and favorite classics like "Little Red Riding Hood" and Aesop's Fables.
Do you have another go-to resource for free audiobooks? Let us know in the comments below or come visit us on Facebook!