Some people are podcast people; some are not. It can be daunting trying to figure out what to listen to while your kids are in the car. Just like going to the library presents me with the overwhelming task of separating the beautiful children’s literature from the “twaddle” (cheap, uninteresting stories that waste my children’s time), so scrolling down the list of kids’ podcasts in an effort to find something worth listening to can be time-consuming and frustrating. I’ve spent my fair share of time listening to boring children’s podcasts to find ones my kids and I enjoy listening to together. The good news is that I’ve narrowed it down to our favorite top 5, so I’ve basically done the work for you! The next time you face a road trip with the kiddos and want to battle the boredom blues (or maybe you’re just driving to the grocery store and don’t want to hear your children bickering in the back seat), let one of these five podcasts save the day!
The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian is a serialized science-fiction story for kids, told in 15-20 minute episodes, perfect for when you’re jaunting around town running errands with the kids. The story centers on Finn Caspian, an 8-year-old boy aboard The Famous Marlowe 280 Interplanetary Exploratory Space Station. He and his friends explore uncharted planets, help the occasional alien, and solve a mystery that threatens to destroy the Marlowe. Make sure you start at the first episode, as each episode builds upon the last. I have my sister-in-law to thank for turning us on to Finn’s exciting adventures, and it seems to me that if a grown woman takes the time to text another grown woman about a children’s podcast, it must be good!
Brains On! is a podcast designed to spark the curiosity of little scientists everywhere. Kids ask questions and scientists answer them in fun and interesting ways, ensuring that, no matter your age, you’ll be learning something. A different kid co-hosts each episode, and these kids are interviewed about the interesting stuff they’re doing and thinking about. They also have a fun “mystery sound” bit, in which you and your kids can listen to a weird sound and then try to guess what’s making it. So if you or your children have ever wondered how likely it is earthlings will ever live on Mars, or why the ocean is salty, or how the internet gets to us – wonder no longer! Just tune in to Brains On!, be entertained, and get smarter without even trying! It’s a win-win!
I’m a big fan of TED Talks and TED Radio Hour, and now there’s an entertaining version for kids! Every episode features the two hosts, Mindy and Guy Raz (for you podcast junkies, he’s the host of both TED Radio Hour and How I Built This), as they break down the interesting ideas behind TED talks into fun, entertaining bits that kids can enjoy. Each episode explores how our brains work, the mysteries of space, and also the coolest new stories in science and technology. It presents careful scientific research in animated, humorous ways the whole family will enjoy!
Do you have a child who’s imagination runs wild and who loves to come up with characters and stories of his or her own? If so, you may not only want to listen to the Story Pirates podcast, but contribute to it as well! Story Pirates is a group of world-class actors, comedians, improvisers, and musicians who adapt stories written by kids into sketch comedy and musical theater. Not only is this podcast hilarious, but it is perfect for younger minds who are just learning how to sit quietly and listen. But the best thing about Story Pirates is that it inspires children to come up with stories of their own, even providing writing prompts to get the creative juices flowing. Submit the story on their website and it might even be featured in the podcast! It’s a perfect solution for young writers looking for a creative outlet.