Whether you’re schooling at home during this extended change in routine, or missing the extracurricular activities during your normal homeschool week, you might be looking for some screen-free ways to entertain your children.
Audio adventures are a budget-friendly, germ-free way to entertain the whole family.
Nothing fills the extra hours in our home better than audio adventures. My children listen to audiobooks by the hour: while playing a game of Monopoly Deal, while fashioning Play-Doh creations, while drawing with colored pencils. Whether they are curled up on the couch first thing in the morning or taking a mid-afternoon rest, whether the chore is folding laundry or doing dishes, an audiobook is always playing in the background.
If you’re looking for free or low-cost ways to add to your family’s audio library, look no further. There are many audio resources available for free on a regular basis. Other companies have released special selections for such a time as this! You may even have some audio adventures hiding inside some of the subscriptions you’re already paying for.
I’ll be updating this list as I find more, so be sure to check back again–and please let me know what free audio you’re enjoying right now!
Enter your name, email address, and a few other details to be emailed the direct link to access all the [email protected] FREE family-friendly streaming content from Focus on the Family. Current selections include Radio Theatre, The Imagination Station, Adventures in Odyssey, and much more! Content is updated regularly. [email protected] Streaming is available in the U.S. as well as from Focus on the Family Canada. (Available to stream for free through December 31, 2020.)
Old Time Radio Researchers
Old Time Radio Researchers have compiled extensive archives of many radio broadcasts (including Dragnet, Lux Radio Theatre, Tarzan, and so many more!). Browse the entire OTRR library (open links in new tab if they don’t open in frames) or stream and download select OTRR shows directly on Internet Archive.
Readalong for books 3 and 4 starts on October 19!
New Audio Daily
New radio shows daily at whitsend.org! Or, listen to full-length samples at the Adventures in Odyssey Club. (Also available to stream for free with Focus @ Home.)
Your Story Hour has expanded their “free story of the week” to feature “free stories every day” on the home page of their website at yourstoryhour.org.
New Audio Weekly
New episodes weekly available to stream on OnePlace. (Also available to stream for free with Focus @ Home.)
Live Read-Along Archives
Catch the replays of the Facebook Live read-along of The Charlatan’s Boy by Jonathan Rogers on his Facebook page. Click here for Day 1.
YouTube read-along of the first chapters of Snow Dust by Joanna G. Holden:
Readalong for books 3 and 4 starts on October 19!
Catch the replays from the live readalong of the first two books in The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson: On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness and North! Or Be Eaten.
- Night 1 on Facebook
- Night 2 on Facebook
- Night 3 on Facebook
Night 3 on YouTube
- Night 4 on Facebook
Night 4 on YouTube
- Night 5 on Facebook
Night 5 on YouTube
- Night 6 on Facebook
Night 6 on YouTube
- Night 7 on Facebook
Night 7 on YouTube
Free to Stream or Download
Simple yet profound stories in the style of Ethel Barrett. (Mrs. McGuffey is the perfect story for these times!) Stream for free on the author’s website.
Audible is making a selection of audiobooks available for free (to stream in any web browser) “as long as schools are closed.”
Listen for free to an audio drama by Lamplighter Theatre: Frozen Fire. (You may also sign up for a free interactive devotional that goes along with the audio drama.)
Listen to Titus: A Comrade of the Cross and You Are There: Easter for free by visiting lamplighter.net/easter.
A childhood favorite of my own! Over 200 episodes available to stream for free on archive.org as well as Old Time Radio Downloads, LibriVox Audio Books, or Free Classic Radio Shows. Download all episodes via four zip files at Old Radio Programs, courtesy of Old-Time Radio Researchers. OTRR has also uploaded all of the episodes to YouTube, compiled into one playlist by Audio Drama Blitz. (Check out episode summaries here, or join the Ranger Bill fan club on Facebook for daily episode links.)
This old-time radio program is new to us but we’re looking forward to listening! Stream or download MP3s for free directly from Moody Audio. (Filter by “Audio Product Set” to download the 37 sets in zipped folders rather than the 422 individual MP3s.)
Author Alan W. Harris is offering one free Audible code per family for one of the books in his The Tales of Larkin series. Available upon request via email, until the codes are gone. (You may also download free coloring pages of the Larkin characters for your children to color while they listen!)
A perennial favorite with my children! Stream or download MP3s for free directly from Moody Audio.
Free Audio Dramatizations on YouTube
Free Audio Dramatizations on on Spotify
Free With YouTube Music Trial/Subscriptions
Our children listen to our pastor’s sermon again each week via the podcast app but we’re slowly branching out into other kid-friendly podcasts. I’d love to hear your recommendations!
- The Daily Poem by the Close Reads Podcast Network
- Keys for Kids Ministries
- The Official Adventures in Odyssey Podcast
- Paws & Tales Paws-cast
Free Audiobooks on Librivox or Loyal Books
Some of my children’s favorite Loyal Books audiobooks are:
- The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit
- The Story of the Treasure Seekers by Edith Nesbit
- Five Children and It by Edith Nesbit
- Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
- The Lilac Fairy Book by Andrew Lang
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
- Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Some of our favorite LibriVox narrators are:
Free 60 day trial includes access to unlimited audiobooks and ebooks, accessible via the Scribd app on any device. (Payment info required–just visit your account settings to cancel your membership before the trial is over.) Here are a few of our favorite titles that are available via Scribd:
- Christian Heroes Then and Now series
- Chronicles of Narnia series
- Redwall series
- The Green Ember series
- The Wingfeather Saga series
- The Prince Warriors series
Sign up for a free trial of Audible and choose 1 audiobook for free! If I didn’t own any audiobooks right now and wanted to choose a free book for my Audible trial, I’d choose:
Your library may be closed, but you can still access all their digital content through Libby or Hoopla–as long as you have a library card. You may be able to login directly to Libby (powered by OverDrive) or Hoopla with your library card information, or you may need to connect with your library staff for assistance.
Looking for paid subscriptions?
Here are some that just might be worth it right now!
- Adventures in Odyssey Club (Grab a free 4-week trial right now!)
- Jonathan Park
- Lamplighter Audio Club
- Pelican Society
- Read-Aloud Revival Premium
Paid Digital Downloads
Looking for more audiobook recommendations?
- 10 Series that Spark My Children’s Imagination
- Audiobooks That Touch the Heart at Kindred Grace
- The Ultimate List of Epic Audio Adventures for the Whole Family at Club31Women
- 12 Great Audiobooks for Family Road Trips at Club31Women
Parents, want your own audio dramas?
- The Great Detectives of Old Time Radio (available via RSS or iTunes links)
- Old Radio Programs
- Old Time Radio on Internet Archive
Photography: JenniMarie Photography