Audio books for toddler? Reader Q&A

My daughter is turning 3 next month and is starting to outgrow her naps! I am trying to enforce quiet time on the days she won’t nap, and someone gave me the idea of letting her listen to audio books
as her quiet time activity. I was hoping you had some ideas or could point me in the right direction of somewhere to start. Many thanks in advance for your help! -Rebecca


I agree that audio books are a great way to get her to hold still for a little bit and relax, and we’ve pulled together a few ideas for you to check out. Hope they work for you!

If you’d like to have an audio book that is long enough to stop between chapters and pick up day after day, I encourage you to check out the audio books of E.B. White. We’ve listened to both Charlotte’s Web (at top) and The Trumpet of the Swan, read by the author himself, and they are wonderful. (You can always skip over the whole “slaughter the pig” talk if it is too intense). They are usually available at your local library to check out if you’d like to see if she enjoys them before you purchase.

Even if she is too young to really get the gist of the stories, these are ones she’ll listen to for years to come.


Dr Seuss audio books

The Cat in the Hat and Other Dr Seuss Favorites looks pretty great and age-appropriate. Celebrities such as John Cleese and John Lithgow read the books aloud which won’t mean anything to her, but should give you an idea of the quality of the recordings.


Billy Brown

The Billy Brown series comes highly recommended by one of our book experts, and it sounds like it may be ideal for your daughter’s age.


Tell Me a Story

Tell Me a Story is a wonderfully produced, thoughtful collection of stories in one CD. It is listed for kids ages 5+, but if you were to listen to the stories ahead of time, you could decide if any aren’t appropriate for your daughter. Just an FYI: I own the most recent Women of Wonder –their third release—and those stories are a bit too old. Save that one for when she’s around 7.



Check out Storynory for free audio downloads of classic fairy tales like Thumbelina and Cinderella, as well as original stories. And, yes, all free!


Jim Weiss

Jim Weiss is well known in homeschooling circles for his extensive library of smart, kid-friendly audio books. Though I didn’t start listening to him until my kids were a little older, he does have a bunch of audio books for kids 3+ that would be appropriate and pretty low-key. His voice is very soothing, and these are not overly produced with music and sound effects which makes them ideal for quiet time.


Barefoot Books

Barefoot Books publishes such lovely book/audio book CD combos; it’s nice to listen to the CD at naptime and look at books at storytime, or let her quietly flip along with the CD. I like The Story Tree for toddler and preschool-age kids.


Toys Go Out

You may also want to consider joining to gain access access to their huge library of books for kids under 4. I have heard good things about the Winnie the Pooh series which would ideal for your daughter’s age.

And, one of my absolute favorite read-aloud children’s stories, Toys Go Out, is available here too. –Christina


Senior Associate Editor Christina Refford loves homeschooling, running, cool kids’ music, and coffee. Not in that order.


  • Reply September 30, 2011

    Stefanie S

    We love the “Knuffle Bunny” and “Don’t let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” audio recordings. They are read by Mo Willems and his daughter. Too cute.

    We also got “Green Eggs & Ham and other servings of Dr Seuss” from the library and enjoyed it. Jason Alexander and David Hyde Pierce were among the narrators.

  • Reply September 30, 2011

    Angie Burke

    My four year old LOVES the little house on the prairie books in audio form. We rent them from the library and she refuses to listen to anything else! She looks forward to quite time though, so I’m not going to mess with it. ; ) When she was a bit younger, we would check out the cd’s that came with picture books too.

  • Reply October 3, 2011


    If you have an iPhone or iPad, Tales2Go is an absolutely wonderful app. My kids are addicted to it – in the car, at bedtime, and while playing in their rooms. It’s well worth the money – mine are almost 6 and 11 now, and listen to stories multiple times each day.

  • Reply October 5, 2011


    What a fabulous idea. My daughter has outgrown her daytime nap and I now struggle to find quiet time. I am going to try giving her one of these.

  • Reply October 13, 2011


    My kids (aged 8,6,5,4) absolutely love:

    – Magic Tree House (all) – Books are great as well…

    – Geronimo Stilton (it’s hilarious and we love as well)

    – Bill Harley ( His stuff is so great. We love his stories and his music.

    We also listen to them in the car all the time. Especially Bill Harley – his music is actually parent friendly – he’s got such a great variety of tunes, voices etc. Always fun!

    Also good for rainy day fun…

  • Reply October 24, 2011


    There is a set of Beatrix Potter cd’s (her whole collection in a zipped tin) that I got online a few years ago. It includes songs too and is really lovely. As with lots of audio books the stories are read by well known actors and my kids listened to them from the age of four. They introduce vocabulary kids wouldnt hear anywhere else and are very bearable for adults if used in the car.

  • Reply August 19, 2015

    Abigail Young

    That’s fantastic, kids really love audio books. You can also check out for more audio books online that kids will surely love. They offer audio books at a lower price.

  • Reply February 8, 2016

    dianna johnson

    looking for audio books for my going to be 3 yr. old grand daughter

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