When I first started doing my research for this particular blog post it was my intention to tell you about 9 free audiobooks for kids. But as I started to dig deeper, I found that what may be more interesting is the places you can find a great many free audio books to download or stream, which can keep your kids entertained for hours.
Just recently I have published a post about the importance of storytime for your kids and what the benefits of reading stories with your kids are. And I still stand by the idea that spending time together with your child, experiencing a great narrative as a family and really just having great quality time together is the best thing you can do for your kids and your family as a whole, I also realize and understand that sometimes there simply isn’t enough time to read as many stories to your kids as they would love to hear. Therefore, audiobooks are a great alternative for your kids to get some inspiration for their imagination, right? Personally, I fell that there is nothing wrong with it, as long as I don’t use these story as an excuse not to spend time with my kids!
Here I have found three different websites where you can download audiobooks for kids completely legally and for free. Let’s take a closer look.
Chuck Brown’s lightupyourbrain.com website, has audio stories brain stimulating kids games, coloring and more.
There are currently 28 free children’s audio stories available to download as MP3s, ranging in length from 5 minutes to over an hour and a half. The shorter stories are perfect for toddlers, as they don’t have a very long attention span. The audiobooks are perfect for downloading to listen to before bed, on long road trips or anytime where “I’m bored!” becomes a mantra.
Some of the titles available include:
- The Little Mermaid
- Jack & the Beanstalk
- The Jungle Book
- The Velveteen Rabbit
- The Tale of Peter Rabbit
- The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies
- The Tale of Benjamin Bunny
- The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin
- The City Zoo
- The Emperor’s New Clothes
- How the Leopard got his Spots
- Little Louie
The stories are well produced with excellent sound quality and are suitable for children from around 2 to 12 years of age.
2. Story Nory
This British site has countless free audiobooks to download. The stories are read in a fun way and the production quality is excellent, some even include music.
It isn’t immediately apparent how to download the stories from storynory.com, but it is actually straightforward once you know how. First, click on the download link shown by the story and then on the three vertical dots to the right of the volume bar, where you again click download.
There are plenty of original stories, many of which are suitable for younger children, including:
- Zoo Stories
- Katie, the Ordinary Witch
- Jack and the Pirate School
- Tick Tock Turkey
There are fairytales from the Brothers Grimm including:
- Snow White
- Hansel & Gretel
- The Golden Fish
- The Frog Prince
- The Six Swans
- The Golden Goose
Or Aesop’s Fables including:
- The Hare and the Tortoise
- The Boy Who Cried, Wolf
- The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse
- Androcles and the Lion
There are also stories by classic authors such as Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, Rudyard Kipling, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle & L. Frank Baum including:
- A Christmas Carol
- Alice in Wonderland
- The Elephant Child
- Sherlock Holmes
- The Wizard of Oz
- The Secret Garden
You can also find myths, legends, tales from the Bible, and stories from all over the world including:
- Robin Hood
- King Arthur & Merlin
- Noah’s Ark
- The Wooden Horse
- Helen of Troy
- The 12 Dancing Princesses
- Dick Whittington and his Cat
I have only scratched the surface of what is available on this site, it is well worth a look and really has something for children of all ages.
This brings us to our final site, which is the official site of children’s author, Robert Munsch.
3. Robert Munsch
A Canadian children’s author, Robert Munsch has a style all his own. He has lovingly recorded some of his 50 books so you can download them for your children for free at robertmunsch.com. The recordings are well produced and of high quality. These books are downloaded in the same way as Storynory above.
Some of his book titles include:
- Too Much Stuff
- Class Clown
- We Share Everything
- Wait and See
- Up Down
- Thomas’s Snow Suit
- Stephanie’s Ponytail
- Something Good
- Smelly Socks
- Purple, Green and Yellow
Robert Munsch’s stories are short, great fun and generally have a strong moral to the tale. They are best suited to preschoolers and first-graders.
Other Free Audiobook Sources
There are other sites where you can download free audiobooks for kids, these include:
Allyoucanbooks.com lets you download an unlimited number of audiobooks for free during your first month of membership, thereafter you will need to pay a monthly subscription of $19.99 per month. This subscription lets you download unlimited audiobooks, e-books and language courses. The recordings are professional quality.
Audible is owned by Amazon. Some children’s books on Amazon are available on Audible, you currently get your first two Audible books for free when you subscribe to the service, but after the 30 day trial period you will need to pay a monthly subscription of $14.95. This gives you 1 book credit per month, you can buy more if you want to download more than one book. As you would expect with Amazon, the recordings are of professional quality.
Librivox.org has 1000’s of free audiobook recordings that you can download as an mp3 or for iTunes. The recordings are of all books that are in the public domain, so lots of the classics can be found here. The biggest problem with Librivox is that many of the recordings are not of good quality, so be sure to check this out before you download.
Believe it or not, but Youtube is also a great source for free audiobooks. Sounds funny? Simply do a Youtube search for “audiobook kids” and see what comes up. Here’s just one example:
Pro Tip: Set Time Limits
Like with any other type of media, I always try to make sure that my son does not consume too much of it. With TV and video games limiting “screen time” feels kind of a natural thing to do. But I feel that it is important to note that audiobook consumption is also something we as parents should limit.
What I usually do is either tell my son that he can listen to “this one story and that is it”, or I discuss with him to set a time limit. Usually, I would use our Time Timer Plus, which is an amazing “visual countdown timer” that he, despite being just 3 years old, can already read and understand (read more about it here). Another benefit of this approach is that he is passively learning about time, which I feel is a very important skill for kids.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our look at free audiobooks for kids. What I particularly like about many of the stories, are the moral teachings within them. I’m sure you’ll agree that with these resources at your disposal, you may never have to buy another audiobook again! Which is great, as now your child need never run out of new adventures to listen to. Benni just adores listening to audiobooks when we’re going away on trips, and I know your kids will to.
Now it’s your turn: What do you think about story time and audiobooks? What is your take on the topic? Do you let your kids listen to audiobooks, or do you read to them exclusively? Or do you combine both methods? What stories do your kids enjoy the most? And do you know something about audio books (free sources, best practices etc.) that I missed above? Please let me know in the comments below. I’m looking forward to having a real dialogue with you 🙂
Have fun listening!
P.S.: If you REALLY want to level up your parenting skills and get rid of all the power struggles that can stand between our kids and us as moms or dads, then make sure to read my FULL REVIEW of “Positive Parenting Solutions” HERE.