Audiobooks for Toddlers: Why the Bedtime Story Matters
Bedtime stories are a nighttime routine staple. How can audiobooks replicate this activity? What audiobooks for toddlers do we recommend here at Jooki?
As adults, sleeping is a joy. Many of us relish the prospect of hours in bed and long lie-ins. So why is it that convincing toddlers to turn in can be such a chore? What are they afraid of?
Psychologists suggest that saying goodbye represents a moment of worry and anxiety for some children, and saying goodnight is an awful lot like saying goodbye to our little toddlers. Our children love us, and not having us around can be difficult for them — particularly when they’re struggling with separation anxiety, which can be a huge issue in the toddler years.
One way of comforting toddlers and helping them wind down is to read them a bedtime story. Storytime gives you time to bond, an opportunity to enjoy something together, and a chance to have a good cuddle.
Why Do Bedtime Stories Matter?
We have told stories forever — they existed way before recorded history began. Stories help us learn lessons, develop, mature, and grow. They also help to foster connections and to comfort. They reassure us we’re not alone. With stories, we can turn scary thoughts into something more understandable — like a giant or a big, scary wolf we can defeat. Stories come with a moral or a message that give our children food for thought and a lesson to learn.
Stories are particularly effective at night when your little child is sleepy and winding down. When your child isn’t running around and exploring the world, they can explore stories with their parents — a whole new world of fiction. You can grab their attention, strengthen your bond, and help them develop their understanding of narratives, suspense, and theme — making them avid readers for life.
It’s never too early to share stories with your child. Some parents even tell their babies stories in the womb. Even if you think your animated toddler is too active to settle for a story, or you believe they aren’t taking anything in, they will pick up on the rhyme, rhythm, and tone of the story, which will help them with their education as they grow. If you want proof of how stories affect your children, watch them closely next time you enjoy a book together. They will react to the tone of your voice (or the tone of the narrator’s voice) and begin to reflect what they hear, helping them develop empathy and understanding.
We all know the special relationship toddlers have with stories. Click here to learn about how songs help children develop.
Should Parents Listen to Audiobooks with Toddlers?
Physical books will always be important and will forever hold a special place in our hearts — there is nothing quite like the feel and smell of a book. But today we have a lot of options as parents, and audiobooks can play an equally important role in developing a love for stories.
Research has shown that audiobooks are actually a great way to develop your child’s reading skills and encourage reluctant readers. One source suggests that audiobooks can help to improve toddler vocabulary and syntax while making them better listeners. Irene Picton of the National Literacy Trust has said audiobooks could allow toddlers to hear rhythms and speech patterns, allowing them to become fully immersed in the story. She adds:
‘If a child finds decoding or comprehension difficult, audiobooks can make literature more accessible.’
Some may worry that audiobooks leave parents out of the storytelling experience, but this is far from the truth. Having a parent there, listening along, shows toddlers they are not alone. It’s a joint experience that parents and child are enjoying. Parents can also use audiobooks in conjunction with physical books. You can read alongside the audio, pointing out the illustrations while letting your toddler turn the pages.
Audiobooks come with a bonus. If your child has several favorites, you can take them with you wherever you go. Whether you’re on vacation or a long car ride, you can take dozens of your toddler’s favorites with you without space being an issue.
Tips for Listening to Audiobooks with Your Toddler
If you are new to the world of audiobooks, you might want some tips for experiencing audiobooks with toddlers:
- Start with stories your toddler already knows and loves. This will provide a sense of comfort and enjoyment, which is more conducive to a good sleep routine than excitement and confusion.
- Avoid books that are too suspenseful or scary.
- Find stories with a lot of repetition. Toddlers love repetition. It provides a sense of familiarity and comfort.
- If your child appears disinterested or frustrated with a particular story, move on to the next one. Don’t force them to enjoy it. Books should be fun, not a chore, regardless of the format.
- Find audiobooks appropriate for your toddler’s age. Audiobooks for toddlers should engage their attention, using techniques such as repetition and rhyme.
- Find audiobooks that follow the physical version word-for-word, so — if your child wants to — you can read along. This activity will become more important as they get older, and their literacy improves.
- Remember, you don’t have to pay a lot of money. There are hundreds of free audiobooks on Spotify.
Beautiful Bedtime Audiobooks for Toddlers
So what are the best bedtime audiobooks for toddlers? You want them to be catchy and short, to keep their attention from wavering. You also want narrators that will engage your toddler. We have helped by putting together a list of 10 classic audiobooks for toddlers on Spotify.
- The Tale of Peter Rabbit
- Green Eggs and Ham
- The Three Little Pigs
- The Boy Who Cried Wolf
- How the Camel Got its Hump
- Little Red Riding Hood
- The Owl & The Pussycat
- Jack and the Beanstalk
- The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin
Use Jooki to Listen to Audiobooks with Your Toddlers
If you’re looking for a system to listen to audiobooks on, Jooki is the perfect device for your toddler and your family. Jooki is easily portable and connects via wifi. This screen-free solution is also fun for kids. The Jooki comes with characters who you can link to specific playlists (like our playlist above). So your toddler will have fun picking out just the right one for their nightly routine.
Jooki is a music and story player parents and children can enjoy together. To enjoy audiobooks together, buy a Jooki today and start a new bedtime tradition.