In our house, podcasts have become a fun alternative to screen time. They are free, easily accessible at home or on the go, and sometimes downright addictive. Check out these innovative, funny and engaging podcasts geared toward kids that you’ll love, too.
Stories Podcast. You’ll hear retakes on old classics, as well as totally original stories on this podcast. Think “The President’s New Clothes,” for instance. Be sure to check out the original “Dog King” to leave your kids in potty-humor induced stitches. Each story has a song, and is the perfect length for a drive across town.
Myths and Legends. Full disclosure, I listen to this podcast without the kids around, but older kids can appreciate this one too. The podcast explores the origins of our favorite stories, including Greek myths, Grimm fairy tales, Native American legends, Korean fairy tales, and many more. The host retells the stories using modern language, with historical facts thrown in. He’s deadpan and spot-on, but you need to get past how fast he talks. It’s worth it. There can be some adult themes, but he will disclose that at the beginning of the podcast.
Storynory. This weekly podcast features both original and classic stories. The stories are told in beautiful British accents by Natasha and her friends. Be sure to check out the “Bertie” stories, a modern prince who wants to be a secret agent but doesn’t quite have what it takes. At least he’s no longer living on the pond as a frog! The “Katie, the Ordinary Witch” stories are also excellent.
The Old Time Radio Superman Show. If you have a superhero fanatic, check out this podcast for some family-friendly podcast time. The podcast features episodes of the 1940s Superman radio show told by Bud Collyer. It’s like being transported back in time—secret decoder rings and all.
Roam Schooled. Instead of googling answers to the questions posed by his young twin daughters (six, at the first episode), North Portland dad Jim Brunberg bought a used RV and traveled the country with them to find out the answers. They travel to Michigan to find out where tombstones come from, to New York to find out why the Statue of Liberty is there, and to the Southwest to explore beliefs that are beyond science. Each episode is about an hour, and there are about a dozen of them.
The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian. Finn is a boy who lives aboard the Marlowe 280 Interplanetary Space Station. In this serialized science-fiction podcast, you follow along with 8-year-old Finn and his friends Abigail, Elias and Vale as they explore galaxies, meet aliens, and try to prevent their planet from being vaporized. You can contribute your own ideas to the show, too.
The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd. Told in the style of old-school radio shows, this podcast tells the story of inventor Dr. Floyd, his protégé Dr. Grant, and their faithful robot companion C.H.I.P.S. Dr. Floyd invents a time and space travel device, but it’s stolen by the evil Dr. Steve and his assistant Fidgert. Dr. Steve plans to use it for evil, racing through time stealing historical items to sell on eBay. Dr. Floyd and his friends have to stop him! Almost every episode introduces you to a famous historical figure—like Al Capone, Cleopatra, Alexander Hamilton, and many more. And each episode is only a few minutes long, so you—I mean, you and your kids—can easily binge listen to a season at a time.
Story Pirates. What do you get when world-class actors, comedians, improvisers and musicians adapt stories written by kids into sketch comedy and musical theater? This exuberant, silly, and well-crafted podcast, which will make kids and adults alike laugh out loud. The episode starts with the hosts reading a story written by a child, usually in early elementary school. In the second part, it’s acted out. And finally, the child who wrote the story is interviewed. Each episode is only about ten minutes. Start with the dinosaur bank robbers one. It’s hilarious.
Tumble. This podcast explores scientific discoveries in a non-didactic, engaging way. Rather than discussing science as a series of facts, the podcast approaches science as a process. The hosts interview scientists to learn more about interesting topics like what the earth is made of, the science behind invisibility, the quest for hidden planets, and more. You and your kids will be engaged while learning about some really cool stuff.