I am looking for some suggestions on some stories my children can listen to during quiet time. Anyone have ideas for this age group? Something to keep them entertained and actually listening for more than three mins?
Do they listen to chapter books yet, or do they need something shorter? If they enjoy short chapter books, they'd probably be entertained by Junie B. Jones, Magic Treehouse, or Secrets of Droon. None of those are great literature, but the stories are simple enough that even a 3-year old can follow and enjoy them. (At least my youngest liked them when he was 3.)
My kids love the unabridged works of Winnie-the-Pooh and we also have the Cat in the Hat collection. I'm trying to get them into Beatrix Potter but so far they are stuck on the other two. Audio books have made nap time and bed time so much easier. I wish I would have done it a long time ago.
I think the best for this age group is the Curious George collection. Now whenever a good friend has a new baby, I get them a copy of the hard cover Complete Curious George with the audio CD's included. I think young kids are sometimes more open to audio books if they have heard the stories read outloud before and/or if they can look at the book as well.
My oldest (who is now 8) used to stand in his learning tower in the kitchen turning the pages of the book while he listened to the CD's while I made breakfast. Now my girls (5 and 3) listen to them while they are going to sleep (they're on the Ipod now). The narration of these is excellent. Also the complete collection represents many many hours of stories--who knew these books were so long! They will last you for a while, and my kids really like to hear them over and over.
My kids have also really liked a lot of the barefoot books--Tales of Wisdom and Wonder and Animal Tales are probably our favorites. These are also beautifully read and my husband and I still look at each other once in a while and say "Misery, oh misery, Papa god, why you give me so much misery" which is a line from one of the stories in Tales of Wisdom and Wonder. These are the kind of stories that make you feel like a really good parent to have your kids listen to.
Your 5 year old would probably enjoy the Magic Treehouse books. My oldest two started listening to them at about 4 years old--and they both went through a very intense "Jack and Annie" phase. These are like nails on a chalkboard for me, but not offensive in any way--just annoying. My 3 year old can't sit still for them.
Also nails on a chalk board for me is Junie B Jones, but both my girls loved these for a while. I actually just deleted them off our computer and ipod because I decided they were a bad influence on the 3 year old--a little too mature and obnoxious, but they might not bother you as much.
Best of luck,
Jim Weiss! Both of my kids are huge audio book listeners, and he appealed to both of them. You can order many of them through Amazon, but you can see them all on his page:
(Uncle Wiggly and Tell Me A Story are our favorites from that group.)
Also, Sparkle Stories are wonderful. At Home with Martin and Sylvia is great for younger kids. It's a subscription; you get a new story every Friday. Try the sample here: