Dropping kids off at school, chauffeuring them to after-school activities, or just making a quick run to the grocery store—here in KC, almost all of us drive our kids around every day. And, let’s face it—too much time in the car with kids can be AWFUL. They fight, they complain about how long we’ve been in the car, they are suddenly desperately thirsty and/or hungry. We need distractions.
Sometimes we listen to music. However, we can’t seem to agree. My seven-year-old hates listening to music in the car (with the exception of “HandClap” by Fitz and the Tantrums, and Mommy can only listen to that so many times). My five-year-old, however, could listen to My Little Pony music on repeat all day. Sigh. We needed something that would keep us all entertained in the car.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, a podcast is basically a radio program that you download from the internet. There are literally thousands of different podcasts, in a wide range of topics. Many are meant for an adult audience, but we’ve found a bunch of kids podcasts that the entire family can enjoy. We love the shorter episodes for day-to-day car rides, and longer episodic podcasts for cross-country road trips. Here are some of our favorites.
This podcast showcases retellings of fables, fairytales, and myths, as well as original stories. The stories are creative, appropriate for all ages, and often feature original songs. Months after we first heard it, my kids and I still love to sing “Dog King: King of the Dogs” together.
Wow in the World
This one’s from NPR, so you know it’ll be well-produced and smart. It is all about cool new things happening in science and technology, presented in a fun, crazy-silly way. Hosts Mindy and Guy are very high-energy and they do a great job entertaining and informing. Both my kids love this one.
The tagline for this podcast is “serious about being curious,” and it’s all about asking questions and finding the answers. Each episode has a kid co-host who discusses the topic and helps interview experts. Recent topics include animal farts, sunburns, monster trucks, and the science of slime.
Disney Story Central
All your favorite Disney and Pixar stories in one spot—what could be better? Each episode is a different Disney storybook read aloud, with great music and sound effects. Each story is about 12 minutes long, so they’re the perfect length for short car rides.
Hosted by Andrew and Polly, award-winning kids music writers and performers, this podcast is all about fun food for thought for kids, featuring kids. Topics include rain and shadows, the Beatles, sea horses, the solar eclipse, and many more. Special “extra” episodes showcase Andrew and Polly’s music, written just for the podcast.
Tumble Science Podcast for Kids
Tumble presents all kinds of topics that kids can’t get enough of (the science of poop, anyone?) in a way that teaches kids scientific principles and why it’s so important to learn about the world around them. This podcast is hosted and produced by a science journalist and a teacher, and they present everything in a way even pretty young kids can enjoy.
The Mysterious Mysteries of Toby Taylor, the Fruit Magician
This podcast is over-the-top cheesy, but in a good way. It tells the story of Toby, a young master illusionist who uses fruit in his magic act—oh, and he solves mysteries, too. The podcast has good production quality and fun sound effects. My main complaint with this one is that the episodes are way too short. I recommend saving these up in your podcast player, then adding them to a playlist so several episodes will play continuously.
The comedians, musicians, and actors behind Story Pirates adapt stories written by kids into awesome radio performances. The stories are charming, funny, and filled with music. Toward the end of the episode, the story pirates often interview the child author. This podcast definitely inspires my kids to be storytellers.
Chloe’s Friendship Circle
At just seven years old, Chloe does a great job hosting this podcast. She plays music, shares fun facts, and interviews guests. Her guest list mainly includes kids’ musicians and other kids podcast hosts. My kids love it when they recognize someone from another podcast. With high-quality production, this podcast is a great example to listen to if you think your kids might be interested in podcasting.
The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd
This podcast has been around since 2004, so these guys really know what they’re doing. This podcast tells the story of the world’s most brilliant scientist, Dr. Floyd, and his arch nemesis, Dr. Steve. The show is silly, fast-talking, and entertaining for adults (though younger kids will probably not be able to keep up with the plot). It has an old-timey radio feel, and each episode is a new installment of a serialized story.
The Saturday Morning Cereal Bowl
This podcast is a nearly two-hour radio show featuring the best kids’ music around. And? It’s enjoyable for grown-ups, too. Occasionally the show is centered around a theme, but usually it’s a fun mix of genres and all kinds of bands and artists (Ben Folds, Jenny Lewis, Raffi, They Might Be Giants, and The Que Pastas, just to name a few).
I hope this list inspires you to check out a few new podcasts with your kids! Got any recommendations for me?