This post is written by Dana Sue Hinkle, co-owner and founder of Creative QT and mom to five kiddos! Learn more about the Hinkle family and the heart behind Creative QT here.
Like a lot of families these days, we have to drive16-22 hours straight to visit any extended family. This used to mean DVD after DVD playing in our car until we realized our kids were AWFUL after we shut the movie off. They were irritable, had short attention spans, and picked at each other more. So, we introduced the audio book ... game changer!
As soon as we made the switch to listening to audiobooks, the kids were so much more calm and Adam and I could actually have a conversation (unless we were secretly listening to the kids’ book too). And since then, we have found they are not just an awesome resource for the car, but fantastic to listen to at home as well.
For example, our kids are in charge of doing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen after lunch ... insert audiobook. Rainy day ... insert audiobook. Afternoon lull ... insert audiobook.…you get the idea.
We've discovered some amazing resources for free audiobooks that are great for the whole family. Below are just a few I wanted to share.
I know, I was surprised too! Youtube has a huge amount of audiobooks available for kids. Our kids have listened to Boxcar Children, Junie B. Jones, Tom Sawyer, Encyclopedia Brown, Charlotte’s Web and several more just by searching them on Youtube with “audiobook” after the title.
This app is seriously amazing! Ask at your local library if they are connected with the Overdrive app (available on IOS and Android). It allows you to “check out” audio books right to your phone. We have used this A-LOT on road trips. A couple books for the kids, one for dad, and a Nicholas Sparks’ book for me so I can cry while everyone sleeps when taking my turn driving through the night (anyone else do this too!?).
This website offers over 7,000 free audiobooks that you can download or listen online. It is an extension of Libravox which is an organization that facilitates people volunteering to be recorded reading books. That being said, it can be hit or miss on the quality of reader, but the majority we've listened to have been pretty good.
Audio Books from your Library
You can check out CD’s or Play-Aways (individual audiobooks similar to an MP3 player) at your local library. I mentioned my love for Focus on the Family’s Radio Theatre audiobooks on a previous blog, but I have to promote them again. They are sooooo GOOD! The ones we have listened to are Anne of Green Gables, The Secret Garden, The Narnia series, etc. With Focus on the Family’s Radio Theatre Audiobooks they have different actors and actresses as voices for the different characters and they insert sound effects to make you feel like you are “watching” the book.
For our family audiobooks have been a great way to get our kids out from in front of the television and using their imaginations. It also has introduced them to series that may not have tried otherwise, and now are checking out at the library and reading the physical printed books. There are so many resources available for kids to experience books and these are an amazing way to grow your kids’ love of reading and get them spend less time staring at a screen.
Creative QT designs quality + innovative toys that declutter homes and inspire creative play. Founded by parents of five, Adam and Dana Sue Hinkle, Creative QT’s vision is to empower parents and encourage a culture of families that Make Time Together. All products are designed to enrich families’ lives through active, creative play and play based learning. Creative QT products are laboratory tested for compliance with CPSC requirements and are free of lead, cadmium and phthalates so you can play with confidence. So, go ahead … today is the day: be your kid’s hero.
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