8 Audiobooks For Kids, That Parents Will Actually Enjoy, Too

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I recently spent 12 hours in a car with my 3-year-old and 1-year-old, and it was madness. My neck muscles are actually stiff from craning around so often to answer their questions, hand them snacks and toys, and do my best to keep everyone's sanity intact. We survived, but only because I had loaded up my phone with audiobooks. I swear by them. So if you're wondering what audiobooks to download for your kids that you will find interesting, too, I've got you covered.

Early on, my husband and I made a commitment to raise our kids in a basically "screen-free" environment. Now, that ethos was certainly put to the test on this most recent road trip, when all I wanted to do was shove my tablet at them and say "watch anything, anything at all", just to buy myself some quiet moments. Yet, with the audiobooks I had on hand, we did okay and I feel good knowing that I was doing something positive for their developing minds. Audiobooks can help introduce children to books above their reading level, foster critical listening skills, and introduce new vocabulary, according to Reading Rockets.

If you're worried that queuing up a kid's book on the car speakers will drive you nuts, don't worry. There are some good ones out there that you'll actually enjoy, and you'll be sad when it's over.

Time of Wonder

Amazon

Time of Wonder, $2 audiobook, Amazon

You may be familiar with Robert McCloskey's more famous children's books, Make Way for Ducklings and Blueberries for Sal. But Time of Wonder, another great book of his, is perfect to enjoy in audio format. It's about the sights and sounds of nature in Maine, and it's pretty poetic.

Winnie-the-Pooh

Audible

Winnie-the-Pooh, $14, Audible

There's a reason that Winnie the Pooh is beloved by children the world over. Listening to the soothing voice of Peter Dennis narrate the stories of Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore, Christopher Robin, and all of the other wonderful characters in A.A. Milne's universe, is a real treat.

The Jungle Book I and II

The Jungle Book, $18, Audible

It's easy to get caught up in the adventures of this children's classic by Rudyard Kipling. The audiobook version is narrated by Ralph Cosham, and he does great job giving voice to the different characters from Mowgli to his black panther mentor, Bagheera.

Children's Favorites, Vol. 1: Disney Bedtime Favorites

Amazon

Disney Children's Favorites, $12, Amazon

This collection of Disney classics includes twenty stories for children ages 4-7, from Aladdin to The Lion King. The narration is soothing and is great for achieving car naps!

The Gruffalo

Audible

The Gruffalo, $5, Audible

This is a short audiobook but if your kids are like mine, they'll want to hear it again and again. The rhyming narration is super fun, and your kiddos will love chiming in with the parts they know.

Amelia Bedelia

Audible

Amelia Bedelia Audio Collection, $11, Audible

I adored Amelia Bedelia's antics as a kid, and it's just as fun to introduce her to my preschool-aged daughter. You'll find yourself laughing right along with your kiddo.

Berenstain Bears' Stories

Amazon

Berenstain Bears' Stories, $10 audiobook, Amazon

I grew up reading the Berenstain Bears books, so it's fun to introduce my daughters to the goofy bear characters. The audio CDs have some great stories on them, but be forewarned, the old-timey narration and accompanying music can get a little grating. This is a good audiobook to whip out for quick hits of entertainment, but not for hours of listening — that is, if you want to still like the Berenstain Bears at the end of it.

A Bear Called Paddington

Audible

A Bear Called Paddington, $14, Audible

This children's classic was a "2005 Audie Award Nominee" for Kids' Titles Ages up to 8. The narrator, Stephen Fry, does a great job making the story funny and enthralling in audio format.