Last year I shared My Secret to a Silent Car with Young Kids. In case you missed it, my secret is those glorious listening gems known as audiobooks. My love for audiobooks is pretty intense. I recommend them constantly and for just about anything that’s ailing you in motherhood.
Kid talks all the time? Audiobooks.
Kid doesn’t talk enough? Audiobooks.
Kid stopped napping? Audiobooks.
Road trip? Audiobooks.
Keep them quiet on an airplane? Audiobooks.
Keep them busy while waiting for an appointment? Audiobooks.
Trying to get dinner made and kids are acting crazy? Audiobooks.
My love for audiobooks is deep because they have truly changed our lives. That’s not over exaggerating either! It’s been just about a year since we started listening to them in the car. At the time my kids were 3 (almost 4) and 1.5. We started with short audiobooks, lasting 10 minutes max. When they would stay quiet and listen to short story after short story, I started choosing longer stories. When they listened to the longer stories, I started choosing harder stories–books recommended for older kids. One year later, my son’s vocabulary has exploded. We noticed it increasing very shortly after starting audiobooks. Both their attention spans have increased–especially my daughter. She’s almost 5 now, and we’ve been reading through the Wizard of Oz series (turns out there are 13 books and they’re GREAT!). She’ll sit on the couch beside me and listen for over an hour while I read to her! In fact, their love for listening to audiobooks caused us to purchase a portable CD player so they could listen at home too, which is a hard item to find in this increasingly digital music world.
Now listen, mamas–I am not some super mom! This isn’t just for those Pinterest Perfect Moms. In fact, I sought out audiobooks because I felt like I wasn’t reading enough to my kids, and I figured a little extra help during car rides couldn’t hurt. Well, they’ve done wonders for vocabulary, attention-span, imagination, and actually have us reading together more! They certainly aren’t a replacement for those 20 minutes a day of reading that experts recommend, but they can help foster your kids’ love of reading making them want those 20 minutes (or more)! And that’s what those audio miracle workers have done for us.
So if you’re new to audiobooks and not sure where to find them, check out my post from last year (LibriVox.org is another place for FREE audiobooks). Start with shorter stories and work your way to longer ones. If you’ve discovered the wonderful world of audiobooks already and are ready for some longer stories, I’ve given you our six favorite audiobook collections (multiple stories). These vary between 30 minutes to 4 hours, and are the perfect length for a road trip! I’ve also given you six radio/audio dramas/performances too. Meaning, they aren’t just a reading of a story, but a production complete with several actors, background music, and sound effects–a true listening adventure! If your kids struggle with audiobooks, radio dramas could be a great place to start! I’ve linked these all to audible.com, but I know my library has 90% of these in either CD form or on the hoopla app, so check with your library first and save some money.
- Three Tales of My Father’s Dragon–We actually discovered the book before discovering the audiobook. It’s a simple, but very fun adventure about a boy who rescues a baby dragon and tries to return him to his family.
- The Oz Series–The books are harder to get ahold of, but the audiobooks are all at the library and in the hoopla app! I can’t say enough good things about this series. I adore them because they have strong female characters in leadership positions who are brave, adventurous, and wise. One reason for that is because the author, L. Frank Baum’s mother-in-law was a huge player in women’s suffrage, which he supported and reflected in his writings.
- Magic Treehouse Series–One CD contains multiple books. Each book is around an hour long. I love these because of how they weave history and science into their adventures.
- Adventures in Odyssey–I mentioned this in my last post too. It’s a faith-based radio drama available on the radio weekdays @ 2pm on 1030AM, but there are other days/times too.
- Disney’s Collections–They have tons of different collections!
- Disney Junior Storybook Collection–Sofia the First, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Doc McStuffins, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, etc.
- Magic School Bus collection–There are only six that I can find, but I’m hoping they make more! Kids have fun listening to the Friz and learn something new too.
And here are six audio dramas that are the perfect entertainment for a road trip:
Happy listening for your kiddos, and happy silence for you, mama! 😉