Great news: There are plenty of kid podcasts out there that won’t make you want to slice your ears off. Here are a few you should check out (and get ready, because car rides with the kids are about to become a heck of a lot more fun):
Often, bedtime is the most focused QT you get to spend with your kid all day; this podcast is a great way to relax together and get smarter at the same time. In 10-ish minute installments, learn about inspirational people from history (and present) — from entertainers to politicians to artists to athletes.
KiDNuZ (that’s nuz as in news) is a daily current events roundup created by a group of former TV reporters who wanted to create kid-friendly, bite-sized episodes covering the day’s top news stories. It’s a win for everyone: grownups get a pithy daily news roundup (you know, like just in case they didn’t have time to see the newspaper), and kids get in the habit of checking in daily with the wider world around them. You can even get the podcast delivered directly to you via text or email at whatever time of day suits you best. Consider it a news concierge for the whole family.
Short and Curly
This ethics podcast poses the best kind of questions, i.e. those that don’t necessarily have straightforward answers. It’s the perfect jumping off point for mulling over important matters together, like: Could we ever truly trust robots? Should we colonize other planets? Is it ever OK to lie?
Calling budding scientists and curious souls! Science journalist Lindsay Patterson and teacher Marshall Escamilla chat up expert guests to explore brain-teasing topics like the Barcelona supercomputer and invisibility cloaks as well as… well, what dinosaur poop can teach us (spoiler alert: a lot).
The Past and The Curious
History doesn’t have to be old and dusty. This podcast brings history to life with actors performing snippets alongside a professional music score. Just be sure to pay extra close attention if you want to nail those quiz segments at the end of each episode.
The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel
If you were obsessed with Serial you’ll love The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel, the story of a 7th grader who finds himself caught up in mysterious circumstances while searching for his missing friends. This Peabody Award-winning series is performed by kids; imagine a mashup of Goonies and Stranger Things – for the 8-12 year-old set.
Saturday Morning Theatre
This drama anthology series is done in the style of an old-timey radio show, with each week serving up a different genre — from westerns to comedies to mysteries to superhero adventures.
The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian
An eight-year-old space station passenger sets off on an odyssey with his friends and their pet robots; as they go about solving the universe’s great mysteries, they discover uncharted planets and take tips from listeners back on Earth. Kids will easily be able to sit through the 15-20 minute-long episodes, and parents will appreciate the sci-fi tale’s retro vibe.
This adventure series features protagonist Eleanor Amplified, a world-famous radio reporter who takes on villains while pursuing the big scoop behind mysteries. Bonus: it’s a nice chance for kids to develop a media-savvy sense of awareness re: the press and how stories are investigated.
Spare The Rock, Spoil The Child
Indie music for indie kids that indie parents will also love, including music from They Might Be Giants, The Ramones, Mike Doughty, Ella Fitzgerald, Brian Eno, Andrew Bird, and more. Bu-bye, Baby Shark!