We are inundated with visual entertainment options for our children but when it comes to finding wholesome options children can listen to sometimes we have to dig a little deeper. So today I’m sharing our favorite children’s audiobooks, iTunes, and podcasts plus a list of devices you can use to play them. These are great for quiet time or for keeping siblings occupied while homeschooling.
Have you joined our Classic Children’s Summer Book Club? Learn more here.
What devices are best for audio listening?
- Old iPhone – just clear it of everything but the Audible or Music app.
- iPad – Set appropriate restrictions.
- Kindle -You can set it so they can only listen to Audible (and not play apps). They can use headphones or just listen aloud.
- Amazon Echo Dot – Stream Audible audiobook into whatever room they are in.
- Bluetooth Speaker – If an iPad or Kindle during quiet time might be too distracting put a mini bluetooth speaker in their room and play from your phone.
- Playaways – Some libraries have these tiny audio players that can be checked out. Just add headphones!
- CD player – Yes, they still make them ;). Good for the library CDs you can check out.
Where do I download things for them to listen to?
Audible is the main way my children listen to audiobooks. Audible is part of Amazon and is an app on your phone, iPad, or Kindle. You don’t have to have a subscription to use Audible, but it may be cost effective if you are going purchase a lot of books. Definitely watch for sales. Many of the classic children’s books I talk about are on Audible and they are often narrated by celebrities which makes it fun.
While schools are out for the Coronavirus pandemic, Audible is offering free streaming via Audible Stories. Click here access and I’ve noted below which audio books can be streamed for free.
Audible Short Story collections (good for for young children’s quiet times):
- The House at Pooh Corner by Peter Dennis (available for free on Audible Stories here)
- Thornton Burgess Bedtime Stories
- James Herriot’s Treasury For Children
- Just So Stories (available for free on Audible Stories here)
- Mrs. Piggle Wiggle
- Peter Rabbit (available for free on Audible Stories here)
- The Real Mother Goose
- Winnie the Pooh (available for free on Audible Stories here)
Other Audible Favorites
- Little House series by Cherry Jones (My girls have listened to this multiple times!)
- The Chronicles of Narnia series
- Mr. Popper’s Penguins
- Stuart Little
- My Father’s Dragon
- Stone Fox narrated by B.D. Wong
- All of a Kind Family
- Homer Price
- Ramona series narrated by Stockyard Channing
- Understood Betsy
- Rabbit Hill
- Sarah Plain and Tall narrated by Glenn Close
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz narrated by Anne Hathaway (definitely for elementary and older bc it can be a tad scary for little ones)
- The Tale of Desperaux or any Kate DiMillo books (for older children)
- The Hobbit (We got about halfway through this but I think boys like better, I would say best for ages 7+.)
- Wingfeather Trilogy (haven’t listened but families with boys love this series)
- There are so many so please share your suggestions in the comments section!
iTunes Music/Short Stories
- Hide Them In Your Heart – You may have listened to this as a child. I love playing these in the car, too.
- Jim Weiss Stories – short and sweet; perfect for quiet time for children who don’t sleep. He has Bible stories, Uncle Wiggiliy Storybook, and fairytales .
- Focus on the Family Theatre Radio – Classics come to life with this series. Also available in CD form!
- Slugs and Bugs – Children love these and the CD’s make great gifts! Lullabies and Sing the Bible are just some of the options.
There are a plethora of children’s podcasts. I am still exploring as we take road trips this summer but some we’ve enjoyed:
- Your Story Hour – Family-friendly Bible, adventure, and and historical stories that children will enjoy. They are short so good for young children and short attention spans but all children will enjoy and hopefully benefit from the moral lessons.
- Focus on the Family Adventures in Odyssey – 30 minutes dramas on faith and character. Ages 8-12. y
- Stories – They release a new short story every week. Everything is G-rated and they often share Fairytales and classics like Peter Rabbit.
- Brains On! – Science podcast answering burning questions like what makes paint stick and how do animals breathe underwater. Ages 4 – 10.
- Circle Round – From NPR, these stories are for children ages 3-10 and feature folktales and stories from around the world with themes of “kindness, persistence, and generosity.”
- This article has several podcasts recommendations that look good.
Free audiobooks read by volunteers around the world. Sometimes the sound quality isn’t great, but waned to share that there is free resource out there.
Scribd is another popular audiobook service that is offering a free 30 day trial right now. Some of the recommended titles above are available on Scribd so check their too.
Tips for Listening to Audiobooks
My two older girls took naps until they were five years old (what a blessing!) but my third daughter stopped much younger. My sanity needed that quiet time, though, and she needed rest. I found listening to audiobooks or music was a quiet thing she could do in her room. When we first started I made her stay in her bed and listen to the short stories mentioned above. (Sometimes she would fall asleep!). Later, I let her play quietly in her room while she listened.
During other times of the day giving children something to do with their hands is helpful:
- Perler Beads
- Listen while eating lunch!
- Play doh/sensory activities (don’t forget the cute play doh sets on our Easter gift guide!)
- See this post for lots more ideas!
P.S. Have you downloaded our Top 100 Classic Children’s Book List? It would be a great thing to work through during this extended time at home!
Don’t forget to pin this post for the future!