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Published on August 12, 2021

10 Best Podcasts For Kids to Enjoy While Learning at the Same Time

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10 Best Podcasts For Kids to Enjoy While Learning at the Same Time

I am a avid podcast listener. My own preference for podcast listening is true crime shows. Crime Junkie, Dirty John, Doctor Death, and The Drop Out are among some of my favorite true crime podcasts. I like to listen while I garden and do other household tasks that allow me to enjoy a show while still being productive.

Obviously, true crime isn’t appropriate listening for young children. My children are 7, 7, and 9. Podcasts that we have selected for our family listening are all shows that the kids enjoy, are age appropriate, and we all learn something at the same time. Finding good podcasts for kids is not always an easy feat. I spent some time and energy researching podcasts that my family would enjoy. Below are the top 10 podcasts that I recommend for children and families.

1. Brains On

    Brains On is a podcast produced by American Public Media. This podcast is made for curious kids. It is a science based podcast that answers the questions that curious kids often ask. They interview scientists on this show to examine each topic at hand. They make the show interesting with expressive voices and personality, along with great sound effects. This show keeps kids engaged by presenting the science in an enthusiastic and entertaining manner.

    Brains On is an award winning show. What makes this show interested is that a different kid co-hosts the show each week. Some show topics that may interest your family include What Causes Wildfires, Why Do Mosquitos Bite, and Do Dogs Know They’re Dogs. You can check out these episodes and more at Brains On.

    Ages: This program is appropriate for all ages. It is geared toward older elementary school aged children and tweens.

    2. Wow in the World

      NPR’s Wow in the World debuts on May 15, 2017

      Did you know that there is only one type of insect in Antarctica? No? Well then you should be listening to Wow in the World. This award winning NPR podcast program examines topics on science, technology, and innovation in a fun way. It is geared toward kids, so they use entertaining voices, music, and sounds that engage and entertain. They include quizzes to get the audience involved and have them do some critical thinking. The game show format they use for the quizzes is too cute!

      This show is well done and guaranteed to entertain your children while also helping them learn new tidbits about the world. They will say “wow” about this show and you will too! Check out the almost 400 episodes of Wow in the World.

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      The makers of this show even have a book: Wow in the World: The How and Wow of the Human Body.

      Ages: Wow in the World is appropriate for all ages. It is written and produced for listeners ages 5-12.

      3. KidNuz

        Do you want your kids to stay informed about the news and current happenings in the world, but in a way that is age appropriate? KidNuz is a podcast that provides approximately five-minute news reports five days a week that are specifically geared toward children. They cover current news topics and are presented in a non-partisan manner. This podcast has been featured on Parents, The New York Times, and Good Housekeeping to name a few. Check out episodes of KidNuz.

        Ages: KidNuz is appropriate for all ages. The podcast is geared toward kids ages 6-13.

        4. The Past and The Curious

          The Past and The Curious is a history podcast for kids. Each episode contains information about real history. It is presented in a story telling and humorous manner that makes it entertaining for all ages. The well researched episodes are sure to inspire your kids and get them interested in history. The show is well executed and is an easy listen for the whole family. You can listen now to The Past and the Curious.

          Ages: The Past and The Curious is appropriate for all ages. It was created for kids and families to enjoy together.

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          5. Smash Boom Best

            Smash Boom Best is a podcast that is a debate show. This show takes two subjects and debates which is best. This show will help your children learn about how to defend their views and opinions. Topics on this show are fun and entertaining for kids such as Mermaids vs. Bigfoot, Sugar vs. Salt, and Moon vs. Sun. You can listen now to episodes of Smash Boom Best.

            Ages: Smash Boom Best is appropriate for all ages.

            6. Short & Curly

              Short and Curly is a podcast series that examines philosophical questions on a kid level. For example, is it wrong to enjoy killing people in computing games? The show dives into ethical topics that help children think critically. The show doesn’t simply ask if something is right or wrong. Instead, they dive into the deeper question of how we treat one another. The basic, yet deep ethical topics covered on this show are beneficial to creating little humans who are kinder, more thoughtful, and caring people. The cute Australian accents make the show even more entertaining. You can listen to episodes now of Short and Curly.

              Ages: This program is appropriate for school aged children and up.

              7. Dream Big Podcast

                The Dream Big Podcast is hosted by 10 year old Eva Karpman and her mom. They interview celebrities, performers, and successful people from around the world. This podcast was created to inspire kids to pursue their dreams. Some topics covered on the show include how to become comfortable with the uncomfortable, pushing outside your comfort zone, being the author of your own story, proof that you can learn anything, and so much more. There are over 200 episodes of The Big Dream Podcast.

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                The Dream Big Podcast is award winning and has been ranked as a number one program in the children and family category. You can listen now to episodes at Dream Big Podcast.

                Ages: The Dream Big Podcast is appropriate for kids ages 5 to 115.

                8. Story Pirates

                  Story Pirates is one of the most listened to podcasts in the children and family category worldwide. The show has won numerous awards including iHeartRadio’s best kids and family podcast in 202o.

                  The show takes stories written by kids and turns them into entertaining podcast story-telling episodes complete with music, sound effects, and a multitude of entertaining voices. The episodes on this podcast are funny, entertaining, and perfect for young kids. They are certain to pique your child’s imagination and curiosity.

                  Ages: Story Pirates is appropriate for all ages. It is geared toward preschool and elementary school aged children.

                  9. 30 Animals That Made Us Smarter

                    30 Animals That Made Us Smarter is a podcast produced by the BBC. The show examines what we have learned from animals. Each episodes features a breakthrough science or technological innovation that came from our learning about a specific animal or creature. For example, how bullet train designers took information they learned about the kingfisher into their design work. You can listen now to 30 Animals That Made Us Smarter.

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                    Ages: 30 Animals That Made Us Smarter is written and produced for older elementary aged students and up.

                    10. But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids

                      “But why?” is a question that is often asked by my own kids. If you have spent anytime around inquisitive kids you will find that they want to know how things work in the world. Thus “but why” is a common phrase in households with kids. They want to know things like why are cactuses spiky, how rocks are made, and how words are added to the dictionary. The “But Why” podcast is perfect for these curious kids. The show answers these type of questions.

                      Each episode of “But Why” covers a different topic of curiosity. The show often interviews professionals relevant to the topic of discussion. For example, on the episode “Why Do Baby Teeth Fall Out” a friendly dentist is interviewed to answer some of the questions posed by kids about this subject. The dentist provides the information in a way that kids will understand while still being correct scientifically and medically.

                      But Why is produced by Vermont Public Radio. The topics covered on each episode are real questions asked by listeners and submitted to the show. Perhaps your curious child has a question they want answered? They can listen to episodes or submit their question at But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids.

                      Ages: But Why is appropriate for all ages. It is geared toward elementary school aged children.

                      Final Thoughts

                      Listening to Podcasts is a great way to boost your children’s learning while keeping them entertained. It is especially useful when you have car rides or a road trip. We listened to many podcasts during our family’s recent summer road trip. Listening to a variety of podcasts that were educational and intended for kids opened the door to many interesting and fruitful conversations.

                      Listening to educational podcasts can help your child learn more about history, science, technology, ethics and more. You will find that their critical thinking abilities are challenged while their language and vocabulary skills are also expanded. It is also a helpful way to reduce their video screen time. And the best news is that you can listen to podcasts almost anywhere and they are almost all free.

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                      Featured photo credit: Emily Wade via unsplash.com

                      More by this author

                      Dr. Magdalena Battles

                      A Doctor of Psychology with specialties include children, family relationships, domestic violence, and sexual assault

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                      Last Updated on October 7, 2021

                      Why Spending Time With Your Family Is Important (And How To Do So)

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                      Why Spending Time With Your Family Is Important (And How To Do So)

                      In today’s chaotic world, having family time isn’t always easy. It can get pretty hard to coordinate schedules, especially if the family is large. Life demands that we work, attend school, nurture friendships, hobbies, etc. All of those things are extremely time-consuming and important—but so is spending time with your family.

                      Why is family time so important? Because we all need love and support, and a good, strong family can provide that regularly. For children, spending time with their family helps shape them into good, responsible adults, improve their mental health, and develop strong core values.

                      There are many positive effects of spending time with your family. My family and I, for instance (and this includes grandchildren as well), meet every Tuesday night for dinner and games. My older son and I take turns cooking. This gives all of us a chance to try some new recipes. After dinner, we play games. And without fail, they inspire competitiveness and laughter. As family night has evolved, the grandkids have invited their friends over as well, creating the need for more chairs but also expanding our circle of fun.

                      Aside from the obvious fun and games, there are other reasons why spending time with your family is paramount. In this article, I will provide you with multiple reasons why spending time with your family regularly is a win-win. And then, I will lay out some ways on how to do it.

                      Let’s get started, shall we?

                      Why Spending Time With Your Family Is Important

                      Here are six reasons why it’s important to spend time with your family.

                      1. Provides the Opportunity to Bond

                      When you spend time together as a family—talking about your day, your highs, your lows—it fosters communication. As parents, it gives you the chance to listen to your children, to hear them out, to learn about what’s going on in their world. It also provides you with the opportunity to use life situations as teaching moments.

                      Before our Tuesday night dinner/game nights, my family used to see each other pretty regularly but not consistently, especially the grandkids. Our family night changed all that. Now, it’s guaranteed that the grandchildren, along with some of their friends, will be there. Not only do I get to find out what’s been happening in their lives, but they also get to know us better. It’s creating memories they can treasure forever, as well as modeling the Get-Together tradition for when they eventually have families of their own.

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                      “Spending time partaking in everyday family leisure activities has been associated with greater emotional bonding within families.”[1]

                      2. Teaches the Value of Family

                      Taking the time to be with your family lets your children know they are valued—that spending time together is a priority. I know that in today’s world, both parents are busy as both usually working. What better way to let your children know they are loved than by carving out time each week to spend with them?

                      According to Marilyn Price-Mitchell, Ph.D., “words like honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage are core to centuries of religious, philosophical, and family beliefs. Use them and others to express and reinforce your family values. Teach children the behaviors that flow from these principles. Use quotes to ignite meaningful dinner conversations and encourage kids to talk about these values.”[2]

                      3. Enhances Mental Well-Being

                      Spending that quality time together gives your children a safe platform in which to express themselves, ask questions about things that are bothering them, or talk about their day and things they’ve learned. I know that my 9-year old granddaughter can’t wait until it’s her turn to talk about her day. She usually goes on and on and has to be stopped to give everyone else a chance to talk about their goings-on.

                      “Research shows the quality of family relationships is more important than their size or composition. Whoever the family is made up of, they can build strong, positive relationships that promote wellbeing and support children and young people’s mental health.”[3]

                      For children, having the opportunity to seek advice from parents they trust—as well as being able to have a sounding board and help with problem-solving—is priceless. In addition, being able to voice their opinions and be heard—and to feel like what they have to say matters—is an esteem-builder. All of these can have a very impactful positive effect on their well-being.

                      4. Helps the Child Feel Loved

                      How do you think a child feels knowing their parents want to spend time with them—talking, sharing experiences, playing games, listening to them? It will make them feel as though they are important, and a child that feels important is happier and more apt to thrive. Setting aside chores or work to spend time with your children demonstrates that they’re essential—that they matter. What a gift to give your child!

                      “If a child has your undivided attention, it signals that they are loved and important to you. This can be further nurtured by experiencing joyful activities together, as it demonstrates that you want to spend time with your children over and above all of the daily demands.”[4]

                      5. Creates a Safe Environment

                      If you regularly spend time with your children, you are also creating an atmosphere of trust. The more trust they have, the more likely they are to share with you what’s going on in their world. As they get older, you’re going to want to know. Negative influences can show up at any time, but if you’ve always been there for your child, they are more apt to come to you and ask for your advice.

                      Spending time together generates familiarity and feelings of being supported. When a child feels safe and comfortable, they’re more likely to open up. This is one way to get to know your child and know what’s on their minds. Are they okay? Do they need your guidance? If so, how?

                      6. Reduces Stress

                      This is significant. We all suffer from stress at one point or another in our lives. Spending time with family helps alleviate that stress. It’s an opportunity to talk things out, get feedback, and maybe brainstorm for a solution to the problem that is causing the stress.

                      According to Brandy Drzymkowski, “During the holidays, your closest five people probably shifts to family and friends. You may even get to see loved ones who live far away. Good news! This can actually help lower your stress levels. Studies show ‘face-to-face interaction…counteracts the body’s defensive ‘fight-or-flight’ response.’ In other words, quality time spent with loved ones is nature’s stress reliever.”[5]

                      So, now that you know some of the benefits, what are some ideas for making family time happen?

                      How to Make Family Time Happen

                      Here are four things you can do to make family time happen and spend more time with them.

                      1. Family Dinners

                      This, as I said above, is a wonderful way to spend time together. While you’re having dinner, you have the chance to discuss things that are going on in your lives—the ups, the downs, and everywhere in between. It’s like having a buffer against life’s challenges.

                      Aside from that, eating dinner together has many additional benefits. Studies have shown that for kids who eat regularly with their families, there is less risk of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, and depression.[6]

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                      “Our belief in the ‘magic’ of family dinners is grounded in research on the physical, mental and emotional benefits of regular family meals.” It further states, “We recommend combining food, fun and conversation at mealtimes because those three ingredients are the recipe for a warm, positive family dinner—the type of environment that makes these scientifically proven benefits possible.”[7]

                      According to Parenting NI, “children and adolescents who spend more time with their parents are less likely to get involved in risky behavior. According to studies done by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse via Arizona State University, teens who have infrequent family dinners are twice as likely to use tobacco, nearly twice as likely to use alcohol and one and a half times more likely to use marijuana.”[8]

                      As you can see, there are multiple benefits to spending time with each other routinely. You can’t go wrong with this family activity.

                      2.  Regular Movie Nights

                      This is another fun event, although, from personal experience, I have to caution that choosing a movie that everyone wants to see is not easy. So, give yourselves plenty of time so you don’t spend two hours searching for a movie, and then end up watching no movie at all because the night is practically over. Try and choose a movie before the day, if possible.

                      Afterward, open it up for discussion. Ask questions pertinent to the movie. What do you think of ABC? Should they have done that? Would you have done something differently? There are so many questions you can ask to spark a conversation and keep the night going.

                      3. Game Night

                      This is another occasion for great fun. If you have a competitive spirit, it makes it even more fun. There are numerous games out there—Balderdash, Pictionary, Apples to Apples, Charades, to name a few—that can create fun havoc. All I can say is, on game nights, don’t take yourself too seriously. It’s okay if you lose the game. The fun is in being together, laughing, debating, and having a good time.

                      In addition, “Playing board games is great for children for many reasons besides the obvious; it’s fun to play games! Age appropriate games can help children to think strategically, solve problems creatively, work on pattern recognition and build simple math skills. They also help children develop social skills such as following rules, taking turns, and graceful winning or losing. Additionally, a family game night provides an opportunity for children to bond with siblings, parents and family members as well as peers. It can promote tradition building and establish a fun routine.”[9]

                      So, go find your family a game and start having fun!

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                      4. Sharing a Hobby

                      If you and one of your kids like to do the same things, do it more often. For example, my oldest son and his teenage son go on long bike rides together on the weekends. Not only do they get to exercise, but they also get to talk and look at beautiful sceneries. They’ve also incorporated cooking into their routine. They plan the meal, shop, and prepare—activities that bring them closer together.

                      Sharing a hobby is a great way to bring family members together. It bonds people in amazing ways. According to Alison Ratner Mayer, LICSW, “One of the easiest and most important ways to build a child’s self-esteem is to spend time with them doing something not only that they enjoy but something that you also enjoy. There is a special magic that happens between a parent and a child when they share a mutually beloved activity. It sends the message to the child that their parents are having fun, true, honest, real fun, with them.”[10]

                      Final Thoughts

                      Spending time with the family is an investment. It is an investment in the happiness, well-being, and security of that system. It can also serve as a way to break out of the daily rut and the constant worldly demands, while at the same time, building a strong family unit.

                      Even though it isn’t always easy to find the time, finding the time is key to staying close and to providing and receiving love and support. There is no greater gift than the gift of time. That’s what we all seem to be missing nowadays. So, in giving that gift consistently, everyone feels loved and appreciated.

                      The family that takes the time to interact regularly is typically happy. They know they are part of a tribe, and that’s essential in today’s chaotic world. To know that there are people whom you can count on—people who will have your back in times of need—is invaluable.

                      Now, go and plan something plan with your family, if you haven’t already.

                      Featured photo credit: Jimmy Dean via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      [1] Pittsburgh Parent: Spending Time Together—Benefits of Family Time
                      [2] Roots of Action: Integrity: How Families Teach and Live Their Values
                      [3] Beyond Blue: Healthy Families
                      [4] Esperance Anglican Community School: The importance of family time
                      [5] Brandy Drzymkowski: Spending Time With Loved Ones Reduces Stress
                      [6] Harvard Graduate School of Education: Harvard EdCast: The Benefit of Family Mealtime
                      [7] The Family Dinner Project: BENEFITS OF FAMILY DINNERS
                      [8] Parenting NI: The Importance of Spending Time Together
                      [9] WNY Children: Family Game Night- The Benefits of Game Play
                      [10] Child Therapy Boston: The Benefits of Sharing a Hobby With Your Child

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