Podcasts are a great way for kids to learn and be entertained–without screens! Here’s a roundup of some of the best podcasts for kids.
Podcasts are so ingrained into my daily life, I honestly don’t remember how I filled the silence before they came along. I listen to podcasts when I’m getting ready in the morning, cooking dinner, doing housework, and taking a solo walk. I love the opportunity to learn something and to listen to different perspectives.
There’s a podcast for everything and everyone, including kids. Five minutes into the first episode of The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel, my kids (ages 9 and 13) were hooked. And I couldn’t be happier, because podcasts entertain, teach, and open up new worlds and ideas–and hallelujah, it doesn’t involve watching someone else play video games on YouTube (seriously, what’s the deal with that?).
Here’s a roundup of some of the best podcasts for kids–podcasts my family has listened to and ones recommended to me by other parents. I’ve included the podcast’s description from either iTunes or the show’s website, recent examples of episodes, and I’ve noted which ones my kids like best. I also tried to include information about age recommendations when possible, but as always, you know your kid best. If you have any suggestions to add to this list, I hope you’ll tell me in the comments!
THE UNEXPLAINABLE DISAPPEARANCE OF MARS PATEL
Description: “A scripted podcast for middle grade kids, performed by middle grade kids. It is a fun, high-quality, serial mystery that can be described as Goonies meets Spy Kids meets Stranger Things for 8-12 year olds.” (*RMN Kid Fave)
Description: “Who is Holiday? Where did she come from and how did she end up floating in the icy waters off the coast of Alaska with no memory? Are her mom and dad really who they say they are? Why is she developing those incredible abilities? And what’s the deal with that cool hoverboard? The mystery unfolds in six-minute episodes, twice a week all year long….” (*RMN Kid Fave)
Description: “Fauxthentic History is your most reliable source of fictional history inside the many, varied worlds of popular culture, mythology, and nerddom. From Star Wars and Star Trek to Disney films and Lord of the Rings, your hosts will take you through the finer details of your favorite stories in ways you never imagined.” Recent Epsisodes: “The Jedi Council”, “Wand Lore in the Wizarding World”, “Cindarella’s Royal Transition” (*RMN Kid Fave)
Description: “But Why is a show led by you, kids! You ask the questions and we find the answers. It’s a big interesting world out there. On But Why, we tackle topics large and small, about nature, words, even the end of the world.” Recent Episodes: “Why Do We Laugh?”, “How Does Your Heart Work?”, “Why Do People Dream?”
|You might also like: 10 Books My Kids Couldn’t Put Down|
Description: “Tumble is a science podcast for kids, to be enjoyed by the entire family. We tell stories about science discoveries, with the help of scientists! Join Lindsay and Marshall as they ask questions, share mysteries, and share what science is all about.” Recent Episodes: “The Weather Balloon, the Girl Scouts, and the Unicorn”, “Dinosaur Poop: Who Dung It?”, “How to Build a Robotic Eel”
Description: “Brains On is a science podcast for curious kids and adults from American Public Media. Co-hosted each week by kid scientists and reporters from public radio, we ask questions ranging from the science behind sneezing to how to translate the purr of cats, and go wherever the answers take us.” Recent episodes: “Why is the Ocean Salty?”, “Allergy Attack: How Our Bodies Can Overreact”, “How Do Animals Breathe Underwater?”
Description: “SHORT & CURLY is a fast-paced fun-filled ethics podcast for kids and their parents, with questions and ideas to really get you thinking. It asks curly questions like about animals, technology, school, pop culture and the future. SHORT & CURLY is especially designed to be listened to alone or as a family, with questions to think about and time to discuss it together.” Recent Episodes: “Introducing Fierce Girls”, “How to Make the Best Kinds of Friends”, “Is Your Classroom Fair?”
STUFF YOU MISSED IN HISTORY CLASS
Description: “Join Holly and Tracy as they bring you the greatest and strangest Stuff You Missed In History Class in this podcast by HowStuffWorks.com. Recent Episodes: “Here, Kitty Kitty, The Domestication of the Cat”, “The Ancient City of Ephesus and the Temple of Artemis”, “Nelly Bly and Stunt Journalism”. (*RMN Kid Fave)
Description: “Storynory has been giving free audio stories to the world since November 2005. We aim for our audio stories to showcase imagination, good writing, and great narrations. Most of our stories are aimed at an age group around 7 to 11 years. However, we do have some nursery stories and rhymes for preschool, and some quite sophisticated stories.”
Description: “Hosts Mindy Thomas and Guy Raz guide curious kids and their grown-ups on a journey into the wonders of the world around them. We’ll go inside our brains, out into space and deep into the coolest new stories in science and technology.” Recent Episodes: “Operation Earth: How To Be Cool To A Planet That’s Hot”, “All-Natural Superheroes”, “Anti-Social Animals”
Description: “On the Stories Podcast, we perform a new story for your children every week. The stories range from retellings of fairy tales like Snow White to classic stories like Peter Rabbit and even completely original works. Everything is G rated and safe for all ages. The perfect kids podcast for imaginative families. Whether you’re driving with your children or just want to limit your kids’ screen time, Stories Podcast delivers entertainment that kids and parents alike will love.”
Description: “Story Pirates is a group of world-class actors, comedians, improvisers and musicians who adapt stories written by kids into sketch comedy and musical theater. “
My boys have also enjoyed listening to Car Talk, Snap Judgment, and This American Life, though these podcasts aren’t specifically designed for kids (and some topics may not be kid-friendly!).
Do you have a favorite podcast for kids to recommend? Please share it in the comments below!
[Tweet “The Best Podcasts for Kids”]
We love podcasts! In addition to Brains On! and Wow in the World, we love listening to Car Talk and Levar Burton Reads (that one’s especially nice on evening drives home, when everyone just needs to chill.) We also recently discovered “This Podcast Has Fleas” which is a serial story about a dog, a cat and a gerbil all living in the same house. It is hilarious!
Thanks Diane! That sounds awesome, will have to check it out. Sounds right up my kids’ alley. 🙂
My sister introduced me to Disney Story Central and my kiddos love it!
Spark your imagination and listen as your favorite Disney and Pixar stories and characters come to life! Hosted by Marie Westbrook, every episode is an amazing Disney storybook read aloud. Brought to you by Disney Story Central.
Great list – thank you for the inspiration! We love listening to podcasts during the morning drive to school. My boys’ current favorites are the Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian and Sparkle Stories!
Also check out the new Highlights Hangout podcast! Mindy Thomas and Guy Raz from NPR’s “Wow in the World” answer science questions and the hosts are Tim Kubart (Grammy award-winner) and Juanita Anderson (Barrel of Monkeys).
Thanks for this great lis!. Also try, By Kids, For Kids Story Time. What makes this series unique is that all of the performers are children! Episodes are audio dramatisations of fairy tales, folk tales, myths and more. Immersive theatre of the mind, rich in music, sounds effects and a full cast. Find it here: https://goo.gl/kfonYZ or search for By Kids For Kids Story Time on iTunes.
Disclaimer: produced by me, my kids, and a wonderful cast of other kids!
My kiddo is really into Finn caspian. It’s a space adventure about kids on a space station and there is a funny robot called BeeBop.
My 9 and 5 like Greeking Out – Greek mythology – and Smash Boom Best – debate show for kids.
Oooh, those sound good!
Circle Round! New stories every Tuesday with different actors as characters in the stories.
Thanks for this list! I’m excited to try them out!