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Seven Great Audiobooks for Kids (That Moms Will Love, Too)

For the longest time, I was anti-screens when it came to family road trips—the main reason being that I didn’t have screens for all the kids. I’d buy each kiddo his/her own set of coloring books and Crayons and basically kept it old school, bribing them with goodies to keep them distracted from the monotony of sitting in a car for a nine-hour drive. There were always a lot of pit stops, too, of course. But I raised the bar on the family road trip when I threw audiobooks into the mix. I’ve always been quite the bibliophile, and my kids notoriously fall asleep with piles of books in their beds (especially when they were toddlers). Little did I know that my first audiobook download was about to change our world. 

I researched the best possible download I could find that first time, and I had just two main criteria: it had to be long, and it had to be something that wouldn’t drive me crazy. So, when I signed up for my first Audible trial, I used my credits on the longest audiobook I could stand: 19 hours of the complete Ramona Quimby Audio Collection by Beverly Cleary. Boom.

I’d never actually read all of the Ramona books as a kid, and as we listened to them together during that first road trip, we all fell in love. We were hooked on the stories—recorded by the incredible Stockard Channing—and couldn’t wait to listen to each chapter. It became a rule that we would only listen when everyone was together. And eventually it became a tradition to find a new audiobook for each road trip.  

And now we listen to audiobooks just about every day. The kids even fall asleep to them, along with their piles of books still. 

Here is my tried and trusted listed of the best audiobooks for kids:

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1. Ramona Quimby Audio Collection by Beverly Cleary, Narrated by Stockard Channing

Target age range: 5–7
Duration: 19 hours

This series follows the antics of Ramona, the tomboy of Klickitat street. Includes eight books, and I love the classic American childhood these delightful books take you back to. 

best-audio-books-for-kids

2. The Henry Huggins Audio Collection by Beverly Cleary, Narrated by Neil Patrick Harris and William Roberts

Target age range: 11–13
Duration: 15 hours and 26 minutes

Similar to the Ramona series, Henry Huggins gets into all sorts of hi-jinks—and Ramona makes an appearance in several of them. Includes six books. 

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3. The Complete Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, Narrated by Maurice Denham

Target age range: 8–10
Duration: 15 hours and 11 minutes

Like most people, I think I only really read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe growing up (maybe one or two beyond that). So it was great to listen to the whole series—the last one really blew my mind. We finished listening to this one at the dinner table—another favorite time for us to listen to audiobooks together. 

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4. Magic Treehouse Collection (Books 1–8), Written and Narrated by Mary Pope Osborne

Target age range: 5–7
Duration: 6 hours

The Magic Treehouse series remind me of my obsession with The Babysitter’s Club books growing up. These are very methodic, and for that reason—and because of how it is narrated—I would recommend these books for kids ages 5–7. Mine loved them, though. 

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5. Ralph S. Mouse Audio Collection by Beverly Cleary, Narrated by B.D. Wong

Target age range: 5–7
Duration: 6 hours and 40 minutes

I loved the Ralph S. Mouse books growing up, and they’re still just as good today, proving you can never go wrong with Beverly Cleary. Includes three books. 

best-audio-books-for-kids

6. The BFG by Roald Dahl, Narrated by David Walliams

Target age range: 8–10
Duration: 4 hours and 25 minutes

The narration of this book is spot on and makes it even more enjoyable. Who says you can’t like being read kids’ books as an adult? I definitely want to download more Roald Dahl books to add to our collection. 

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7. Sparkle Stories

Sparkle Stories is not an audiobook per say, but it is an incredible membership site with over 1000 original stories. I first learned about Sparkle Stories via their free podcast and fell in love with how mindful and engaging their stories were. Kind of like a modern version of Aesop’s Fables with a Waldorf lens—and far less didactic. I have fond memories of their Martin and Sylvia series, and their Violet Crown series was one of my boys’ favorites, too. Sparkle Stories really helped me as a parent, and they demonstrate a slower-paced, meaningful living that’s much-needed in the helter-skelter of modern parenthood. 

Do you and your kids listen to audiobooks? Have any recommendations you would include in the “best audiobooks for kids” bucket? Let us know in the comments!

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