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.

New to Get your first book free, PLUS a bonus book from our VIP selection when you sign up for our one-month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking, and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobooks!

Holiday page to screen

Get even more into the spirit by listening to these classic holiday books that have been turned into classic holiday movies.

1. The Polar Express by Theodor Seuss GeiselRob KapilowChris Van Allsburg, narrated by Nathan GunnIsabel LeonardOlivia LombardiThe Metamorphosis Chamber Orchestra, and The Polar Express Children’s Choir

The Polar Express.

On Christmas Eve, a young boy climbs aboard a magic train filled with other children being treated to goodies while en route to the North Pole, where Santa is to offer the very first Christmas gift to one lucky passenger. This magical Christmas story is one of self-discovery that shows listeners that the wonders of life never fades for those who believe.
Read more and sample the audio.


2. How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss, narrated by Walter Matthau

How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

The Grinch, whose heart is two sizes too small, hates Who-ville’s holiday celebrations, and plans to steal all the presents to prevent Christmas from coming. To his amazement, Christmas comes anyway, and the Grinch discovers the true meaning of the holiday.
Read more and sample the audio.




3. The Greatest Gift (film adaptation: It’s A Wonderful Life) by Philip Van Doren Stern, narrated by Edward Herrmann

The Greatest Gift.

Unable at first to find a publisher for his tale of a man named George who ponders suicide until he receives an opportunity to see what the world would be like without him, Stern originally published the story in a small pamphlet and sent it out as his Christmas card for 1943. One of those copies found its way into the hands of a producer, and the film that has become a cherished holiday tradition for many was born.
Read more and sample the audio.


4. A Christmas Carol (film adaptation: Scrooge) by Charles Dickens, narrated by Paul Scofield

A Christmas Carol.

“Every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding,” says Scrooge. Mean old Scrooge despises Christmas… until Christmas Eve, when a haunted voice from the past changes his life overnight.
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5. A Christmas Story by Jean Shepherd, narrated by Dick Cavett

A Christmas Story.

Ralphie Parker is in for a disappointing Christmas: he discovers his decoder ring is really an Ovaltine promotion; his parents battle over a lascivious leg lamp; the savagery of bullies is ripe; and, most crucially, Ralphie’s campaign to get a Red Ryder carbine action 200-shot range model air rifle results in the adult world saying, “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.”
Read more and sample the audio.


6. Skipping Christmas (film adaptation: Christmas With The Kranks) by John Grisham, narrated by Dennis Boutsikaris

Skipping Christmas.

Luther and Nora Krank decide to skip Christmas this year. Theirs will be the only house without a rooftop Frosty; they won’t be hosting their annual Christmas bash; they aren’t even going to have a tree. Instead, they’re going on a Caribbean cruise. But, as this weary couple is about to discover, skipping Christmas brings consequences.
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7. The Bishop’s Wife by Robert Nathan, narrated by Stephen R. Thorne

The Bishop's Wife.

Bishop Henry Brougham wants to build a new cathedral, but doesn’t know how he’ll find an archdeacon to help fund it. But that’s not his only problem. Him and his wife, Julia, are in a passionless marriage. When the bishop prays for help, it comes in the form of Michael, who takes the position of archdeacon. With the holidays approaching, the bishop senses the attraction between Julia and Michael.
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8. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, narrated by Barbara Caruso

Little Women.

Lovely Meg, talented Jo, frail Beth, spoiled Amy: these are hard lessons of poverty and of growing up in New England during the Civil War. Through their dreams, plays, pranks, letters, illnesses, and courtships, women of all ages have become a part of this remarkable family and have felt the deep sadness when Meg leaves the circle of sisters to be married.
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9. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Robert L. May, narrated by Stephen R. Thorne


Rudolph, loveable and generous, humble and good, embodies the spirit of Christmas, and reminds us of the magical possibilities that exist within us all. In the companion story, “Rudolph Shines Again,” Rudolph loses his light and is certain he is of no use to Santa now; he decides to go far away, where no one knows how bright his nose used to be. But on his journey, something magical happens.
Read more and sample the audio.


New to Get a free audiobook when you sign up for our one month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobook!