Parenting

26 awesome podcasts created just for kids

From mystery to science to story time, there's a podcast for every interest.

Boy listening to podcast on headphones Credit: Getty Images / dolgachov

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Last we checked we were still all stuck at home, we were all at each other’s throats, and we were still grappling with too much screen time. Maybe it’s time to explore a less controversial form of family entertainment: The podcast.

Here are 26 of our favorite family-friendly podcasts right now. Each takes the spoken word to new levels, incorporating music, sound effects, insight, and humor into their storytelling. They are all guaranteed to entertain your child—and maybe even inspire a new means of family bonding.

For Music Lovers

1. Noodleloaf

Suggested age: 3 to 9
If the name of this truly hilarious and dynamic podcast doesn’t grip you, a quick listen will. Noodleloaf is a silly, sing-a-long-style pod that was conceived by a music education specialist dad and his co-host daughter. The infectious goofiness of this show will shake off any “sheltering-in-place tension” you may have and will get the whole family laughing and joining along. Little listeners can even add their voice to the theme song in the podcast's electronically compiled kid's choir! Adorable, funny, and silly, these 10-12 minute episodes are a perfect way to change the tone during a stressed-out day and get everyone laughing and reconnecting.

2. Spare the Rock Spoil the Child

Spare the Rock
Credit: Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child

Introduce them to your favorite classic rock with this just-for-kids podcast.

Suggested age: 2 to 12
The best way to wean your kids off the terrible kids music you've been subjected to is with some good, old school, rock. Spare the Rock Spoil the Child is a fun, radio show-style podcast combines kids music from artists like They Might be Giants, with kid-appropriate songs from real rock musicians and bands, like the Ramones, Rush, and the Pixies. This pod is a perfect respite for parents that have grown weary of cheesy kids’ music (i.e. all of us) and an excellent intro into musical taste for kids. This show is great for kids age 2 to whenever they turn their nose up at your music suggestions (but since the show plays really good music from excellent musicians, at some point you’ll get respect for turning them on to it).

3. The Saturday Morning Cereal Bowl

Suggested age: All ages
There were times I didn’t know what was worse for my sanity: listening to my kid whine or listening to the kiddie music that would calm him. Enter “kindie rock”, aka, indie rock for kids—a whole genre of kids music that’s meant to entertain kids while not annoying the parents. The Saturday Morning Cereal Bowl is styled like a DJ radio show and features new songs and old favorites by both kindie music icons and by musical legends that have kindie-friendly songs in their repertoire (like Stevie Wonder, the Beatles, Bob Marley, and Toots and the Maytals, to name a few). Selections are generally high-energy and feature pop, rock, folk, and sometimes even punk-inspired songs.

For Curious Kids

4. Ear Snacks

Suggested age: 3 to 9
Ear Snacks hosts Andrew & Polly serve up a dynamically delightful show that’s sort of a podcast variety show for curious kids. From RBG to the number Pi, kids learn all about the world around them through 15 to 30 minutes of catchy tunes, humor, and fun conversation. This one is on a bit of a hiatus, but have no fear! They have years of episodes to delve into to get you hooked before they jump back into production this summer.

5. The Past & the Curious

Past and the Curious
Credit: The Past & The Curious

Historical facts bring the fun in this podcast.

Suggested age: 6 and up
A history podcast for kids! History can be amazing, inspiring, and—particularly when it’s done with the wit, fun, and humor of The Past & the Curious—it can be exciting to everyone. We love how this show delves into little-known stories throughout history, hooking kids on arcane facts and esoteric knowledge that they probably won’t learn in history class. Although it's not specifically a music podcast, each episode has music, often in the form of a silly and catchy tune that’s sure to get stuck in your head. A quiz segment adds a little competition and fun to family listening.

6. Book Club for Kids

Suggested age: Tweens and teens, or bookworms age 8 and over
The place where young readers meet to talk about books. Each week the Book Club for Kids podcast includes a celebrity reader and an interview with the author. It’s empowering for kids to know that they can have insightful conversations about books and the topics that interest them. Listening to the “round table” discussions from kids on why they love books and what thoughts and perspectives they inspire gives me, an adult, so much hope for our future.

7. Story Seeds

Suggested age: 5 to 12
This pod is focused on a genius idea: Take a kid (age 6 to 12) with a “seed” of a story idea and pair them with a successful author to turn the idea into a short story. Kids learn about collaboration, the structure of story-telling, and the creative writing process. The creator of Story Seeds, Sandhya Nankani, says she conceived of the idea as a way to honor the creativity and imagination of young kids. This show is a wonderful case study in how grown ups can deeply listen and collaborate with their kids, so adults will want to listen in, too.

8. Five Minutes With Dad

Suggested age: 4 and up
As we are all stuck together and probably grating on each others’ nerves, this pod is a fun weekly listen for families and is a positive reminder of how to talk with and listen to your kids and enhance the parent-child connection along the way. Dad, Nick, and his smart, curious, and engaged kids, Pavlos and Angela, talk about big topics, from managing money to setting priorities to staying positive in tough situations. The relationship between dad and kids in Five Minutes With Dad is inspiring. My kid loves the deep topics of conversation while I love the light parenting lesson I get just by listening to how Nick probes his kids to think and intellectually explore subjects and ideas.

9. But Why

Suggested age: 5 and up
How does slime work? Where does the sky end? Why do spiders have eight legs? Kids have big questions and this podcast helps to satiate their limitless curiosity. But Why aims to answer kid questions about everything from nature to culture to science—even the end of the world. Kids can even submit their own questions on the But Why website. This one can be for kids as young as five years old, but takes an adult ear to select the best episodes—your kids may not be interested in how a president is impeached, but they’ll love delving into the science of unicorns or how noodles are made.

10. Tai Asks Why

Suggested age: 5 and up
We really hope Tai goes back into the recording studio soon, because Tai Asks Why is an absolute favorite in our family. Eleven-year-old Tai Poole probes into life's biggest questions and searches for answers through conversations with experts, professors, and downright interesting people (including his little brother). He brings perspective to life’s big questions and helps kids wade through both definitive answers and the unanswerable, which can sometimes be scary—like, “What happens after we die?” “What is love?” and “How can we fix climate change?”

For science enthusiasts

11. Tumble

Suggested age: 6 and up
Tumble explores the science of discovery. With the help of real-life scientists, hosts Lindsay and Marshall teach kids about science through stories about scientific discoveries and some of the world’s greatest scientific mysteries. Recent podcast episodes like the “The Tale of the Interstellar Visitor,” “Answering Kids’ Coronavirus Questions” and “The Science of Smell” not only help kids decode some of the world’s scientific mysteries it teaches them what science is all about.

12. Brains On!

Suggested age: 6 and up
Brains On! is a science podcast for curious kids, but adults will definitely be drawn in to listen. Hosted by kid scientists and public radio reporters, the podcast asks questions about the world and “goes wherever the answers take us!” Some of the most recent 30 to 40-minute episodes are titled “Why does green mean go? And other color conundrums,” “Injustice and Anger: Understanding your emotions” as well as a few episodes on the science of feelings and tears—really timely topics for kids right now—and all done in an engaging, sensitive, and sometimes humorous way.

13. Wow in the World!

Wow in the World
Credit: NPR

Explore the wonders of the everyday world with this podcast from NPR.

Suggested age: 5 and up
NPR’s kid science podcast, Wow in the World!, explores the wonders of the world around us. Hosts Mindy Thomas and Guy Raz take curious kids on 10-minute, humor-filled journeys into the wonders of the world around them and dig deep into the coolest new stories in science and technology. Two recent episodes are titled “The Science of Awe” and “Butt Bubble Breathing”. If topics like those aren’t going to hook your kid, we don’t know what will.

14. Short & Curly

Suggested age: 7 and up
Okay, the name of Short & Curly is a little off-putting, but once you get past that you and your kids will enjoy a fast-paced, fun-filled ethics podcast for kids. This Australian export delves into subjects like bullying, the ethics of dog breeding and “are you really free”? I would have named this one “Big & Tough” for the questions they ask and work to answer.

Story time

15. The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel

Mars Patel
Credit: Mars Patel

A mystery podcast made just for kids.

Suggested age: 8 to 12
Goonies meets Spy Kids meets Stranger Things for the 8 to 12 year old set. The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel is a gripping story of what happens when a group of kids starts disappearing one-by-one—and when their parents seem to be a part of the sinister and mysterious plot. This podcast was voted as one of the top 50 podcasts of 2016 by The Guardian, and was recently honored as a Peabody award winner. The website says this podcast was made for 8 to 12 year olds, but my six year old and I burned through season one and a whole tray of brownies while reviewing it for this article.

16. Story Pirates

Suggested age: 3 and up
This podcast is just so much fun. It's constantly award-winning and for good reason. The Story Pirates aren’t your typical swashbuckling sailors, they are a team of incredible improv actors and world class comedians. Each week the crew aboard the Story Pirates’ ship takes original stories from real kids around the country, and turns them into a wildly funny comedy podcast that the whole family will love. Special guests include top talent like Billy Eichner, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Dax Shepard, Claire Danes, and John Oliver, who lend their voices to bring these kid-conceived sketches to life.

17. What if World

Suggested age: 3 to 8
The wacky world of “what ifs” comes to hilarious life in this listener-driven podcast. In each episode, Mr. Eric turns a listener’s wildly imaginative “what if?” question into a story that is equal parts silly and exciting. With the help of goofy characters Abacus P Grumbler, Randall Radbot, and Whendiana Joan, the 15 to 20-minute What if World stories explore what might happen… if hats talked to ants or if cats ruled the world or if trees went to school. Kids can call in for the chance to have their own question featured on the show.

18. Circle Round

Circle Round
Credit: NPR

Fairy tales from around the world are what make Circle Round unique.

Suggested age: 4 to 10
Each of Circle Round's 10 to 20-minute episodes tells folktales and fairy tales from around the world that explore valuable themes like kindness and persistence. Each episode ends with a fun activity to prompt conversation between you and your child, making this a thought-provoking podcast that is perfect for inspiring family talks.

19. The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian

Suggested age: 6 to 12
This can only be described as Scooby Doo meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets interplanetary exploration, which I hope you understand is some serious fun. The story centers on Finn Caspian, an 8-year-old boy who lives aboard an interplanetary space station with his friends. Together they explore the galaxy, meet wacky aliens, and solve mysteries. Told in 15-20 minute episodes, The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian is perfectly gripping and a great choice to throw on when you’re making dinner and need kids to put down the screens.

20. Stories Podcast

Suggested age: 4 to 10
A combination of classic children’s stories, fairy tales, and original tales, this podcast has been going strong for years so it’s a seemingly never-ending trove of entertainment for kids. From Snow White to Peter Rabbit, each tale in the Stories Podcast is told with vivid imagery and we love that it’s ever-so-slightly vocabulary-stretching during the summer brain drain, so you can sneak in some learning without kids ever realizing it.

21. The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd

Suggested age: 6 and up
We just love that this is an unabashed throwback to radio serials. Featuring the adventures and exploits of the World's Most Brilliant Scientist, Dr. Floyd, as he tries to thwart the plans of his evil arch nemesis, Dr. Steve, all the while learning about the people and events that shaped the history of the Earth. First recorded in 2004, this was the first, and longest running, professionally produced audio drama podcast. Production of The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd is officially wrapped for good, but with nearly 10-years worth of episodes, your family will be fully entertained for quite some time.

22. Julie’s Library: Story Time with Julie Andrews

Suggested age: 3 and up
Julie Andrews has an amazing connection with children, and with the adults who grew up with her. Here the beloved icon joins her daughter, children’s author and educator, Emma Walton Hamilton, as they invite listeners into their library to read their favorite children's books. Every story comes to life with sound, music, and activities. Authors, kids and other special guests chime in, too! Julie’s Library: Story Time with Julie Andrews will inspire lively conversations and a lifelong love of reading.

23. Eleanor Amplified

An old-school radio drama available in short podcasts, featuring our heroine, Eleanor, who crosses land, sea, air, and outer space, in search of the truth about a sinister corporation. Intrepid reporter Eleanor foils devious plots, outwits crafty villains, and goes after The Big Story. Her pursuit of truth takes her on the most hold-onto-your-seat adventures into outer space, out to sea, through a scary jungle, and even to the halls of Congress. Eleanor Amplified will spark laughter and conversation the whole family will enjoy, while preparing kids to appreciate good journalism, smart facts, and informed media choices.

For the interactive kid

24. Mystery Recipe Podcast

Suggested age: 6 to 12
In this new podcast from America’s Test Kitchen Kids, kids AND their grown-ups will uncover the fun, fantastical, and fascinating sides of food. The Mystery Recipe Podcast a little bit of goofy, a little bit of science, and a whole lot of food knowledge. Each ingredient-themed episode builds to a grand finale: a mystery recipe cook-along. This podcast is deliciously silly and unexpectedly educational.

25. The Big Fib

Suggested age: 7 and up
Research shows that kids—and adults—are more and more lacking critical thinking skills. The Big Fib is a fun game show that puts adults in the hot seat and encourages kids to identify fake news and “alternative facts.” Each week, a kid interviews two experts in a particular topic, one of which is a genuine, credentialed expert, the other a liar. Fast-paced and fun, the show teaches kids to ask insightful questions, weigh the evidence before them, and trust their guts. Kids will also like that this weekly game show puts kids in the driver’s seat and adults in the hot seat.

26. Smash, Boom, Best

Smash Boom Best
Credit: Brains On!

A podcast that's all about friendly debate.

Cats versus Dogs. Pizza versus Tacos. Super Speed versus Super Strength. In this family-friendly debate show, debaters use facts and passion to compare two cool things, smash them together, and make their case for which is the best. Debaters use facts and passion to make their case and listeners learn how to defend their own opinions along the way. Visit the Smash, Boom, Best to get really interactive with the show by downloading score sheets to fill out as the episodes progress or to submit your kid’s own debate opinions and ideas.

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