9 best kids audio players that helps reduce screen time

Martha Alexander
·2-min read
Perfect for long journies or holidays, they'll entertain and educate little ones (The Independent)
Perfect for long journies or holidays, they'll entertain and educate little ones (The Independent)

First it was TV that used to worry parents, then when computers, smartphones and tablets became part of everyone’s every day, we began to seriously freak out about how much screen time our children have access to.

And, without wanting to be an alarmist scaremonger, we are right to be mindful. Screen time for children under two years old has more than doubled in 17 years and there have been similar increases across other age groups.

Time children used to spend playing with each other, drawing, jumping, listening to stories or making dens has been given over to an online, visual world, where they watch rather than engage.

Luckily, there’s audio – definitively screen free, but which allows children a dose of technology. It’s a powerful way for children to receive, enjoy and absorb information.

Audio – be it music, radio or stories – has always been a popular medium for children – who else remembers listening to cassette versions The Witches or Just William or your dad’s Graceland on long car journeys as a kid? And this popularity remains today – although the technology has changed somewhat.

This selection includes mp3 players, speakers, boom boxes and retro record players. It sees value in the cheap and cheerful and the mind-bogglingly innovative.

We were looking primarily, for something children could use easily and ideally independently from parents – as this brings about a sense of confidence. We wanted children to be able to quickly grasp how the machines worked and to be able to properly take ownership of them. Another priority was ensuring all the audio products provided kids with a sense of fun and invited them to let their imaginations run riot.

We certainly considered size, portability and sound quality – as well as how aesthetically pleasing they all were.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

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