Best Audio Books for Kids
Hello! We are living through uncharted waters right now. Quarantining our families and trying to do some continued learning at home. First and foremost, do what is right for your family. Our mental and physical health is most important. Please make sure you’re following the Busy Kids Happy Mom Facebook page for frequent updates and free activities while our children are home.
Truth: Sometimes I need my kids to stop talking to me and I get tired of my own voice. I feel guilty if I let my kids watch too much TV or have too much screen time. Enter my favorite trick… audio books.
As a mom and educator, I know that children thrive on structure and routine. I recommend keeping a small schedule for everyone’s sanity. My favorite parenting trick is listening to audio books. This is our favorite family car trip and quiet-time activities. Not only do audio books improve vocabulary and comprehension, they are highly entertaining too!
I’ve listed below our favorite audio books and we add to this frequently. Mom tested and kid approved for car rides, vacations, quiet time, and mom sanity.
Listening to books is reading with your EARS!
One thing I KNOW I’ve done right as a mom: introducing my children to Audio Books at an early age! We have listened to hundreds of books together in the car and they’ve listened to hundreds more during quiet time. There isn’t much I can confidently say I’ve done right, but I DO know this has been enormously beneficial. My children LOVE books! Not only do they enjoy listening to them, but they like reading them too. Studies show that audio books increase vocabulary and comprehension, I’ve seen it first hand!
Audio books increase vocabulary and comprehension.
How do I choose audio books? I either use the list below or from the following Pinterest Boards: Books for Boys and Books for Girls.
Where do I get audio books? The library is always our number one choice, but we’ve found great books on-line too.
Audible offers two free audio books when you sign up. Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks.
The App “Overdrive” that is connected to public library’s digital library.
Audiobooks have been the lifesaver to our road trips.
Tip: If you borrow the book from your library (download it to a device or stream it). After 2 weeks it disappears. With Blue Tooth adaptability on your phone and in your car you can listen to books as you travel.
Our Top Audio Books List
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle
Rabbit Ears – Tall Tales
Mercy Watson Collection
Flora and Ulysses
Elementary Age Listeners
Tale of Desperaux
Harriet the Spy
Nate the Great
Wizard of Oz
Sarah, Plain and Tall
Cricket in Time Square
The Phantom Tollbooth
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
Felicity – All American Girl
Secrets of Droon
Anne of Green Gables
The Castle in the Attic
The Secret School
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
Candy Shop Wars
The Giver (series)
The Book Thief
Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
Steel Heart (series)
Agatha Christie Mysteries
Looking for something else that you can enjoy guilt free? Check out using closed captioning here.
10 Reasons I love Audio Books for Kids:
- They keep my kids entertained during rest time.
- They have improved my children’s story comprehension and vocabulary.
- We listen in the car – on long trips and around town.
- They listen to books that are above their reading level.
- We listen to books that we might not have read on our own.
- They keep my kids from fighting in the car.
- Some of them teach important biblical lessons.
- They helped us transition from nap time to rest time.
- When we listen together we can discuss harder topics and discuss the book.
- Our public library has a great selection!! Which means f-r-e-e!
Click here for more great reading resources…
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Summer Reading Graph: 1000 Minutes
What People Are Saying
Tiffany Papagno says
At what age did you allow your children to handle the book CDs from the library? My oldest is 4 and growing out of naptime. I’m not sure, though, that she’s mature enough to be responsible to take good care of the CDs. Hoping to use audiobooks for her rest time, but having trouble with the logistics of it. :/
Hi Tiffany! So frustrating when they outgrow nap time. 🙂 I polled my kids and they think it was around age 4 or 5 that they started taking CD’s out on their own. I only let them take out one CD at a time. We practiced many times on how to put the CD in, press the buttons, etc. You could put stickers on the buttons to help for navigation. It is so worth it! We’ve been doing this for 5+ years and my kids still look forward to quiet time, being in their rooms, and we all listen to stories in the car together. Great way to boost comprehension and vocabulary for the future. You’re doing the right thing mom! 🙂
Shirley McLellan says
Your timing is perfect! Thanks for the list of books. There’s lots of new ones we can try over our Christmas break!
Thanks Shirley! I’m glad you can use the books here. Let me know if you have more to add to the list. – Kristen
Shirley McLellan says
We’re big fans of Roald Dahl books! We especially like Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. They’re all so good. 🙂
Ooh – those are great additions Shirley! Thanks!
Our local library has the Boxcar Children Mysteries. We have listened to EVERY one. My kiddo loves mysteries. We also listened to every Magic Tree House book that our library has on cd.
Kristen @ Busy Kids = Happy Mom says
Keitha – those are great too! I’ll add them to the list!
Hi! What website do you buy the audio books? My 4 year son loves the fairytale stories we listen to in the car. Any recommendations would be great! Thanks
Hi Eileen – we generally get all of our audio books from the library. We have used audible.com as a great paid resource too.
I have found heaps of audio books at our local library. I put them on my sons MP3 player for long car trips. We love this as he listens to the stories and talks to us about them – even though we have no idea what he is listening too. He also still looks out the window and talks to us about what he is seeing, plus he will fall asleep listening to the stories.
I am printing out this list and hoping to find some at the library to add to his collection.
These are GREAT thanks!!
Heather and Scott says
We love books on CD!! We listen to them all over town – the kids REQUEST them and my husband and I get time to TALK without interruption. Golden.
I know what you mean!! 🙂 We love them and it cuts down on the fighting in the car too!
We have just discovered audiobooks as a favorite family thing to do. We just took a vacation in New Hampshire and listened all the way. There are so many great books out there, from the classic kids tales to the Harry Potter collections. We have actually had a lot of fun listening to some of the lesser known authors. All The Little Foxes by Karen Elizabeth Russell is a good example if that. This is a story that flows a close friendship that starts to unravel as a new classmate gets thrown in the mix. My hubby and I actually were laughing just as hard as the kids with this one-just a great, great story.
Ooh! Thank you for this one. I didn’t know about All the Little Foxes. I will look for it next. Isn’t it a fun family bonding activity? We just started a new one together. It gives us all something common to talk about and makes great memories!
When do you tend to listen to audio books and what do you do while listening to them. Unless it’s bedtime I can’t imagine my kids sitting and just listening!
Hi Sharon – Thanks for the question. We tend to listen to audio books during “rest time” (no one naps anymore) and on car rides. But during snow storms or quarantine, I’ve used them during quiet activities too (coloring, handwriting practice, puzzle making) and I’ve even used them during lunch! I call it a “reading lunch” …. then we can all take a break from talking to one another. That sounds bad as I’m typing it, but whew! Do whatever it takes to make you stay sane. Hope that helps!