Why are podcasts so popular? Simply put, podcasts are an easily accessible way to consume information and entertainment. Pick any topic — from news to conspiracy theory, history to historical fiction, art, technology, science, comedy, drama or music — and there is something for everyone. Parents have hundreds of podcasts to choose from for their kids. Lucky for you, Parentology did the deep dive to bring a list of fifteen best podcasts for kids, tweens, and teens.
Before we dive in, it’s important to acknowledge that not all podcasts are meant to be educational. That’s fine. Engaging in content that’s purely entertainment relieves stress and gives the mind a break. Podcasts make commutes to school and after school activities less monotonous, and allow everyone to share subjects that interest them with different people in the family. This not only helps you learn about each other, but you might even find your next family pastime.
With that said, here are Parentology’s favorite popular podcasts for kids.
The daily podcast features an average of five stories presented over the span of about five minutes, along with a quiz. Created by Emmy Award-winning newscast reporters, it presents the facts in quick, informative bits that young people and adults need to know. Read our interview with the creators.
The Ten News
The Ten News team makes it their mission to include heavy-hitting stories in their episodes in a way that isn’t overwhelming for young listeners. “We position these stories in a way for families to open the door to thought-provoking conversations,” says creator Tracy Leeds Kaplan. Read the whole interview here.
For the Science Minded
Wow in The World
From NPR, hosts Mindy Thomas and Guy Roz present the latest in science and technology with their unique style of curiosity and joy. (all ages)
Molly Bloom and kid co-hosts explore answers to questions about the fascinating world around us. Brought to you by American Public Media, Brains On spawned the spin-off podcast, Smash Boom Best. In this podcast, two contestants use facts and humor to debate topics like “Dragons versus Unicorns” and “Cats versus Dogs” for a kid judge. (tweens)
Stuff You Should Know
With over 1,000 (that’s not a typo) episodes, you might have a hard time running out of topics. Hosts Josh and Chuck explore a wide range of topics like science, music, history, pop-culture, and any topic in between. Some topics are not fit for very young ears, hence the older age suggestion. (teen)
Mindfulness and Meditation
This an excellent tool for parents or teachers. The podcast uses tools like short stories, visualization, and breathing techniques to teach mindfulness. Each episode is less than 20 minutes. (all ages)
A free audiobook that arrives every two weeks. Geared towards preschool to tween, a soothing narrator reads a bedtime story to help send the kids off to dreamland. (little kids)
Meant to help teach self-regulation and calm, Ahway Island uses storytelling to connect children to themselves. Stories contain guided meditation and positive messages about acceptance and compassion. (big kids and tweens)
Who Doesn’t Love a Good Story?
A comedy sketch show by Gimlet, tells stories that are written by kids. What makes it engaging is the performers are actors, comedians, improvisers, and musicians, several who are famous. Conan O’Brien, anyone? (all ages)
What if World
Ever ask yourself, “What if sharks had legs”? If so, this podcast is for you. Host Eric O’Keefe takes random “what if” questions from young listeners and turns them into wacky tales presented every other week. (all kids)
Book Club for Kids
Host Kitty Felde of NPR fame hosts this bi-weekly podcasts that talks to middle schoolers about popular YA books. There are also bonus interviews with authors and other material. (tweens and teens)