Add Audiobooks to Your Stay-at-Home Survival Kit

Parents need a big bag of tricks to get through these distance learning days. If you haven’t added audiobooks to your repertoire, now is the time to give them a try! While many families rely on them for long car trips, audiobooks can provide entertainment and enrichment to help us on our extended journey through each day at home.

Audiobooks are a great option for encouraging your child’s love of reading and developing their skills. Listening to audiobooks is fun and easy, and enhances vocabulary, fluency, and listening skills. By offering an interpretation of the story through intonation, variation in volume, and stressing words, the narrator guides the listener’s comprehension. The narration can also enhance vocabulary through exposure to new, sophisticated words in context.

For all readers, especially those with dyslexia or decoding challenges, audiobooks can be a gamechanger by making great stories accessible. Daniel Willingham describes how audiobooks “allow listeners to get the meaning while skirting the work of decoding, that is, the translation of print on the page to words in the mind.” With that barrier removed, students can listen to stories at a more challenging level, and this is motivating for students who might otherwise feel cut off from the books they want to read.

In addition to all of these educational benefits, listening to audiobooks is simply a fun and relaxing alternative to screen time. Some students like to curl up in a comfy spot, close their eyes, and let the story take them away. Others like to doodle or knead some playdough. Still others listen while helping with household chores.

Sample some stories and enjoy the power of audiobooks. Below is a list of places where you can find free audiobooks and a list of some of our favorite stories at Lowell.

Where to Find Free Audiobooks

1. Tales2go
Contact Christine or Melissa for your child’s login. If you are not a Lowell parent, check with your school’s librarian to find out if your school subscribes to Tales2go.

2. Audible
Free audiobooks during COVID-19 school closures.

3. Montgomery County Libraries
E-books, audiobooks, and magazines.  Free resources with a library card. Sign up here for a temporary card. 

4. DC Public Libraries Digital Content
E-books, audiobooks, and magazines.  Free resources with a library card.  Sign up here and get a 90 day temporary card.

5. Junior Library Guild
Free audiobooks during COVID-19 school closures.

Lowell’s Favorite Audiobooks 

Age recommendations are in parentheses.

Alexander and the Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst (5-7)

Anna Hibiscus series by Atinuke  (5-7)

A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon (5-7)

Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson (3-5)

A Child’s Day Out (5 hours of stories read by Betty White) by Mary Sheldon (3-7)

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander (11-13)

The Dot by Peter Reynolds (5-7)

Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson (7-9)

Eleven Birthdays by Wendy Mass (11-13)

Elliot’s Fire Truck by Andre Beck (3-5)

George by Alex Gino (9-13)

The Hamster Princess series by Ursula Vernon (7-9)

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling (9-13)

The Jumbies by Tracy Baptiste (9-11)

Ling and Ting: Not Exactly the Same by Grace Lin (5-7)

Loot by Jude Watson (11- 13)

Lulu Walks the Dog by Judith Viorst (5-7)

Mr. Putter and Tabby Bake a Cake by Cynthia Rylant (3-7)

Nim’s Island by Wendy Orr (7-9)

Not if I Save You First by Ally Carter (11-14)

The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson (9-11)

Planet Middle School by Nikki Grimes (11-14)

Strega Nona by Tomie de Paola (5-7)

Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (5-7)

Wings of FIre series by Tui Sutherland (9-11)

Why Mosquitoes Buzz In People’s Ears by Verna Aardema (5-7)

You can find more audiobook suggestions in our earlier post “Audiobooks for Family Car Trips.”


ID 172748395 © Victoria Denisova |

Looking for a school for your child?

Lowell School is an independent school in the Colonial Village neighborhood of Washington, DC, that offers Pre-Primary, Primary, and Middle School programs. It offers a rigorous and hands-on curriculum that nurtures each child’s natural curiosity and desire to learn, and supports the development of individual voice and self-reliance. For more information, please call 202-577-2000, email, or follow Lowell on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

Topics: Parent Resources for Remote Learning