Did you know the public library has more to offer than just books? This is installment #4 in a series about the many things that can be checked out from my local public library. The library has so many things to offer, but I'm going to focus on things that are kid-centric.
Reading aloud (mostly bedtime stories) to my kids is very important to me and I love to do it. But sometimes I just don't feel like it. Thankfully the library has several options to fill the gap.
I found out about Dial-A-Story, Playaway, Books-on-CD, and BookFLIX.
I thought this was an interesting idea. Just call up the number, hand your kid the phone, and a friendly recorded voice on the other end will read them a picture book. The story changes weekly.
Unfortunately, chances are we are not going to have the picture book that the recording is reading. So the kid won't get the full experience of being read a picture book. Maybe it would be good to keep the kid occupied and quiet for a few precious moments while in line at the post office or in a doctor's office?
Secundus was very excited to try it out for me because talking on the phone is a rare treat. But this time it was reading a book of poems and she just didn't get interested. After two poems she handed the phone back to me and said, "Thanks, but that was boring."
This one excited the kids because it reminded them of an iPod. You check it out just like a book. What you get is a little audio player with one book loaded on it.
What you don't get is headphones/speakers (you've got to use your own) and the associated book (if you want to read along, you'll have to check out the book separately.)
Thankfully, we owned this book already and they eagerly took turns listening this fun story.
Most of the Playaways I saw available seemed to be chapter books so we'll be going back to get some for the girls.
This picture book was fun, but not the best for Tertius because he can't read yet, and there was no "page turn" signal.
Of course the library has many of these available! In the past we've enjoyed taking on vacation with us picture books that have audio cds included. These types always have page-turn signals so they're perfect for kids to "read" independently.
Often the CD will also include a track of the story read without potentially annoying page-turn signals. And sometimes the CD will even include some bonus kids music.
We recently discovered how much we like listening to audio books in the car. After listening to Tales of King Arthur and Prince and the Pauper, though, the CD player broke. :( But I still picked up some new ones today to listen to in the house while we eat lunch.
I was so happy to find this! We absolutely LOVE watching picture books being read online. You access BookFLIX through the library's website by clicking from the home page on "kids" then "ebooks" then "bookflix."
This one is done by Scholastic and it has a huge variety of stories.
When you select a pair of books, one of them can be "watched" and one can be "read."
The "Watch the Story" option is an animation of the story made by Weston Wood with captioning at the bottom of the screen so kids can read along.
The "Read the Book" book gives you the option to turn on the audio so it reads to you. Or you can turn the audio off and make your kid practicing reading new books without having to leave your house to check out more. Also of note, with this one you have to click to turn the page (something I don't always trust the youngest ones to do without my supervision.)
What's even better about this website is that it even includes games for all the books!
Stay tuned for the next installment!