One of the most challenging things about roadschooling or homeschooling is finding ways to deal with a bored kid. Sure, we could just say, “Deal with it” — and in many cases, we do, because we believe a certain amount of boredom is actually good for kids.
However, there comes a time when the complaints of boredom become too much to listen to any more, and we have to find a way to make them stop. For us, this is where kids’ podcasts come into play.
We love podcasts, and kids’ podcasts get a special shoutout from our family! Why?
- Because they entertain not just the kid, but the entire family — without the use of screens.
- Because they get our brains moving and provide interesting bits of information.
- Because they give our family something to talk about long after the episode has ended.
All that said, some podcasts are definitely superior to others, and finding those gems that entertain and educate all ages can be tricky. Lucky for you, we’ve done some of the legwork and identified 9 of the best educational children’s podcasts that will keep the family listening and engaged.
Wow in the World
My family adores this NPR podcast. It’s both silly and educational, and the topics Wow in the World comes up with are always interesting.
In each episode, hosts Mindy Thomas and Guy Raz go on an adventure to explore a new scientific subject. Sometimes this means going inside a human brain; other times it might mean diving into the sea or flying into space.
The writing on this show is perfect and the comedic timing is impeccable, making for a seriously funny show we just can’t get enough of. I highly recommend this podcast for ages 5 and up, and especially those elementary school-aged kids who are interested in science and comedy.
Brains On! is an award-winning science-focused podcast for kids. It doesn’t involve silly characters or crazy storylines like Wow in the World. However, it is definitely fast-paced and fun enough to keep kids interested, and educational enough to count as a true science lesson.
We love that Brains On! features a new kid co-host each episode and answers questions submitted by listeners. We also appreciate that fact that the episodes usually include a professional or two to answer the science question being posed.
This is a great podcast for kids aged 7 and up. That said, even my husband and I find ourselves listening closely to this well done show.
Yet another science focused podcast for kids, But Why? is created by Vermont Public Radio.
Each episode begins with a child posing a scientific question such as, “Why do people have nightmares?” The hosts then go on a journey to discover the answer to that question. Often this means meeting with professionals in a particular field, making the show even more interesting.
But Why? is unique in that it doesn’t really target a single age range. There are episodes that could easily hold a 5-year-old’s attention, but other episodes are better suited to the 10-and-up age range.
Short and Curly
Conversations on ethics are interesting no matter how old you are. In fact, even kids can make some good points. That is why we recommend Short and Curly.
This Australian podcast features fun-loving hosts, a collection of clever kids, and a few high-profile guests, all presenting and attempting to answer kid-friendly ethics questions. These are questions that will really get you thinking, providing excellent conversation material for the family.
Short and Curly was written for an elementary-aged audience. That said, the questions posed are interesting for absolutely anyone to think about.
Classics for Kids
Classics for Kids introduces kids to a new piece of classical music each week. It might discuss the history of the piece, what the composer might have been trying to convey, similar pieces, or the composers themselves.
While this podcast doesn’t include any of the silliness that tends to hold the attention of young kids, the episodes are short, sweet, and packed with information. Even those with short attention spans can focus long enough to hear an entire episode and learn a thing or two.
As classical music-loving parents, we highly recommend this podcast. I’d say it’s great for absolutely any age. Infants will even enjoy the soothing music and the calming voice of the host.
The Past and the Curious
As a serious history nerd, you can imagine my excitement when I found a podcast completely dedicated to teaching kids about history.
The Past and the Curious tells little known stories from history in a way that is entertaining for kids and adults alike. Each story gives you an interesting peek into what the world must’ve been like in a time gone by, and definitely gets you thinking.
Because this podcast does require a bit more focus to be fully enjoyed, we recommend this particular show for ages 8 and up. That said, kids who are genuinely interested in history might enjoy it a bit earlier.
With super short episodes, Ear Snacks is perfect for those times when you only need to fill a few minutes.
Each episode is about 20 minutes long and focuses on a single topic such as time, pajamas, or teeth. Sometimes they’ll produce a short series on a given topic. The show’s hosts and various guests discuss the chosen topic, and there’s always a song played to match that topic.
Ear Snacks is best suited to kids ages 4–8 or so, it of course, anyone can have a good time listening in.
Sesame Street: Word on the Street Podcast
Those with preschool-aged kids can also have a ton of fun listening to podcasts. For those super little listeners, we recommend Sesame Street: Word on the Street Podcast.
Each 5- to 6-minute episode of this podcast features a word of the day. The host, several children, and a celebrity guest all discuss the meaning of that word. They look at it from a variety of angles and really break the word down.
We love that this show helps little ones grow their vocabulary, and would recommend it for ages 3–6 or so.
Want even more science fun? Tumble is another great science-focused podcast for kids. It focuses on interesting aspects of science, interviewing various scientists while also teaching valuable information.
We love that this podcast dives into the most complicated of subjects and breaks them down so that even small children can understand. This means kids are learning complicated information at a very young age without even realizing it!
While this podcast is advertised for kids ages 5 and up, I’d say it’s more suited to 7- to 10-year-olds.
Ready to dive into the fun world of podcasts with your family? Before you get started, check out our article about getting the most out of podcasts for kids.