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.
5 of the Best Podcasts for Kids
There are 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…
1. Brains On!
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, it helps them feel heard.
2. Six Minutes
Recommended to me by an elementary school teacher, Six Minutes is a mystery that will get you hooked from the very beginning. Each episode is about six minutes long (not including credits), and packed with action that encourages the audience to ask questions. Who is Holiday, what does her amnesia hide, and why did the family who found her floating in the ocean suddenly decide she should secretly live with them? Made by Gen Z Media, creators of perennial favorite The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel, this podcast will appeal to kids, teens and adults alike.
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.
4. Quirky Voices
Two of the best podcasts for kids are hidden gems in a mine. Quirky Voices, the multi-faceted audio empire of voice teacher and artist Sarah Golding, includes some Halloween chillers and some bedtime comfort.
Bogeys and Ghoulies are a mini-series of scary tales. These special episodes of this podcast for kids appears around Halloween, but they're thrilling fun any time of the year. Sarah suggests that parents have a listen before sharing them with little ones. Mask, in which Layla Katib plays a mummy wolf, is for ages 11 and up. The Summoning is recommended for ages 7 and up, and is made by kids, for kids to enjoy, recorded while socially distanced in a park.
Teddy Story is a magical journey to listen to as an evening wind-down. Sarah's voice is a cozy hug, weaving imaginative stories about a boy named Lucas and the adventures he takes with his teddy bear. The stream-of-consciousness tales help little ones relax and nod off for the night. I re-listened to a bit of it as I'm writing this, and I'm a little too relaxed as a result.
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5. Flyest Fables
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 which 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 audio fiction connected anthology shows how literature can help people deal with complex issues, such as bullying, loneliness, depression, and even 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.
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 lots of ways to make it exciting for any audience. We're here to help. In The Podcast Host 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.