Taking a long trip and dreading the noise your kids will make The.Entire.Way? Want a magical way to ensure that your kids are quiet (at least part of the time) without having to plug them into a device?
Audiobooks just might be your answer!
We love using audio books as we travel. The entire car seems to get quiet when we pop on an audiobook. From my youngest kiddo all the way to the driver in the car, you’ll find us immersed in a story as we watch the miles tick by. If you’ve got a long drive ahead of you, check out these epic audiobooks for family road trips. Most of them include several books in a series so that you won’t run out of material until you reach your destination.
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Epic Audiobooks for Family Road Trips
A delightful series about a group of 4 sisters and their adventures at a summer house their father rents for them and the young boy who lives on the property. These charming books read like classics but have fun and spunky characters that shine through in the audio narration.
Such a fun way to introduce your kids to the unforgettable world of Rohl Dahl. This collection is some of his best known books and the narrators are wonderful. Keep in mind, that Dahl’s sense of humor can be a bit darker than some other children’s authors so you might want to read a quick synopsis of each story to decide where to begin with your kids. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is our favorite.
My boys can’t get enough of Henry Huggins, who you might remember as the neighbor of Beverly Cleary’s Ramona and Beezus. In this collection, Henry and his dog Ribsy are the stars of the show and with Neil Patrick Harris narrating these books, you’re in for a treat.
Silly and sweet, The Mercy Watson collection is perfect for when you’ve got a wider range of kiddos. I like this series for young kids because it’s easy to follow, shorter and involves animals. If you’ve already listened to Mercy Watson, make sure to check out Kate DiCamillo’s new adjacent series, the Tales from Deckawoo Drive.
Even if you’ve read the Harry Potter books before, the audio version deserves some space in your collection. Our whole family loves listening to these stories but I suggest purchasing them because they’re long and hard to get through when you’re checking them out from the library.
Quirky and vintage, the audio recording for these are a little silly but again, my boys loved listening to these books. They’re shorter mysteries so kids can follow and each book is self-contained so you can complete them on shorter trips. Kids love figuring out the who-done-it’s right along with Nate the Great and his friends.
Another classic series for families. Follow along with Laura Ingells Wilder and her family’s classic American experience of life on the frontier. Cherry Jones narration is soothing and vivid. If you’re traveling through the Midwest, it’s a must listen to!
A fantasy series that’s perfect for younger kids. Elmer Elevator’s adventures with a baby dragon are delightful and fanciful. These are my go-to audiobooks for preschool through 2nd grade because they’re magical and fun without being too complicated.
For kids who aren’t quite ready for Harry Potter but like the idea of a magical wizard, I recommend the Moongobble and Me series. Young Edward’s life is completely changed when he meets eccentric wizard, Moongobble, and his grumpy toad, Urk. Their adventures are lighthearted while still being epic and it introduces kids the the genre of fantasy without being scary or cruel.
This is the only non-series book (although there are sequels, but I haven’t read them yet) but it is a sweeping tale of adventure and nothing like the movie you’re familiar with. This is quest of adventure and much more epic than the movie version depicts. We listened to Brooke Shields narration but there are a few others, including this one by Anne Hathaway, that also look really good.
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How to Listen to Audiobooks in the Car
If you’re interested in trying one of these titles, check your local library for copies on CD or downloadable copies. I know my library has a large collection of digital audio books that can be checked out. Just make sure to time your due dates with your travel so you’re not left hanging on the last few chapters!
If you’re rather purchase the audio books for family road trips and download them to your phone or tablet, Amazon’s Audible subscription is a great option too. You choose from their HUGE collection of books and it’s all connected through your Amazon account. Right now Amazon is offering 2 free books when you sign up for a free 30 day trial which is a pretty fantastic deal and you can cancel at any time so there’s no risk to try it (plus you keep the books even if you don’t continue).
Does your family have a favorite audiobook? Have you tried them on your road trip? Leave your comments below!