The Best Bedtime Audiobooks for Children and Teens
Avoid techno-tantrums by swapping their tablet for one of these gripping night-time tales.
18 July 2019
All Credits: PA
Between tablets, phones, TVs and laptops, many parents find it a daily battle to limit their children’s screen time.
This is especially true during the summer holidays, when kids have more time on their hands to endlessly scroll through YouTube videos and social media sites.
But aside from cranking up the price of your electricity bill, experts have warned that too much screen time could have a negative effect on young people’s mental health.
A study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics assessed the correlation between screen time and symptoms of depression among young people, and found that those who spent lots of time online were most likely to exhibit the key symptoms.
The research team conducted the study over the course of four years, using 3,826 young people with an average age of 12 and a half years old.
If you’re a parent that’s keen on limiting the time your kids spend online, a good way to get them to hand over their devices – without having a meltdown – is to set some reasonable ground rules.
As a start, why not try swapping night-time scrolling – which can have a negative effect on sleep – for a soothing audiobook instead? Here’s our pick of the best take in everything from gripping fantasy novels to laugh-into-your-pillow romantic comedies.
Best for: ages 2-4
HarperCollins Children’s Books Presents: Stories for Summer Holidays
This collection of entertaining short stories takes in some of the biggest name’s in children’s writing, including David Walliams, Oliver Jeffers, Judith Kerr and Emma Chichester-Clark. While it’s primarily designed to keep kids from asking, “Are we there yet?” in cars, planes and trains, we reckon it’s just as effective at soothing kids off to sleep.
This hilarious collection of stories by comedian David Walliams is sure to get kids excited to switch off their computers and start their bedtime routine. It includes ten wickedly funny tales about some of the most awful children imaginable – and there’s even an incredibly apt tale about a girl who’s so glued to her TV screen she’s started to turn into a sofa.
Beloved by children and adults everywhere, the first book in Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy tells the compelling story of 12-year-old Lyra, who travels to the frozen arctic with her animal daemon to save her friend and find her father. With plenty of twists, turns, and a good dash of fantasy, this fast-paced page-turner is the ideal listen for kids with big imaginations.
If your child is a fan of thrillers and won’t be upset by something a little scarier, this dystopian, science fiction thriller tells the story of 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who takes part in a terrifying reality TV show called The Hunger Games. The game has just one rule: to kill or be killed. Her fight for survival is an action-packed adventure that kids can enjoy, chapter per chapter, over several evenings.
High school student Lara Jean Song’s life is turned upside down when the secret love letters she’s written to her crushes are mailed out to them. Suddenly, she’s the centre of the school’s attention. Teenagers will cringe, laugh and cry along with this romantic tale.