I’ve written before about how to get your kids to pick up a book and seven great audiobooks for kids, but another favorite pastime for our story-obsessed family is listening to podcasts. I blame it on public radio. I’ve been an avid NPR listener since I was a kid, and continued as an adult listening to my favorite shows—To the Best of Our Knowledge, TED Radio Hour, and RadioLab—back to back on Sundays. And my kids were usually in the car listening right along with me. When I first discovered podcasts, I fell in love with the ability to browse through shows to listen to whenever I wanted. Inspiration was at my eartips whenever I needed, while washing dishes, folding laundry, going for walks.
I think it was during an epic road trip with my kids last summer that I discovered that kids’ podcasts are now a thing. With 38 hours of driving, I didn’t want to spend all of my money on audiobooks, so I bookmarked as many podcasts as I could. And we’ve discovered even more since. Here are seven great podcasts for kids that I think you’ll enjoy listening to with your family.
An NPR production hosted by Guy Raz (also host of TED Radio Hour and How I Built This), WOW in the World is an exploration of all things wondrous. From exploding ants, to the science of knuckle cracking, to everything you ever wanted to know about the solar eclipse, this is a show that combines quirky characters, humor, and science that I love listening to just as much as my kids.
Story Pirates is a podcast performed by a group of world-class actors, comedians, improvisors, and musicians who turn stories written by kids into sketch comedy and musical theater. My favorite recent episode? “Fart Out Loud Day” (Season 2, Episode 17). Yes, it was admittedly enjoyable laughing out loud about farts with my kids.
An episodic science-fiction tale centered around the adventures of an eight-year-old boy living in outer space. This was a favorite on our epic road trip—and one my kids still listen to today.
Also a serialized podcast, this one is also a science fiction/mystery series—performed by kids. This was our first intro to kids’ podcasts, and I enjoyed listening to it just as much as my kids. The website describes the show as Goonies meets Spy Kids meets Stranger Things for eight- to 12-year-olds.
Based on the best-selling book series, Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls features the stories of extraordinary women throughout history. Inspire your girls (and your boys) with the stories of Ada Lovelace, Harriet Tubman, Frida Kahlo, and more.
A weekly roundup of TEDTalks woven together in fascinating narrative themes, this isn’t a podcast produced for kids, but it’s what first started us on listening to podcasts as a family. As with any adult podcast, you’ll want to monitor the topics and stories told. But this is a perfect show to listen to with older kids and teens.
If your kids aren’t quite ready for TED Radio Hour, TED Talks Kids + Family is a series of TEDTalks curated especially for kids and explores a number of fascinating topics. Each episode is also a video you can watch together, too.