How to Enjoy Audiobooks as a Family

If you’re a parent, I bet that you’ve heard the classic “I’m booooored,” a lot lately. We’re all spending a lot more time at home, staring at the same four walls. Luckily, there is a way to keep the whole family busy without just plopping down in front of a screen.

Here at, we’re all about the art of storytelling. A great story does more than simply keep us entertained: it also teaches valuable lessons, offers new perspectives, and breaks down boundaries to allow exploration of the places we’ve never seen. So what could be a better way to spend time as a family than enjoying stories?

Whether you’re looking to share your own childhood favorite with the next generation or discover something completely new, we have you covered. Read on for creative ways to enjoy audiobooks as a family, paired with suggestions for family favorites to listen to.

Want to see the full list of family favorite listens? Click here.

Make a Routine

To me, one of the greatest gifts you can give the next generation is a love of books and the best way to do that is consistency. By building stories into your everyday routine, you can create positive, lasting habits.

Start by choosing a time that works every day (even 15 minutes is great!) and make a commitment to listen as a family. I find that spending a half-hour before bed is a nice way to unwind and relax (don’t forget to set a sleep timer). But you can also listen on a commute to and from school, while getting ready in the morning, while cooking dinner, or whenever else works for your family.

Outside of growing a love for reading, you’re also setting time aside to enjoy some quality family time. What is more important than that?

We suggest The Highland Falcon Thief by Sam Sedgman and M.G. Leonard, narrated by Jot Davies. This exciting first in the Adventures on Trains series will keep the whole family coming back for more, day after day.

Get Cinematic

Okay, okay, I know I said that these family activities didn’t include just sitting down in front of a screen. But the fact is, there’s nothing more exciting than watching the movie/TV adaptation of a book you enjoyed, so we’ll make an exception on this one.

Start by choosing an audiobook that has an adaptation available, or one that will premiere soon. While listening as a family, be sure to ask questions like:

  • How do you think they will do that in the movie
  • Which character are you most excited to see?
  • If you made a movie about this book, what would you change?

These questions help turn your family movie night into an exciting conversation, not just a passive experience. Plus, movie snacks! Get your popcorn popping or make a snack inspired by the book, the options are endless.

We suggest Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, narrated by a full cast including Meryl Streep. Yep, you read that correctly, Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep is a narrator on this newly rerecorded family classic. Now that’s perfect for a page-to-screen special!

Audiobooks & Crafts

One of the best parts of listening to audiobooks as a family is encouraging creativity and imagination. Without having pictures laid out for you, audiobooks allow everyone to form their own interpretation.

Try making storytime into an arts and craft experience by giving everyone in your family some drawing tools and a blank page. Over the course of a chapter, each person draws whatever stands out to them: the setting, the characters, or even a specific interaction.

This exercise encourages attention to detail and comprehension by getting everyone to focus on what’s happening and who is involved. Treat this as the closest thing to a kid’s book club by asking each person to take turns sharing their creation and explaining why they included each aspect.

We suggest The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate, narrated by Danny Devito. Packed with detailed imagery and adorable characters, this listen is perfect for your first audiobooks & crafts session.

Make Boring Tasks Fun

Lastly, try using audiobooks to spice up life’s more mundane tasks. I’m not claiming that audiobooks will suddenly have the whole fam excited to do their chores, but I promise it won’t hurt!

Many hands, as they say, make lighter work. And housework usually is more tolerable when tackled together. So start by choosing a common area or section of your home, connecting your audiobook to a speaker, and setting the sleep timer for 15 minutes (or however long the chores will take). For as long as the book is playing, everyone contributes by tidying, organizing, or whatever else needs to get done.

Like I said, this one might not have everyone jumping for joy, but it sure is worth a try! And feel free to use this technique for any other tasks on the to-do list, whether it be exercising, yard work, or even folding laundry.

We suggest Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Deep End by Jeff Kinney, narrated by Ramon de Ocampo. This hilarious and exciting audiobook will surely combat the drudgery of any chore.

As you can see, the sky is the limit when it comes to sharing audiobooks with those you love. Go ahead and try some of the above options or get creative and try something completely different. Either way, we’ll be here with over 200,000 stories ready to be shared.

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Page to Screen in May 2017

The month of May will see its fair share of shows and movies adapted from popular books. Check out what’s upcoming and take a listen before they hit the screen!
The Dinner
, by Herman Koch
Expected Release: May 5th

Between mouthfuls of food and over the polite scrapings of cutlery, conversation between two couples remains a gentle hum of polite discourse-the banality of work, the triviality of the holidays. But behind the empty words, terrible things need to be said, and with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened. Each couple has a fifteen-year-old son. The two boys are united by their accountability for a single horrific act; an act that has triggered a police investigation and shattered the comfortable, insulated worlds of their families. As the dinner reaches its culinary climax, the conversation finally touches on their children. As civility and friendship disintegrate, each couple shows just how far they are prepared to go to protect those they love… Read more and listen to a sample

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
 – a classic legend rewritten many times over. We linked to a great version but search the site for others!
Expected Release: May 12th

Uther Pendragon, High King of Celtic Britain, is nearing death, and his kingdom is being torn apart. Only one man can bring the Celts together as a nation and restore peace—King Arthur. Artorex (Arthur) doesn’t yet seem like the great man he will grow into. We meet him as a shy, subservient twelve-year-old living in the foster home of Lord Ector, who took in Artorex as a babe to protect him from murderous kin. Life has been unremarkable until the arrival of three influential men who arrange for Arthur to be taught the martial skills of the warrior. Little does Artorex know that these three men—one of whom is Merlin—secretly hope that one day he will take Uther’s crown and restore peace to Britain… Read more and listen to a sample

Everything, Everything
, by Nicola Yoon
Expected Release: May 19th

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla. But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly. Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster… Read more and listen to a sample

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul
, by Jeff Kinney
Expected Release: May 19th

A family road trip is supposed to be a lot of fun… unless, of course, you’re the Heffleys. The journey starts off full of promise, then quickly takes several wrong turns. Gas station bathrooms, crazed seagulls, a fender bender, and a runaway pig—not exactly Greg Heffley’s idea of a good time. But even the worst road trip can turn into an adventure—and this is one the Heffleys won’t soon forget… Read more and listen to a sample

Which of May’s renditions are you most excited for? Let me know!