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9 Podcasts You'll Love Listening to with Your Kids

9 Podcasts You'll Love Listening to with Your Kids

These audio stories are a great substitute for screens—and parents will love them too!


Do you look forward to your commute because you can’t wait to hear the latest episode of a true crime story or get advice on anything from finance to relationships to grammar? Podcasts are entertaining and informative for grown-ups—and the same holds true for kids.

In fact, children of all ages can build important skills by listening to podcasts, says Maggie McGuire, the CEO of Pinna, an audio-streaming service for kids. Take toddlers: Exposing them to language-rich, age-appropriate audio “helps them build their emerging vocabulary and aids in building their background knowledge across a wide variety of topics and themes,” McGuire says. Plus, podcasts encourage imagination and curiosity.

Fortunately, there are plenty of options out there for little kids, bigger kids, and teens.

RELATED: Our Favorite Parenting Podcasts for Moms and Dads 
   

Podcasts for Preschoolers

Story Time
Ages: 2-13
This bi-monthly podcast features simple but engaging 20-minute original stories, read by a rotating cast of narrators (many with British accents). While the easy-to-follow tales are a natural fit for bedtime, there’s no reason not to listen in the morning, after lunch, or during a long car ride.

Quentin and Alfie’s ABC Adventures
Ages: 3-5
Each of the 26 episodes covers a letter of the alphabet—which is a fun way to introduce kids to letters and sounds. The story follows the adventures of Alfie and his babysitter, Quentin, everywhere from amusement parks to the zoo.

Story Pirates
Ages: 3 and older
This podcast is billed as “by kids, for kids.” Here’s how it works: Kids submit stories and the cast (actors, comedians, and musicians) turns them into hilarious sketch comedies and songs. It’s an upbeat, hilarious show—one episode features a song about trash-loving raccoons (; ages 3 and older).
   

Podcasts for Big Kids

Wow in the World
Ages 4-10
NPR’s first podcast for kids, now in its third year, is co-hosted by Guy Raz and Mindy Thomas and aims to leave kids (and parents) saying “wow” at the end of each science-themed episode. Explanations to intriguing questions like “why do zebras have stripes?” and “how do onions make us cry?” are paired with zippy background music.



Grim, Grimmer, Grimmest
Ages: 6-13
Best-selling author Adam Gidwitz uses dramatic twists and flourishes to share fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm with a classroom of kids (who interject with feedback and opinions.) Before each story, Gidwitz provides a content warning (in one episode he warned about name-calling), and assigns a rating of grim, grimmer, or grimmest to denote just how weird and scary the episode will be.

Saturday Morning Cereal Bowl
Ages: all
This 2-hour podcast bills itself as “a weekly music show for the whole family,” but (luckily) the songs avoid cheesy lyrics, high-pitched voices, and poor production. Instead, the genre-spanning, genuinely interesting music provides a perfect backdrop for hanging with the kids.

RELATED: Find even more fun with your kids each weekend!
  

Podcasts for Teens

Stuff You Should Know
Ages: 13 and older
This show explores topics as diverse as Ironman triathlons, paternity testing, scurvy, and how highways work. While it’s aimed at adults, curious teens will delight in finding out fascinating back stories they might not have thought about before.

NPR Politics
Ages: 13 and older
As we enter an election year, it’s important for teens (who will soon be voting) to understand the issues. This non-partisan shows digs into the news on a daily basis—drop into a current episode or tune in on Thursdays for a roundup of the week’s news.

Dear Hank & John
Ages: 15 and older
John Green—the chart-topping YA author of books such as The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska—and his musician brother, Hank, answer questions, share advice (which they admit is “dubious”), and delve into pop culture. One recent episode featured a long and surprisingly funny discussion of cottage cheese.
    

Author: Madeleine Burry is a freelance writer and editor who has held staff positions at Parents.com, Scholastic, and About.com. Burry lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with her husband and their cat. You can follow her on Twitter @lovelanewest. See More

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