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One of the great things about being in the Sandwich Generation, caring for elderly parents and helping with the grandchildren, is discovering that many of the tools for seniors can also be useful for the grandkids and vice versa. That can definitely save time and energy, and sometimes even money, when reasearching for your family needs.
I was reminded of that this past week as I worked on the post, From Extra Large Print Books and Magazine Subscriptions to Audio Books – Low Vision Resources for You In The Sandwich Generation Caring for Elderly Parents. Just as audio books are a great boon to our senior parents, they can also be a big blessing for our children and grandchildren, especially for long trips (come to think of it – that makes them a boon to all us boomer grandparents too!!!).
As I've written previously, I love having a DVD player in my car but not all cars have that capability. And even when they do, they can malfunction (mine is headed for the shop next week – AGAIN!).
I was thrilled to discover Amazon has several of the Amelia Bedelia books available on audio cds along with another of our favorites, Frog and Toad, while Audiobooks on iTunes also offers some of the Amelia Bedelia Books. We are big fans of Amelia Bedelia books in any version including audio so I was very happy. Several of these audio stories were new to us, but even the two we knew held their attention nicely. I also found some of my boomer childhood favorites, the Bobbsey Twins books, available for free download at Audiobooks on iTunes thanks to LibriVox. Free is ALWAYS nice. 🙂 Just click on the link, then type in the book series or title you want, scroll down to audio books, and select all. Voila – the various choices. If you want to see if there are free copies through LibriVox and it isn't showing them, I usually type the book or series title followed by the word LibriVox and then they pop up. You can listen to the samples and compare the quality of the narrator and recording to help you make your choices.
For the older grandkids, I've added Little Women and Little Men as well as the Chronicles of Narnia through one or the other of these resources, as well as using Audible.com. None were very expensive and some, like Little Men, had free options through LibriVox at Audiobooks on iTunes! Definitely some practical ways for all us boomer grandparents to save money.
There's also good news for all of us boomers and seniors using iPhones. They actually have iPhone apps with many of the classics for our grandkids, our senior parents, and us to enjoy – both to read or to listen to. These are also great for wait times at restaurants or in a long line. If I have a grandkid with me who doesn't get car sick reading in the car AND they're where I can supervise, I'll sometimes let them use myiPhone for reading or let them plug in with earphones to listen in. The AudioBooks app and a couple of others offer over 3500 classic audiobooks for free, while Gutenberg and FreeAudioBooks offer almost as many but the apps themeselves cost 99 cents to $1.99. If you're interested, I'd start with the free app, then listen to samples of the paid ones and check the reviews. Either way, these all definitely get added to my list of best educational iPhone apps for kids and grandkids! Again, just click this link – Audiobooks on iTunes – type in the words "classic books" in the search box, hit enter, and scroll to ipod apps – it might even pop up on top. That does seem to vary though.
Best of all, these are all useful as phonics resources for our grandkids when we're helping with teaching them to read, as well as an excellent way to make long boring waits fun AND educational! WOO-HOO, those are the kinds of "how to teach a child to read" activities for grandparents and their grandchildren that are special favorites of mine. How about you?