Whole Parenting Family

Audio Stories and How They’re Saving My Life

Audio Stories Save

You know how we’re not screen people for our kids, right? It started when SuperBoy was really little and the AAP came out with its no-TV-under-2-years-of-age recommendations. Sometimes I soapbox about it {Damage of Screen Time} {How I Survive without Screens for My Kids}, but truly I get it, parents, I get it. You need a break. We all need a break. Screens provide both opportunities for education & entertainment.

The biggest break for me has been audio stories. Books on tape, as they once were called. And I’m not just talking Curious George though I love this story so much. Those books on CD are fab for our car trips for the flip-the-page part. But my mom gifted us with a new batch of really, truly, educationally, awesomely entertaining:

Jim Weiss audio stories.

We’ve got Greek Myths, the Old Testament, Arabian Nights, King Arthur, Gone West, American Tall Tales, Egyptian Treasures. His voice is magical. It’s not too tough for a preschooler to track with. Stories with cultural importance, historical value, and a moral to the story? We listen to them morning, noon, and night.

When we read our Greek Myths now, SuperBoy can really go deeper because he’s heard the audio stories. We bought a Lewis & Clark book that he’ll sit with for hours, largely because the Gone West CD goes into their journey in detail. And the King Arthur???

He’s gone retro with my old lego set that’s all knights and dragons and a castle. I think it took listening to the stories on CD for the legos to come to life. Something that this kind of lego set would go with well . . . I can turn on the King Arthur CD, leave him in the Dining Room with the legos and he is happy. For life. And I can tend to the toddler or shrieking lady lass.

Even SweetPea at her precious three-years-going-on-thirteen fights her dragon battles and wants to discuss how big Babe the Giant Blue Ox really was (American Tall Tales, thank you). She sets all her dolls up in bed so they can listen to Arabian Nights. But not the scary parts, mama.

Use your amazon gift card. Download from Spotify. Watch on youtube. Get Jim Weiss into your life. I’m in love. Didn’t Sarah Mackenzie interview him over at Amongst Lovely Things?

train time



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  1. Laura on July 22, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    We are HUGE Jim Weiss fans here. Mary listens to the stories during rest time. Sometimes his sleepy time ones can even get her to take a nap, something she still needs from time to time. So awesome.

    • Natural Mama Nell on July 23, 2015 at 4:09 pm

      I love him so very very much! And nap magic? Amazing!

  2. Alicia Copley on July 23, 2015 at 7:20 am

    These sound great! I’ve been loving story-type podcasts lately to try to reduce tv time, especially Stuff You Missed in History Class (not all episodes are kid-friendly, but they typically warn you at the beginning if not). And any book narrated by Jim Dale (especially Harry Potter).

    My son, at one and a half, doesn’t seem to pay much attention to the audio stories right now, but at least it gives me a little something extra to entertain my mind while I’m playing blocks with him. 🙂

    Stories are just so much more real in audio, right? Am I the only one who thinks that? I just love that you can imagine it any way you want – so many more possibilities than the forced perspective of tv.

    • Natural Mama Nell on July 23, 2015 at 4:10 pm

      Yes–I love audio stories. They really really are way more interesting than screens! And yeah, my 14 month old doesn’t really care, but as soon as he catches up with his older two sibs, I know he’ll love them too. Plus, all those neurons are making connections right now. What little kids listen to forms their brains! Way to go, mama!

  3. Jamaica on July 23, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    my kids LOVE audiobooks too! (And they still call them books on tape…even though they don’t know what a tape is…) we listen to the focus on the family dramatized audio a TON! Their favorites are the Narnia series, At The Back Of The North Wind, and Anne of Green Gables. As a bonus: their British accents are fabulous 😉

    • Natural Mama Nell on July 23, 2015 at 4:14 pm

      Oh the brits are the BEST!

  4. Susan on July 24, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Our boys absolutely LOVE JW’s stories! They listen to them over and over again. Even my high schooler doesn’t mind listening to them when we travel (he would be totally embarrassed if he knew I just shared that!).

    • Natural Mama Nell on July 25, 2015 at 9:46 am

      HAHAH I love them too!!! for me!