Searching for high-quality entertainment for you kids that is perfect for travel, quiet time, running errands or just hanging out around the house? Audio books for kids are your new best friend!
These audio book series for kids offer endless hours of educational entertainment that don’t require screens or toys. Check out this list of audio books series that are perfect for introducing preschool and early elementary school children to the wonderful world of “reading with their ears.”
Every time I’m in the car with my boys, they ask to listen to audio books. It’s amazing! If you don’t turn on audio books with your kids in the car, I hope I can convert you. My boys generally behave in the car, but we have our fair share of “are we almost there yet?!” and pestering across the middle seat because no one can seem to keep their hands to themselves!
Since introducing my boys to audio books, our car rides are legitimately enjoyable. They become engrossed by the stories (thus leaving each other alone), and I appreciate the exposure to high quality books while we’re toddling around town. I’d be remiss not to mention the peace and quiet I get while driving, thanks to the audio books.
Learning to listen to audio books is a learned skill. Exposing children to audio books in the car, when they can’t move and don’t have much else to do anyway, is a great way to introduce audio books and foster a love for them.
Benefits of Audio Books for Kids
Audio books offer many benefits to children. They provide an alternative medium for reading that might help children who learn better through listening than through visual cues. They are available in certain circumstances, such as riding in a car, when regular books aren’t readily available.
Further, children can listen to stories at a much higher level than they can read on their own. Audio books introduce kids to more sophisticated story structure and vocabulary than they might otherwise learn from the books they read on their own.
Because they are read by professional narrators, and sometimes even the author, listeners hear correct pronunciations of proper names and dialects. They also experience how to tell a story in an engaging way with changes in tone and varying voices.
Why We Love Early Chapter Books Series
We listen to audio books just about every time we are in the car together, so the boys plow through books. I have found a few early chapter book series that we love, so I don’t have to spend countless hours searching for new content. Additionally, the books play over the course of several days, so I don’t have to download and select new stories while we drive.
I also like listening to book series because it helps the boys better understand the story. After listening to the first book in a series, they are familiar with the main characters and the general structure and style of the story so they can more easily grasp the content of the book.
Listening to Audio Books on Audible and Libby
We primarily listen to audio books through Audible. I have a monthly subscription to download one book (or collection of books if they are a single unit) each month. Occasionally, I buy an additional book if the price is really reasonable.
If you haven’t used Audible, it’s really quick to set up and download the app on your phone or tablet. Audible is an Amazon product, so you can use the same Amazon account email address to create an Audible account. You can do this online or through the Audible app.
When you purchase audio books online, they are added to your Audible library. You can also search through the Audible library on your phone through the app, which is free to use (though you purchase books after your first free book with a new subscription).
Although it costs money, Audible has an incredible selection of audio books (much larger than our library), so I definitely recommend it.
You can also listen to audio books from your local library’s collection through the Libby and Overdrive apps. Libby is an Overdrive product, and in my opinion, is much better than Overdrive, so I use the Libby app.
Before buying a book, I always search the library catalog to see if they have what I want. If not, then I head to Audible to redeem my monthly credit for the next book on our wish list.
If you have any questions about how to use the apps, just leave a comment or shoot me an email and I will be happy to offer my two cents!
As for what to listen to, it’s easy to get lost in the thousands of books available. To get you started, I’ve put together a list of some of our favorite series that will keep your little one’s ears busy for hours.
9 Early Chapter Books Series Perfect To Introduce Children to Audio Books
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle Series
My boys love Mrs. Piggle Wiggle. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle lives in an upside-down house and smells like cookies. She was even married to a pirate once. Most of all, she knows everything about children. She can cure them of any ailment. Through silly lessons, she teaches them the importance of respect, kindness and many basic principles of life as well as cures them of their laziness, inability to eat vegetables, and more.
The Boxcar Children Series
This series about four children, who live with their grandfather, has tons of books, each with different stories and mysteries. The children are very kind and respectful, which I really like. The stories are perfectly written for early elementary aged students, though my four-year-old listens to and loves the stories as well. You may remember these stories from your childhood; I definitely read them. They have older stories as well as a collection of newer stories called Great Adventures. I linked to the first few books in each series, but there are hundreds of books and you can find many of them on audio.
Beverly Cleary Series
Beverly Cleary has written tons of books for children, and I think I read just about all of them as a child. I really love how simple these stories are, which makes them perfect for young kids and easy for my boys to follow. Certain aspects of the stories are a bit dated (like when the boys talk about how they would never want to play with girls or how the girls could never come up with any good ideas for games). However, the stories are great, you can find large collections of her books at very reasonable prices, and they are well worth the listen.
Matt Christopher Series
Matt Christopher writes books all about sports. His book, The Kid Who Only Hit Homers, was my boys’ introduction to audiobooks, and they loved it so much they have listened to it twice. They asked to listen a third time, but I kindly redirected them in a different direction… for my own benefit (ha). Most of the audio books I found from Matt Christopher were about baseball, though he writes fictional stories about all sorts of sports. He also writes biographical books about famous athletes, some of which were included on audio, though we haven’t listened to those yet.
Magic Treehouse Series
Each of these fun adventure books is perfect for young children to listen to. With Jack and Annie, the readers travel through time on all sorts of magical adventures. There are tons of books in the series, but you can download the books in collections for plenty of listening time at a reasonable price.
Pippi Longstocking Series
Pippi is a young and very quirky girl who lives on her own after both of her parents die. She’s free-spirited and silly. Although she often confuses words and concepts, she gets through life with all sorts of funny stories and experiences. I could only find the first book on audio, but there are at least three additional books in the series. I linked to the paperback versions so you could search for them in your local library audio book collection.
Audio Books: Pippi Longstocking
Related Books I Couldn’t Find On Audio: Pippi Goes on Board (Book 2) | Pippi In The South Seas (Book 3) | Pippi on the Run (Book 4) | Pippi Goes To The Circus | Pippi Goes To School | Pippi’s Extraordinary Ordinary Day
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Series
My sisters and I LOVED this movie as kids. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a car that has magical powers to fly and drive on water, and the car takes the family of owners on fun adventures. I didn’t realize they had a series of books until recently. Just writing this, the songs about the magic car are playing in my head on repeat.
Mary Poppins Series
Yet another tale you might remember from your childhood, I loved this story as a kid. We watched the movie so many times, and I’m pretty sure I still remember most of the songs. If you’re not familiar with the story, Mary Poppins is the nanny to two young children in England. With her magical powers, however, she’s unlike any nanny we’ve ever seen. This series has several books so you can keep your children entertained for hours and hours.
Roald Dahl Series
There are so many Roald Dahl books to love. We have listened to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but haven’t tried any of the other Dahl books yet. I think they are for slightly older children relative to many of the other series on this list, so I plan to add these to our listening library after we’ve made our way through several of the other series.
Do you have any other favorite early chapter book series you love for kids that have great audio book versions? Share in the comments!