No matter what you do as a podcaster, it’s most important to be interesting. This need is clearest in podcasts for kids. Children have an ability to digest, analyze and use new information in a way that leaves 40-year-olds scratching their heads. If you don’t believe me, do a YouTube search for “beginner piano for kids” sometime, and watch the little darlings’ recitals. The point is, if you’re looking for the best podcasts for kids for a long car ride, winding down in the evening, or to supplement education, you came to the right place. And if you’re looking for examples of great audience engagement, these podcasts will help you, too.
If you’re interested to see what the most popular podcasts are, by subscriptions, check out our Top Podcasts list, here.
5 of the Best Podcasts for Kids
There’s an ever-growing mountain of excellent kids’ podcasts out there. As with any “best of” list, you’ve probably come here to get a handful of recommendations as opposed to a full-on directory. With that in mind, here are 5 shows you can grab and get lost in right away…
Brains On! consistently tops “best of” lists, and it should; it’s an American Public Media podcast. This science show answers kids’ questions, in a clear, concise fashion. Topics cover anything kids wonder about: dinosaurs, cats, pollution, current events, and yes, of course, flatulence. The show spends a lot of time and effort directly connecting with their listeners, asking them to send in questions, join their fan club, or connect on social media. They’ve also partnered with The Science Museum of Minnesota to perform a study about how podcasts benefit kids and families. Not only does this podcast give kids fun and educational listening, but it also helps them feel heard.
Silly Old Bear
Did you know that Winnie the Pooh existed long before Disney? It’s a fact. Now that A.A. Milne’s stories are public domain, there are more ways to enjoy Life in the Hundred Acre Wood. Silly Old Bear isn’t just a cozy podcast for kids. The music and performances make this a relaxing experience for anyone who needs uplifting short stories where nearly any problem can be solved with friendship and a pot of honey.
She’s lonely, despite her clever anthropomorphic animal sidekick. Her father, king of all he surveys, doesn’t understand her. All she wants is to go up and explore the surface. Is she the Little Mermaid? Nope, she’s Pixie, The Devil’s Daughter. This captivatingly tongue-in-cheek story takes classic fairy-tale structure and turns it on its head. It’s an adventure tale for people who find Disney princesses too sweet. You might recognize the voices of audio drama favorites such as Owen McCuen, Fiona Thraille, Karim Kronfli, and many more. Nine brief episodes mean that Rick Coste‘s series can fit into one very long car ride, or spaced out for evening story time. Kindness and curiosity are the winning elements in this delightful tale.
When you need a giggle-fest, Story Pirates delivers. This surreal wild ride gives pirates on a boat (which seems to be perpetually in disrepair) story ideas written by kids, which turn into sketch comedy, songs, and rap confections.
Each episode moves so fast that I’m not entirely sure what’s happening half the time. What matters is that the Story Pirates want to encourage kids’ creativity, and they always succeed. At the end of each episode, they interview one of the contributing kids, which is always funny and heartwarming. Plus, the music is fantastic: “Roll Call,” where they acknowledge the contributions that they couldn’t fit into the current episode, is utterly contagious. If you want the podcast equivalent of running wild on a playground, set sail with the Story Pirates.
Fans of Bridge to Terabithia, The Chronicles of Narnia, and/or The Phantom Tollbooth will particularly enjoy Flyest Fables, a podcast for kids and adults to enjoy together. Imagine a book that creates an immersive, fantastic world, telling exactly the story the reader needs to experience most. The episodes move between a magical fantasy world and a real-world where complex characters have high-stakes, real-world problems. This connected anthology shows how literature can help people deal with complex issues, such as bullying, loneliness, depression, and unemployment. Morgan Givens, the show’s creator, is a rising star in the audio fiction world, and you’ll definitely want to hear his layered, nuanced work.
Just One More: Otter Space
All right, you can have one more before we go. Otter Space is pure popcorn fun. You know how otters hold paws when they sleep, so they can relax in the water without turning over? Of course, otters are known for their playful, social behavior, but did you know they can save the world?
The title pun lured me in, but the simplicity of the description made me commit. “Two mismatched sea otters in search of new “paw buddies” must save Earth from an alien civilization that has outlawed all forms of playing.” Cordie and Kip, impulsive and careful, respectively, have to save the Earth with what they do best. Not only is this cute and action-packed, but the clever satire will have grownups smiling, too.
Best Podcasts for Kids: Engagement for Children of All Ages
E.B. White once said, “Anybody who shifts gears when he writes for children is likely to wind up stripping his gears… Children are demanding. They are the most attentive, curious, eager, observant, sensitive, quick, and generally congenial readers on earth.” The best podcasts for kids can also be rewarding experiences for adults. If you’re thinking about making a podcast, there are many ways to make it exciting for any audience. We’re here to help. In Podcraft Academy, we have courses, resources, and all kinds of information to help you get started, or polish an existing podcast. Our Launch Essentials Podcasting Course includes every step you need to share your ideas with the world. Check it out now.