School will be starting up soon, and that means my kids’ tech will be focused more on education than Fortnite in a few weeks. Sorry, kids. I’m going to start by downloading these free audiobook apps that let you borrow them (along with books, movies, and more) from the library.

With everything so visual these days, it’s a wonderful way to get their other senses heightened. And by the way, parents of struggling readers: One of my favorite tips is to allow your kids to listen to an audiobook while they read along in their printed book. It helps them learn how to read more smoothly, and it’s especially good for kids who learn better by hearing than they do visually.

So, here are 3 free audiobook apps that you should download today to get a head start on back-to-school season.

Related: This app lets you check out library books on your tablet. Free. From home. Yes!

Free audiobook apps: Use Libby to rent from multiple libraries in one place.

If you want to borrow from multiple libraries in one place

If you want to merge the audiobooks you borrow from your local library, your school library, and maybe even a library out of your county that you have a card for, then you can do all that in one place on Libby. You can search by category, popularity, or even find books in Spanish. And I love that you can download the books for offline reading, which is perfect for car trips or bus rides. (Note that Libby is developed by OverDrive, another popular library-borrowing app that only lets you register one library card. We’ve found that our kids prefer the functionality of Libby to OverDrive.)

Free audiobook apps: Hoopla gets rave reviews from our own kids

If your kids want to listen to audiobooks at bedtime

If you like listening to books at bedtime, Hoopla Digital is a great option for kids. It has a built-in sleep timer, so you can set it to turn off after a certain amount of time. We also love their Kid Mode filter, which will keep the more adult content from your local library hidden from them. And as a bonus for the whole family, you can also borrow graphic novels, comic books, movies, and music from your library with Hoopla. If your local library doesn’t participate with Hoopla, you can get a card from the nearest library that does. Whoo!

Related: The Pocket app reads your favorite articles to you

Free audiobook apps: Sora lets you borrow from your school library

If you want access to your child’s school library

Another app developed by OverDrive is Sora, but this one focuses exclusively on the content available from your child’s school library. How many times have my kids forgotten their books at school? I love that they can download both ebooks and audiobooks they might need on this app, without the stress of running back to school after hours and hoping it’s open. It also has a built-in reward system to motivate them to read more, yay!

Photo at top by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

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