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Audio Books

Sweet Pea is 35 months old.

From: A friend recommended the young-adult book The Lovely Bones.  I figured that the young-adult categorization meant it was practically a children’s story so I began listening to the audio-book version of it.  In the car.  With Sweet Pea strapped into the back seat.  67 seconds later and I started slamming my finger repeatedly into the stop button    I quickly asked Sweet Pea if she wanted to start singing a round of “Old McDonald Had a Farm” and silently hoped that she wouldn’t start asking me tricky questions like, “What’s a murderer, mama?”  Instead she said, “Turn story back on.”  I told her that we’d have to find a different story for her later.   So the next time we went to the library we checked out the audio version of Little House on the Prairie.


  • A child-appropriate audio book.  (Our library has a shelf full of them.)


  • Tell your child a little bit about the story you are going to listen to and then pop it in the CD player.
  • Continue with your driving / sweeping / laundry folding…
  • Occasionally stop the CD and discuss the story with your tot.

Observations: Sweet Pea has never been too keen on my channel surfing between Terry Gross and Dave Ramsey so I don’t know why I didn’t think of listening to an audio-book earlier.  As soon as we get in the car now,  Sweet Pea asks, “Can we listen to Mary and Laura?”

Sweet Pea is riveted and we have a good time talking about various parts of the story.  I am surprised by how much I have been enjoying the Little House stories again.  I remember loving them as a child, but they are great to listen to as an adult again too.  I think some children’s books might be too simple and drive me crazy, but these seemed like a good compromise.

So this is not quite “tot school”, but I am really excited about being able to expose her to some classic children’s stories while running my errands.  I would highly recommend this activity for other tots.

If any of you use audio-books with your tots, what are some of your favorites?

Notes from the Trenches:

To start with, I wouldn’t recommend letting your tot listen to The Lovely Bones nor probably anything by Stephen King.

Secondly, the Little House books are maybe a tad too mature for an almost 3-year-old.  There have been a few places where I have had to fast forward so she doesn’t hear something inappropriate (a little too much exposition about who Santa Clause really is or how a teacher is going to use a ruler to beat a naughty little girl’s knuckles, for example) but they are great books.  Oh, and they are a tad more paternalistic than I noticed as a child, but despite all that they are very good books.   And the politically correct side of me cringes every time Ma Ingals mentions how much the Indians scare her, but overall they are good.  Really.

Rating: 4 Stars * (Fun, Easy, Independent, Frugal)

2 comments to Audio Books

  • Ellika

    I know it’s years and years since you wrote this but I just happen to come across your blog and I love it! My daughter Liv is 2 years old now so those early part are perfect for her. I know it’s kind of ridiculous to comment on good sound book for two-three years olds as sweet pea is so much older know but then I figure someone else might come across this like I did, so I thought to mention that we listen to Winnie the Pub. (The original, not the Disney version) and that is both I and Liv can enjoy them a lot. They are also very kind books so I find them suitable for small people. Unfortunately we are swedes and listen to a great Swedish record of those books and I have no idea whether the English record version is good but since they are so famous books I figure they probably would be. Thanks for this amazing blog, giving me so much five years later in a totally different continent.

    • Shannon (admin)

      Thanks for your comment. We listened to Winnie the Pooh also, although it was a long time ago. We still listen to audio books every where we go. I should make a post about good audio books for 7 year olds now! 🙂

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