Podcasts for Kids
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As screen time concerns are on the rise, many parents are turning to podcasts as a fun (and often educational) way to engage kids—without the screen. But as podcasts for kids have flooded the airwaves, it can be a challenge to find the good stuff that’s also appropriate. Luckily we’ve discovered some excellent podcasts for kids that you and your family will love listening to. If you’re not super familiar with how to “do” podcasts, check out this guide which has everything you need to get started, including a list of podcast players.

Check out these 25 awesome podcasts for kids, including perfect bedtime stories, science exploration, cool news, and more.

For the Whole Family

Podcasts for Kids

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 cute biweekly radio show/podcast takes on answering them. Each episode features several kid-submitted questions, usually on a single theme, and with the help of experts, it gives clear, interesting answers. Best for: All ages

Podcasts for Kids

Smash, Boom, Best
This fun and fast-moving spin-off of the popular Brains On! podcast is a family-friendly debate podcast. A kid judge listens to and scores the rousing, fact-based arguments of two contestants. With episodes like “Dragons versus Unicorns” and “Pizza versus Tacos,” kids will be hooked, and they won’t even notice that they’re learning how to defend their ideas along the way. Best for: Big kids

Podcasts for Kids

The Two Princes
This charming fantasy adventure will have listeners of all ages glued to the speakers until the very end. Two young princes seek to save their kingdoms and in the process face villany, dragons, romance, and a magical forest full of danger. Though kissing happens, it is treated with sweetness and humor. A fairy tale for our times, this audio drama is a great introduction to the world of fiction podcasts. Best for: Tweens

Podcasts for Kids

This American Life
This popular NPR radio show is now also the most downloaded podcast in the country. It combines personal stories, journalism, and even stand-up comedy for an enthralling hour of content. Host Ira Glass does a masterful job of drawing in listeners and weaving together several “acts” or segments on a big, relatable theme. Teens can get easily hooked along with their parents, but keep in mind that many episodes have mature concepts and frequent swearing. Best for: Teens

Great for Learning

Podcasts for Kids

Ear Snacks
The catchy soundtrack is the star in this delightful podcast from children’s music duo Andrew & Polly (not surprising since the hosts have created songs for Wallykazam! and Sesame Studios). But this funny program also covers a range of topics by talking to actual kids as well as experts, providing thoughtful fun for young ones and their grown-ups. Best for: Preschoolers and little kids

Podcasts for Kids

KiDNuZ
Kids like to be informed and engaged, but talking to kids about the news can be a challenge. This podcast, created by moms who are broadcast journalists, offers young listeners five minutes of kid-friendly news (followed by a quick quiz) each day, five days a week. Perfectly timed for waking up, KiDNuz lets you start the day off on a worldy note. Best for: All ages

Podcasts for Kids

The Past & the Curious
Reminiscent of the TV show Drunk History (minus the alcohol), this amusing podcast features people telling interesting, little-known stories from history with an emphasis on fun and humor. Although it’s not specifically a music podcast, each episode contains an often-silly song that’s sure to get stuck in your head. There’s even a quiz segment, so kids will learn something, too. Best for: All ages

Podcasts for Kids

Book Club for Kids
This excellent biweekly podcast features middle schoolers talking about a popular middle-grade or YA book as well as sharing their favorite book recommendations. Public radio figure Kitty Felde runs the discussion, and each episode includes a passage of that week’s book read by a celebrity guest. Best for: Tweens and teens

Best Bedtime Podcasts for Kids

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Story Time 
These 10- to 15-minute stories are a perfect way to lull your little one to sleep. The podcast is updated every other week, and each episode contains a kid-friendly story, read by a soothing narrator. Short and sweet, it’s as comforting as listening to your favorite picture book read aloud. Best for: Preschoolers and little kids

Be Calm on Ahway Island logo

Be Calm on Ahway Island
Thanks to the hosts’ soothing voices and a pre-story meditation, your kid might fall asleep to this podcast before the story even gets underway. But if not, the gentle adventures on Ahway Island will also sweep them off to dreamland. This podcast teaches kid-friendly mindfulness practices like “deep dragon breaths” that can be carried into waking life as well. Best for: All ages

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What If World
With wacky episode titles such as “What if Legos were alive?” and “What if sharks had legs?,” this series takes ridiculous “what if” questions submitted by young listeners and turns them into a new story every two weeks. Host Eric O’Keefe uses silly voices and crazy characters to capture the imaginations of young listeners with a Mad Libs-like randomness. Best for: Kids

Stories Podcast logo

Stories Podcast
One of the first kids’ podcasts to grasp podcasts’ storytelling capabilities, this podcast is still going strong with kid-friendly renditions of classic stories, fairy tales, and original works. These longer stories with a vivid vocabulary are great for bigger kids past the age for picture books but who still love a good bedtime story. Best for: Big kids

Best Podcasts for Kids on Road Trips

The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian

The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian
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. With no violence or edgy content and with two seasons totaling over 13 hours of content, this sci-fi adventure is perfect for long car rides. Best for: Kids and tweens

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Flyest Fables 
In the tradition of The NeverEnding Story, this original fable centers on a magical book that takes its readers to a world where they find the strength to overcome any obstacle. The writing itself is beautiful, and the stories are immersive. Themes can be serious (bullying, homelessness) but are handled with sensitivity and remain appropriate for kids. These powerful, modern stories are sure to entertain and provoke meaningful family conversations. Best for: Big kids and tweens

Eleanor Amplified

Eleanor Amplified
Inspired by old-timey radio shows — complete with over-the-top sound effects — this exciting serial podcast follows a plucky journalist who goes on adventures looking for her big scoop. Tweens will love Eleanor’s wit and daring and might even pick up some great messages along the way. There’s even a “Road Trip Edition” episode with the entire first season in a single audio file. Best for: Tweens

The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel logo

The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel
This Peabody Award-winning scripted mystery series has been called a Stranger Things for tweens. With a voice cast of actual middle schoolers, a gripping, suspenseful plot, and interactive tie-ins, this story about an 11-year-old searching for his missing friends will keep tweens hooked to the speakers for hours — more than five, to be exact. Best for: Tweens

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Welcome to Night Vale
Structured like a community radio show for the fictional desert town of Night Vale, the mysterious is ordinary and vice versa in this delightfully eerie series. Both the clever concept and the smooth voice of narrator Cecil Baldwin have helped the show develop a cult-like following. It’s a bit creepy and dark for kids, but older listeners will find it perfect for a nighttime drive along a deserted highway. Best for: Teens

Best Podcasts for Science Lovers

Wow in the World logo

Wow in the World
NPR’s first show for kids is exactly the sort of engaging, well-produced content you would expect from the leaders in radio and audio series. Hosts Guy Raz and Mindy Thomas exude joy and curiosity while discussing the latest news in science and technology in a way that’s enjoyable for kids and informative for grown-ups. Best for: All ages

Brains On logo

Brains On
Similar to But Why, this is another radio show/podcast that takes kid-submitted science questions and answers them with the help of experts. What makes this one different is it tends to skew a bit older, both in its questions and answers, and it has a different kid co-host each week. The result is a fun show that’s as silly as it is educational. Best for: Kids and tweens

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Tumble
Often compared to a kid-friendly Radiolab, this podcast not only addresses fascinating topics but also tries to foster a love of science itself by interviewing scientists about their process and discoveries. The hosts don’t assume that listeners have a science background — but even kids who think they don’t like science may change their minds after listening to this podcast. Best for: Kids and tweens

Stuff You Should Know logo

Stuff You Should Know
From the people behind the award-winning website HowStuffWorks, this frequently updated podcast explains the ins and outs of everyday things from the major (“How Free Speech Works”)  to the mundane (“How Itching Works”). Longer episodes and occasional adult topics such as alcohol, war, and politics make this a better choice for older listeners, but hosts Josh and Chuck keep things engaging and manage to make even complex topics relatable. And with over 1,000 episodes in its archive, you might never run out of new things to learn. Best for: Teens

Best Podcasts for Music Fans

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Noodle Loaf
A delightful offering from a music education specialist and his co-host daughter will get kids of all ages singing, rhyming, moving, and engaging in all kinds of musical games. The segments, games, and songs are so silly and upbeat that the whole family will enjoy participating. Little listeners can even add their voice to the theme song in the podcast’s electronically compiled kid’s choir! Best for: All ages

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Saturday Morning Cereal Bowl
Kids’ music can be … well, annoying. But “kindie rock” (aka, indie rock for kids) is here to help. This two-hour podcast styled like a DJ radio show features new and old songs that kids will love, many by parents’ favorite musicians. Selections are generally high-energy rock, folk, or even punk-inspired songs, but listeners will also hear mellower tunes, as well as bilingual (English/Spanish) songs and hip-hop hits for a well-rounded musical experience. Best for: All ages

Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child logo

Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child
Families can enjoy rock and roll without the downsides with this fun radio show/podcast. Each week there’s a new playlist combining kids’ music from artists such as They Might Be Giants, with kid-appropriate songs from artists that grown-ups will recognize, such as Elvis CostelloThe Ramones, and John Legend. It’s a perfect compromise for parents tired of cheesy kids’ music. Best for: Kids

All Songs Considered logo

All Songs Considered
This weekly podcast from NPR covers the latest and greatest in new music with a particular focus on emerging artists and indie musicians. It covers a wide range of genres and even includes artist interviews and live performances. Some songs contain adult themes and explicit language, but teens will love discovering a new favorite that you’ve probably never heard of. Best for:Teens

Common Sense Media Editorial Intern Mandie Caroll contributed to this article.

Common Sense Media is an independent nonprofit organization offering unbiased ratings and trusted advice to help families make smart media and technology choices. Check out our ratings and recommendations at www.commonsense.org.
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