Best audiobooks for primary school kids
Oral story telling harks back to our ancestors, whose only way of sharing tales was by word of mouth – before pen and paper was even a thing! We still find ourselves comforted by the sound of a story being told to us and we love to let our imaginations run wild with the words that follow.
Children of all ages and abilities enjoy audiobooks, but they can be particularly transformative and delightful for those with special educational needs. Everybody learns differently, and people enjoy stories differently. Audiobooks open up a whole new world for those who feel alienated by the written word.
You can listen to these anywhere (well, almost anywhere!) and they’re great for long drives, the school run or as part of a healthy bedtime routine.
Timeless Tales for Kids
Classic bedtime tales such as The Railway Children, Alice Through the Looking Glass and Treasure Island, are all told by a well-known cast of performers (Bill Nighy and Alistair McGowan, to name a few). This is perfect for bedtime listening or a rainy Sunday. The voices are soothing and captivating, and the tales will transport your child to another world. It’s also a great way to introduce them to classic tales. Adults can also find this a useful way to relax and even help with their own sleep!
Lost on Infinity
The first four chapters are free on the Rockford’s Rock Opera website and it’s suitable for all ages. Unlike other audiobooks that are usually based on pre-existing stories, this unique and mesmerising tale was created specifically for audio. It combines charming characters, plot twists and catchy musical numbers to make a family favourite you’ll all be hooked on. Follow Rockford the dog as he finds himself lost on the island of Infinity – where all the extinct animals end up. But what happens when dogs accidentally become part of the extinct list? There’s a great ecology-based message behind the tale and plenty of resources for parents and teachers to enhance learning in this area.
Warning: earworms may persist and you will find yourself humming the tunes regularly!
Rockford’s Rock Opera’s stories are also available on Audible, Apple Music, Spotify and other streaming platforms.
You Are Awesome
Ready to feel inspired, build resilience and self-esteem? Then get listening to Mathew Syed’s You Are Awesome. The book is fantastic but for those children who lose interest in flicking through pages, the audiobook is a great alternative. Some even say it’s better as an audiobook! Mathew reads it in an animated and likeable manner and encourages children to rethink their attitude about their own capabilities and perceived limitations. It’s a great energy booster to start the day.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Many will be familiar with this book, as it’s been a huge hit with children in KS2. It’s a relatable story with a relatable main character and addresses bullying and difficult transitions. It’s American-based but the issues apply to kids almost anywhere. The chances are that your child has heard about this book from friends or teachers. Well, now they don’t have to miss out on the fun as they can listen to the story in audio form.
The Ice Children
A captivating story, perfect for a winter’s evening. The story follows Bianca’s adventure after her little brother has been found alive but frozen! She’s certain it has something to do with a mysterious book he found in the library. One by one, more children are found frozen and time is running out. This is a great audiobook for KS2 children, but one that adults will enjoy too. The voice acting is superb, and the atmosphere of mystery and drama that they create is palpable.
Roald Dahl's Matilda
Matilda is a story that never grows old and works beautifully for print, film, stage and audio! Actress Kate Winslet tells the tale of Matilda, a young girl of incredible intelligence and special gifts. Her parents are unimpressed by her (and downright nasty) and she is sent to a school with a wicked headmistress where she forms loyal friendships and familial ties. Whether you're familiar with the story or not, this is a delicious audio treat for the ears (perhaps on a long family drive).
The Christmasaurus and the Naughty List
There's something about listening to a story during the festive season, cuddled up on the sofa on a cold and wintery evening, that just feels splendid. The narrator, Paul Shelley, is perfect for this Christmas tale (he has a great Santa voice) and he tells the story about a Christmasaurus who makes it his mission to help the children on the naughty list right their wrongs in time for Christmas. It's an auidobook with some serious festive vibes – enjoy it with a hot cuppa and lots of sofa cuddles.
Are we missing your favourite audiobook from our list? Email [email protected] and let us know!
Please note that some of the products included in this article feature affiliate links; this means that if you click through and purchase one of the featured products, we might earn a small commission. Lost on Infinity is sponsored content brought to you by TheSchoolRun and Rockford's Rock Opera.