Audiobooks are a fantastic way to entertain your kids with classic and modern stories, introduce them to historical periods and situations that are different from their own, and help them practice listening comprehension. If you’re trying to prep dinner or working one on one with another child, setting your child up with a good audiobook can give you the space to get things done.
We’ve listed some websites below where you can find FREE audiobooks for your children (including plenty of children’s classics) and a few recommendations to get you started.
If your little one loves picture books, they’ll be delighted by Read-Along with PBS Kids! This playlist features children’s books read by the author or a notable person, including former first lady Michelle Obama and US poet laureate Joy Harjo.
Through Spotify, you can access tons of free audiobooks in the public domain, such as:
- The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
- Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
- The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
- The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
- Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Fredrick Douglass
- The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
Beyond these beloved classics, Spotify also has a whole Spoken Word section dedicated to audiobooks, poems, and other non-musical resources. You will need to create a free Spotify account to access any of these items.
The Storynory podcast offers short weekly audiobooks based on folklore and fairy tales from around the world. Popular retold tales include stories by The Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, and Aesop.
Use these links to listen to the podcast on one of these popular listening platforms:
Another robust collection of public domain literature, Lit2Go leans into education by rating all of its titles on the Flesch-Kincaid grade level scoring system. This makes it easy to filter and browse audiobooks by grade level, from kindergarten through 12th grade. You can play books by chapter with the on-page audio player and read along with the text, or download the audiobook, often through a link to iTunes U.
The Harper Kids YouTube channel features author read-alongs of popular picture books in their Storytime Read Aloud playlist. Older children who are ready for chapter books may enjoy The Graveyard Book, read by the author Neil Gaiman.
Free Audibooks on LibriVox
LibriVox has created thousands of free classic audiobooks read by volunteers. Like Spotify, all books available on LibriVox are open to the public domain, so you won’t find some of the more modern stories that are still under copyright.
While not all of these audiobooks are suitable for a younger child’s listening comprehension level, LibriVox has many books by authors who are taught in elementary and middle school, including:
- Beatrix Potter
- Louisa May Alcott
- L.M. Montgomery
- Hans Christian Andersen
- Lewis Carroll
- Mark Twain
- Charles Dickens
- Edgar Allan Poe
- Jane Austen
- William Shakespeare
Through OverDrive’s app Libby, you can access audiobooks available from your local library and listen to them online. Because every library purchases a different selection of books, the children’s books you can find will vary depending on where you live. Also, you’ll need to have a library card to access OverDrive and Libby.
Try this Library Finder to find the library nearest to you that uses OverDrive. If your local library does not use Overdrive, ask them if they offer a similar audiobook platform. Most libraries do, and they will be happy to get you set up!
This podcast features short stories written by kids ages 6 to 12 in collaboration with bestselling children’s authors. A few fun episodes to start with include:
- A Worm’s Worth (co-written by Jayson Reynolds)
- A Girl Who Looks Like Me (co-written by Susan Muaddi Darraj)
- The Hungry Mirror (co-written by Raini LaRocca)
Plus, if your child has a story idea of their own, they can submit it to the podcast here!