I will be honest, on road trips, we don’t use electronic devices much at all. Primarily because we only have one iPad for the whole house and sometimes mama’s gotta work/look at Pinterest while on the road. Plus, we have worked hard to create screen-free habits for our kids and family.
So while our car time may be free of movies and games, it doesn’t mean that we don’t appreciate modern technology and what it can offer.
Our family loves Audible. It has gotten us through many road trips. If you have Amazon Prime, you get certain benefits each month, which includes points towards books. Then, you can listen from an app on your tablet or phone.
The only catch is that you can not purchase books from the app (why is that?). Book purchases are best done from a web browser. But they automagically appear in your Audible app once you buy.
By the way, these aren’t just for the kids. My husband prefers to be the driver on road trips and these books have gotten him through miles of highway driving.
Here are some of our favorite Audible Books for families
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Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator
Roald Dahl writes some wild books, and this is one. We started with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, of course, but this ended up being a fun one for my husband and me. Because we all remember Charlie flying away in the elevator, but what happens afterwards? Turns out there are aliens involved.
|Sideways Stories from Wayside School
Louis Sachar himself reads this funny story about zany characters at a mixed-up school. Sachar’s voice is the perfect blend of irony and comedy that it adds to the entire experience.
|The Collected Stories of Winnie-the-Pooh
Having children has made me fall in love with Winnie the Pooh again. These original stories are absolute gems. Adults can appreciate the nuanced humor and divine cuteness, while kids enjoy the story of these loving animals and Christopher Robin. The full cast version here is loaded with star power. Piglet’s voice requires some getting used to, but overall a delightful listen.
I remember this old movie from my childhood and didn’t take to it as a kid. But the actual book is fantastic! And this reading by Christina Moore is so well done.
Mr. Popper’s Penguins
You may recall how much we have loved the antics of the crazy Poppers and their adorable penguins in the past, and this audio version does it justice. (Jim Carrey is NOT involved.)
|A Bear Called Paddington
I wasn’t very familiar with this story but found it engaging. The accent in this audio recording is perfect and Paddington was a fun bear to follow!
We tried The Mary Poppins Series but the narrator’s voice was hard to follow and lulled us to sleep. My oldest (8 year-old) loved The Strange Case of Origami Yoda but my 5 year-old had no interest. Conversely, my 5 year-old couldn’t get enough Stink (we have always loved those books) but my 8 year-old has grown out of them. We also tried the Beezus and Ramona, but frankly, Stockard Channing’s character voices rubbed us the wrong way.
Which just goes to show that when it comes to Audible, there are a lot of personal preferences involved. But it is certainly worth trying! Road trips can now be a wonderful opportunity to expose children to stories and classics while simultaneously engaging them where they are in their seats – of course, it doesn’t hurt that it enriches the lives of the adults, too.
As always, if you have family favorites when it comes to audiobooks, please let me know. We need some new titles to try; we are hitting the road for Christmas!