Favorite Children’s Audiobooks (and More Wholesome Listening Ideas)

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, music, and podcasts plus a list of devices you can use to play them. These are great for quiet time and car trips, many of which the whole family can enjoy!

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

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.

Audible Short Story collections (good for for young children’s quiet times):

Other Audible Favorites (for car rides and ages 5+ to enjoy)

  • Little House series by Cherry Jones (My girls have listened to this multiple times!)
  • Mr. Popper’s Penguins
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz narrated by Anne Hathaway (definitely for elementary and older bc it can be a tad scary for little ones)
  • Homer Price
  • The Chronicles of Narnia
  • All of a Kind Family
  • Stuart Little
  • Understood Betsy
  • Rabbit Hill
  • Stone Fox narrated by B.D. Wong
  • Sarah Plain and Tall narrated by Glenn Close
  • Ramona series narrated by Stockyard Channing
  • 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

I downloaded a bunch of short stories and songs for my little ones. Many of these are on CDs, too. 

  • 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 .
  • Muriel’s World – French songs for children
  • Slugs and Bugs – Children love these and the CD’s make great gifts! Lullabies and Sing the Bible are just some of the options.

Podcasts

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.
  • 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.

Librivox

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.

Tips for Quiet Time

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.

Now, even though my three older girls don’t nap anymore, I still put a priority on down time in the afternoon, especially in the summer. I plan to download some more audiobooks for my eight and five year old to listen to this summer and will let you know if I have anymore recomendations! Please share your suggestions below.


Also, we are starting week two of our Classic Children’s Summer Book Club, reading Thornton Burgess (which is available on Audible!). Read how to join our book club here.

Light up Cat Headphones: My dad got them these for Christmas from Groupon and they’ve worked great. Also on Walmart.com.

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9 thoughts on “Favorite Children’s Audiobooks (and More Wholesome Listening Ideas)

  1. My 7 year old loves Wow in the World (first one listed in the article you linked). Science and nature concepts taught in a fun and “zany” way. Not really a good one for quiet time, but great for car rides or other times you’d like them to choose something other than watching TV! We love the Stories podcast too. Excited to try a few others!

  2. I grew up listening to the Hank the Cowdog audio books on car trips with my family. They kept the whole family laughing and have a great Texas flair!

  3. My son has introduced me to an app he uses at school called Epic. You pay $7.99 a month and have unlimited access to tons of books…some of which are available in a “read to me” version.

  4. Thank you for the suggestions! Do you know how to set the kindle for access to only audio books? I am having trouble getting this set up and the kindle helpline didn’t know how. Thank you!

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