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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Featured photo credit: Emily Wade via unsplash.com