6 Tried and True Kids Podcasts
Updated: Mar 21, 2022
My kids and I have been listening to podcasts together for more than 4 years. They have gotten us through countless long-haul flights, cross-country road trips, rush-hour train rides, daily school commutes, and what has come to be known in our house as "The Great Lockdown Lego Sort of 2020." The following are our kids' absolute favorite podcasts. The ones they ask for time and time again. And with kids aging from 5-11, these are crowd pleasers for kids of all ages. While there are many more amazing podcasts for kids out there, I know it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Think of this as your beginners guide...
This is MY favorite (well, along with Story Seeds) because it is culturally enriching, beautifully produced, has great teaching moments and is CALMING (i.e. perfect for getting kiddos to chill out in the car). Featuring folk tales from all over the world and voiced by famous actors, it makes it through our speakers at least once a week. You may think it's geared toward younger kids, but make no mistake -- my Fortnight/Percy Jackson/Pokemon-loving 11 year old asks to listen just as much as his 5 year old brother. And you can check out their coloring pages here!
WOW IN THE WORLD
The OG. The gold standard. The best of the best. We love Wow in the World! NPR favorite Guy Raz and Mindy Thomas host a hilarious, engaging science podcast filled with lovable characters and witty storylines. They center each episode around a recent scientific research study that's just as interesting to adults as it is to kids. Feel free to start listening with the most recent episodes, but you may want to start at the beginning to really fall in love with their characters. Plus their spin-off game show Two Whats!? and a Wow! is great for road trips. Check out their website for activities galore.
Oh man, how to describe Story Pirates!? Each episode features one or two stories with original songs that are based on stories written by real kids. Creative, silly, and featuring some of the best improve actors and Broadway-style singers, it definitely gets my kids giggling and itching to make up their own stories and songs. And when we're in the mood for just music, we often pull up one of their many albums on Spotify to re-listen to some of our favorite songs.
This one is relatively new, but we've absolutely fallen in love with it. Each episode matches a child and their idea for a story, or "story seed," with a real author. They work together to grow the story and then premier the finished story, read by the author. I think the magic in this one is the focus on each child - their back story, their inspiration, their day-to-day life - along with getting a peek inside the writing process. I love that my kids are getting to know what other children's lives are like and also learning what goes into creating something. Plus the finished stories are just so so cool. The story from Jason Reynolds' episode was so beautiful, it almost brought me to tears. And my kids were so enthralled they literally begged to sit in our driveway to finish the story when we got home before the end of the episode. Check out their site for more activities and even summer camps!
DON'T BREAK THE RULES
This one is basically an improv comedy game show for kids, but the cool part is the contestants are real life professional voice actors. They create new characters for each episode, based on kids' suggestions like a baby detective, nervous tooth fairy, or mushroom cowboy, and then compete in a few rounds of improv fun. My kids' favorite part is when each actor comes up with a catch-phrase for their character, which has totally transitioned into them coming up with their own catch-phrases. Kind of like Story Seeds, I love that the first part of the episodes show the process of each actor in creating their character. Only the first season is available on regular podcast apps, but you can get more by subscribing to the Pinna app.
SMASH BOOM BEST
My favorite thing about this show is that my kids will often want to play our own version at the dinner table, which has led to some super funny memories. It's a debate show that pits two cool things against each other (think mermaids vs. bigfoot or ice cream vs. french fries), with expert debaters making the case for each side and a kid guest judge who decides who wins. One of those shows that's so entertaining, my kids don't even realize they are actually learning how to defend their own opinions and think critically about opposing ideas. The awesome creators also made it easy to take things to the next level; you can find listening party kits, scoresheets and coloring pages on their site!
Soon you'll be able to find all of these and more on the KidsPod app! For updates on our upcoming launch and more great podcast recommendations, be sure to subscribe!