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When school is out for the summer, children often want to put aside reading, writing and other academic pursuits.

While there is no harm in taking a short vacation from scholarly activities, studies show that elementary students tend to forget a significant portion of what they learned in school during the summer.

Parents who want their kids stay in the learning mode while still having some summer fun may want to consider using audio books to help.

Audio Books for KidsChildren can actually “read” audio books online, in many cases, at no charge. The activity helps develop listening skills and can increase comprehension and reasoning ability. This is especially true if parents listen to a book with their kids and discuss some aspect of the story with him.

Kids can learn to predict what will happen next, review the sequence of events in the plot, and examine the reasons a character acted the way he did. All of these are valuable academic skills that don’t seem like “school work.” Families that are traveling during the summer will also find many uses for children’s audio books online.

They can be downloaded onto an MP3 player and can keep a youngster occupied for hours in a car or on a plane. There are books available for listening in all genres and for all ages, so there is sure to be something that will appeal to every member of the family. Audio books can also be a good diversion for rainy days or times when it is too hot or buggy to go outside.

They stimulate a child’s imagination much more than videos do, because the listener must visualize the action as it happens, rather than just watching it pass before her eyes. If kids are reluctant to try an audio book, parents may want to download one that contains the same story as a favorite movie or video. Kids who are challenged to find as many differences between the two versions as possible will often be enthusiastic about the task.

There are a number of audio books forums that have suggestions for foolproof listening. Parents often give and receive ideas for buying the best audio books for a particular age group on these sites. Forum visitors can also find other families whose interests are similar to their own and get recommendations for good books.
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