Podcasts for kids are becoming an increasingly popular family listening activity. Our top ten all time podcasts for kids are:
- History Storytime – for Kids. This charming podcast for kids is unusual in that it a co hosted production by Sophie (age 7), Ellie (age 5) and their father. The girls mostly tell the stories which are all important moments in history. There are lots of sound effects and songs and funny moments. Episodes are just ten minutes long so nice and bite sized.
- What if World. There are episodes such as “what if I were to turn myself into a hamburger” and “What if worms wore pajamas and played with toys?” this series takes weird “what if” questions submitted by kids and turns them into a new story every two weeks.
- The Alien Adventures of Caspian Finn. This serialized podcast tells the story of an 8-year-old boy living on an interplanetary space station who explores the galaxy and solves mysteries with his friends. Perfect for road trips.
- Wow in the World. This is a high quality podcast. National Public Radio produce it. Hosts Guy Raz and Mindy Thomas discuss the latest news in science and technology in a way that’s enjoyable for kids and informative for grown-ups
- Eleanor Amplified: This is like stepping back into the old days of radio with a serial podcast follows a brave journalist who goes on adventures looking for her big scoop. Outrageous sound effects and a fun scripts make it a great Road Trip choice.
- The Unexplained Disappearance of Mars Patel. This is Peabody Award-winning mystery series similar to Stranger Things for tweens. With a voice cast of actual kids and a suspenseful plot this story about an 11-year-old searching for his missing friends will keep tweens hooked for hours.
- Story Time. These 10 minute stories are a perfect way to lull your little one to sleep. A soothing narrator reads the podcast. It’s just like listening to a story picture book.
- But why: A Podcast for Curious Kids. Kids are always asking seemingly simple questions that have surprisingly complex answers, such as “Why is the sky blue?” and “Who invented words?” This podcast tries to answer them in an accessible manner.
- Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls. This is a spin off of the best selling book of the same name. The podcast champions women from all parts of life. Epsiodes are ten minutes longs and are read by an extraordinary woman – telling the story of another extraordinary woman.
- Story Pirates. These stories are actually written by kids and reflect their eclectic imagination – “The boy who mailed himself to Australia” or “My mouth ran away”. But many of them are read by celebrities such as Clare Danes.
Reasons to listen to Podcasts for Kids
- They open the imagination.
- There is a plethora of educational content
- They allow children to access ideas which are beyond their reading age.
- They help child relax but without screen time
- The whole family can simultaneously enjoy the podcast experience and discuss it.
- They are good for long drives, breakfast time, the school run and bed time.
- Increasingly schools are including them in home learning ideas
How to listen to Podcasts for Kids
Podcasts are generally searched for and listened to in app environments. The most popular are the Apple podcasts, Spotify and Google podcasts. But there are a plethora of others such as Overcast, Castbox, Buzzsprout, Amazon, Podbean, Anchor and more.
Podcasts are essentially a free resource. You do not need a Spotify paid subscription to access podcasts on Spotify.
You can follow or subscribe to podcasts within the app. This means that the podcast is saved for you and easy to find again. Platforms, like Apple, with a subscribe option do not mean that you are about to pay for something. It really is more akin to a follow option though sometimes with an automatic download of your favourites.
How to find good Podcasts for Kids
Curated lists like our best kids podcasts lists are a good place to start. We have details of:
- History podcasts
- Educational podcasts
- Story podcasts
- Science podcasts
- Sci Fi podcasts
- Award winning podcasts
- Podcasts for toddlers
- Podcasts for ten year olds
- Podcasts for tweens
- Kids as co host podcasts
Within the podcast apps you can go to a genre and see selected “top podcasts”. Typically the genre we are interested in is “Kids and Family”. Note this has a blend of podcasts for kids but also podcasts for parents, usually on parenting. The lists here are a blend of manually curated lists but also lists generated by algorithm. You might think that the algorithms are based upon popularity. However, they are usually based upon a formula which weights popularity by how many people have clicked follow or subscribe recently. As such they are really a measure of what is trending rather than what is popular.
Finally, there is a search bar in which you can type in what you are interested. Importantly, this does not just return relevant podcasts. It also returns individual episodes. For example, if you were to type in “History Kids” you would get returned as the top 4 Kids History podcast shows:
And you would also get returned as the top four episodes:
- Neil Armstrong: First to the moon – Bedtime History
- The Fall of Napoleon – History Storytime
- JK Rowling – Bedtime History
- Boudicca and the Roman Conquest of Britain – History Storytime
Advantages of podcasts over YouTube
With YouTube there is an automatic loading of another video after the original video. As a parent you do not know what this video will be. This means that you are just hoping that the daisy chain of YouTube’s algorithm does not take your child to a place that you are uncomfortable with.
By contrast the podcast apps will only load up the next podcast in the series and then play that series on a loop. Or you can easily play just one episode and then the podcast player automatically stops. Which one depends on if you chose to listen to a series or an episode. For this reason, podcasts are particularly suitable for letting children listen to them as background noise as they fall asleep or in other low supervision moments.
Starting your own Podcast for Kids
Once kids start listening to podcasts they often want to start their own. That’s why we have written a detailed how to start your own kids podcast guide. Good luck!