Is it spring yet? The winter can sometimes feel endless by the time March rolls around, so I thought I’d offer a twist on book recommendations. Audiobooks! If you haven’t tried them yet with your kids, this final month of forced hibernation is the perfect time to experiment. Here are just a few of the reasons I absolutely love listening to audiobooks with kids:
- It offers an indoor activity that doesn’t involve a screen.
- I don’t have to read aloud when I am tired or feeling uninspired.
- The right narrator turns an ordinary book into an experience!
- While reading a print book. Have kids color, eat a snack, play with Legos or fold laundry while they listen!
- It’s a shared experience. It is too easy to have everyone come home from school and disappear into their own corners of the house. Sharing an audiobook together allows for conversation, shared jokes, and years of family memories.
- Literacy skills! Even though someone else is reading, it still builds vocabulary, fluency, and a sense of story development.
Here are a few favorite audiobooks for kids of all ages
Frog & Toad All Year
by Arnold Lobel
For your littlest listeners I would actually recommend anything by Arnold Lobel. He tells the simplest and sweetest stories. This is a series about the friendship between two lovable amphibians and the adventures they have together in their woodland home through each of the seasons. They are heartwarming and silly and often involve mischief like missing buttons or melting ice cream. They are perfect for listening to during lunch, play, or an evening drive home from grandma’s.
Fantastic Mr. Fox
by Roald Dahl
For your beginning readers or elementary aged child I’d recommend anything by Roald Dahl, especially the ones that he narrates! With wild and magical characters, plenty of fantastical adventures & laugh-out-loud silliness, his stories are definitely meant to be shared. Fantastic Mr. Fox is one of my family’s favorites as all the forest animals outwit three very ruthless farmers, but we also recommend The BFG, Matilda, and James and the Giant Peach. We’ve listened to these on long car rides as well as during baths, quiet time or before bed.
A Dog’s Way Home
by Bobbie Pyron
Let me be blunt. I am not a dog person. So when my 6-year-old picked this one out to listen to while we drive her older sister to school, I was a little hesitant. Instead I found myself completely absorbed in the story and we both ended up loving it! The book starts with 10 year old Abby Whistler taking her dog Tam to a competition a few hours from her home in North Carolina. On the drive home they are in a bad car accident in which Tam’s crate is thrown from the truck and lost in the mountains. The story follows the two friends as they try to find each other through a harsh and treacherous mountain winter. My 6 year old liked it, but some parts of the plot were a little confusing for her so I’d probably recommend this for the 8+ crowd. It was both heartwarming and exciting and, after listening, I kind of want to get a Shetland sheepdog.