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Little Listening Corners

pot plant and orange pillow on the ground next to a window in a sunny corner

**This is a guest post, written by Jenny Holt.

Aside from entertaining children who are stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic, audiobooks have the capacity to boost children's mental health, according to Psychology Today. Creating a restful reading nook in your home will make it easier for kids to get the most put of the audiobooks you read together. When times are hard and very different from the norm, little ones need help to remain resilient, and audiobooks make it simpler for kids to self-soothe as they learn. Parents may find that cuddling up with their children and listening to audiobooks is a great way to bond.

Disinfect a quiet corner of your home

Kids need a safe and healthy space. A listening nook should be disinfected, so no mold, dust, or germs are present. To make sure there isn't any mold, mildew, or germs in the space, spray a disinfectant solution containing one part bleach to five parts water to surfaces, such as floors, walls, and small plastic chairs. Wash soft cushion covers and cozy blankets in hot water to ensure that they are sparkling clean. After you disinfect, it will be time for the fun part, which is decorating the nook so it's a fun and inviting place for children.

Ask your kids to help you decorate the nook

Kids can actually help with the decorating process by creating art that can be taped onto the walls. This could be a great craft activity during  isolation. Of course, a cheery space like this will also be great for reading printed books and doing homeschooling, so it will be a versatile learning/play area. If your kids want to help, ask them to draw pictures of their favorite activities. Encourage them to get creative by coloring their drawings with bright and vibrant hues. Offer non-toxic craft materials, construction paper, and whatever else you have on hand, such as glitter glue or stickers, and then let the kids show their artistic talents. Tape up these masterpieces on the disinfected walls. Show children how to wash their hands carefully, for at least 20 seconds, after they finish the pictures. 

If you have beanbag chairs and other comfy, child-friendly furnishings, place them in the nook. A sofa, love seat, or big easy chair could also be moved into the nook. Try to set up seating that gives you and the kids a chance to cuddle up together. After you decorate the space, it will be time to add a little technology that makes it easy to enjoy audiobooks anytime, such as after breakfast or before bedtime.

Add the right technology

Tales2go is accessible from any browser and most mobile devices. You can even connect your device via Bluetooth to a smart speaker, for group listening and enjoyment.

Once you've set up your nook, make listening to audio books with the kids a peaceful part of your daily family routine. Start with audiobooks that are familiar. Beginning with a story that your children already know and love will help them to develop a love of listening and learning. Then, choose new audiobooks that spark your children's imaginations and teach them new things. 

Research validates the importance of listening to stories

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