Long car rides? My kids’ favorite listening CD’s.

We are lucky: our kid’s love listening to music and stories when we have long drives and short ones for that matter. In fact, they even love listening to CD stories while sitting on the couch.  I can’t follow a sentence without loosing track of the story but despite the fact that in many cases their attention span is well, not great… with these stories it’s better not to interrupt them.

We have a number of vacations approaching (Easter, 2 different weeks in May, long weekends in May and June then Summer) – Seriously, they are off more often than they are at school during the next couple of months which means that I’m going to be adding a couple of new stories to our collection. I thought I’d share a list of our favorites.

Magic Tree House Series:  I actually love these books. They are filled with historical facts and I must admit that even I have learned a thing or 2 while reading to my kids. The stories are full of adventures lead by a brother and sister (I believe they are 7 & 8 years old). Educational, interesting and written exactly right. The minute one of my kids asks what something means, it’s explained in the next sentence. Always.  Her listening CD’s are just as great (though I personally like the pictures in the books!). Mary Pope Osborne (the author) has a great, soothing voice and reads her own books.  http://www.magictreehouse.com/

I recommend for ages 4-9. Meaning – all of my kids like them.   I also tend to buy a 4 pack which is cheaper and covers 4 different books.

Genonimo Stilton: The kids love these stories (and books), particularly my 2 oldest (7 & 8).  The reader has a great voice and the stories are so “cheesy”. If you don’t know these books, then you will not understand why I called the stories “cheesy” – they are actually great. The books are filled with adventures and it’s written using any variation of cheese products to describe many of the words.  Hmmm… this is hard to describe – so trust me! The website shows it all! http://www.geronimostilton.com/ There are even books geared more towards girls called Thea Stilton.  The books are originally Italian, which surprised me as the translations are fantastic and I can’t imagine them in any other language. We found this out when my son was doing a book report.

Bill Harley: All time favorites. His music is great, his stories are funny and spot on for kids.  “There’s a Pea on my Plate’ CD was given to us by a friend and we’ve never looked back.  I download or buy the CD’s from his website. http://www.billharley.com/. His songs are easy and have enough beat that we also enjoy them and don’t mind putting them on louder so they can hear at the back of the mini-van (no sound system back there…).  The kids always laugh while listening, lots of good messages in his songs – we especially like the “Put your helmet on” song as the Dutch don’t (wear helmets).  Makes the kids feel good about our choices.  He is also a great storyteller.  The names of his CD’s say it all: “Dinausors Never Say Please”, “Wheezie and the Moon Pie” etc.  Highly recommended!

His music is definitely for all ages. His stories for 5+ though some are more interesting for older kids as they refer to high school.

Just so Stories

The CD we have is spoken with a British voice which I sometimes have trouble understanding but the kids love it.  I mean who wouldn’t want to know How A Camel Got His Hump or How the Leopard Got His Spots? These stories were written a long time ago, I believe 1902 and they are still great!  http://boop.org/jan/justso/. You can also read the stories on this site. I ordered my CD’s on amazon I believe.

Age 4+

You may know all of these already but if you don’t, you should! I would also love to hear your recommendations –stories your kids love, music you both love.



  • Jcjaj

    I must say I didn’t really care for the Magic Tree House ones, but Geronimo was ok – not sure how many play on words the kids “got”…I’m definitely going to check out Bill Harley. 

    My kids really like the Barenaked Ladies -Snacktime- and we really enjoy Robert Munsch for a shorter story.

    I’ve gotta say that the audio thing is so much better than movies.  I’ve found much less fighting with the audio, and they can still look around and enjoy the trip.

    • Lianne

      Thanks for the tips! going to look for barenaked Ladies – heard about that one!  Let me know what you think about Bill Harley – he’s up there as a favorite for all my kids. They laugh at the stories and his songs!




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