Discover the best audiobooks for toddlers and how you can inspire your child’s love of reading from a young age.
Audiobooks for toddlers
Toddlers are terrific auditory learners, which is why storytelling is helpful to their development. However, not every parent always has time to read engaging stories or use their best narrating voice to keep their children engaged. Fortunately, audiobooks can fill in and offer that necessary entertainment.
How and when to use audiobooks with kids
Toddlers are easily the fastest learners, especially when it comes to language—but they don’t learn languages by reading textbooks. Toddlers learn by listening to others and repeating the words. That’s why audiobooks can help kids develop their language and literacy skills early on in life.
Even parents who still read to their toddlers can introduce audiobooks as part of a daily routine. The more exposure to language toddlers have, the more practice they get and the more information they absorb. Given the vast availability of audiobooks, it’s as simple as loading up a title on an iPad, iPhone, or any other mobile device or computer.
Parents can get toddlers to listen to audiobooks in the car during cross-country road trips, long car rides, or when running errands. They can queue audiobooks before toddlers nap or as part of their bedtime book routine. Toddlers are curious, so there’s no right or wrong time to play something entertaining during the day.
The real trick is finding appropriate audiobooks for toddlers. Usually, it’s essential to match the age and interest level of the stories, and even audiobooks that are slightly above their level of understanding can be effective. Exposure to richer vocabulary can help toddlers expand their knowledge and enhance language skills. At the same time, you can pair audiobooks with picture books, chapter books, short stories, storybooks, and all types of reading material for your child.
The best audiobooks for toddlers
Here is a list of the best audiobooks for toddlers, which are sure to become your children’s favorite audiobooks. Many audio versions of some of these classic books may bring back nostalgia for parents, as well.
Green Eggs and Ham
Written by Dr. Seuss and narrated by Jason Alexander, Green Eggs and Ham is a classic story for toddlers. It has very creative and silly rhymes that can keep kids engaged and teach them a thing or two about eating habits.
Owl Moon is a classic story and Caldecott Medal-winning tale about adventure, family, and the wonders of nature. Always a great read for toddlers, the audiobook version is even more engaging thanks to the passionate narration and quality music.
A Big Mooncake for Little Star
Author Grace Lin depicts several origin stories for different moon phases. The whimsical storytelling and fantastic music track make this one of the dreamiest bedtime stories for kids.
Llama Llama Red Pajama
Another book for toddlers, Llama Llama Red Pajama is full of rhymes and various tales of a llama drama. There’s a story about everything from bedtime to wake-up times to holidays, birthdays, and everything in between. Cassandra Campbell narrates these entertaining stories.
Laurie Berkner’s Song and Story Kitchen
An Audible Original, Laurie Berkner’s Song and Story Kitchen contains songs, food exploration, and various adventures relatable to toddlers. The audiobook depicts a magical world filled with food, culture, emotions, and a lovable little girl and her piglet. It helps improve cognitive development and language learning skills.
The Day You Begin
Jacqueline Woodson wrote and narrated The Day You Begin. It’s one of the best books for toddlers who may feel like outsiders or are a bit shy. It can teach them courage and the importance of reaching out.
The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler tells a story about a little mouse and her “imaginary” friend. Hal Hollings gives an emphatic narration of this beloved children’s book, perfect for bedtime or nap time listening material. You can also find a version narrated by Imelda Staunton of the Harry Potter movie series.
Created by A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh is a tale about everyone’s favorite bear and their close friends. The classic story, narrated by Peter Dennis, can easily engage kids and transport them into an imaginary realm of adventure, love, and kindness.
The books of Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl created some of the most lovable fairy tales and characters, including The Big Friendly Giant, Matilda, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. His books have received various on-screen adaptations and are available in audiobook form.
Parents can find numerous children’s stories in audio form with enthusiastic narrations and immersive sound effects, ideal for entertaining or educational storytime.
Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site
Toddlers love their construction vehicle toys. Perhaps an audiobook based around such vehicles and rhyming storytelling is a great way to keep kids entertained. The sound effects on this one make it even better and are guaranteed to grab the attention of young ones.
Speechify—Turn any text into audio
Young readers of all ages, from 3-year-olds to 12-year olds, can benefit from audiobooks, and now with text to speech technology, you can turn any text into speech in a matter of seconds.
Speechify is a text to speech reader capable of taking written text and putting it into words. For preschoolers, this could mean turning e-learning websites into fun audio experiences. The app can read aloud digital text and physical text, and it’s available on all major platforms including PC, Mac, Android, and iOS.
Try Speechify today to inspire your children’s love of reading even more.
Which book is best for a 2-year-old?
Wheels on the Bus is a great book and audiobook for a 2-year-old due to its many sing-along stories.
Are audiobooks good for 4-year-olds?
Audiobooks allow kids of all ages (and adults) to absorb information more easily through listening.
How do I download an audiobook?
You can download audiobooks in many audio file formats from audiobook services and apps or after creating them yourself in Speechify.
Do you need to read the book before listening to the audiobook?
Reading a book before listening to its audiobook version isn’t necessary. It may even spoil the story. But it can help to read and listen simultaneously, even from an early age.