Best Three Podcasts for Kids

by Parent Co. February 25, 2015

These podcasts for kids add a spark of education, entertainment and even inspiration to daily life. My family mostly listens to them in the car. We also listen to them when we're working on a project, or cooking or cleaning around the house. These podcasts are definitely kid appropriate. I love NPR, but the endless news cycle of beheadings, car bombings, and torture reports isn't always the best thing to listen to on the way to school in the morning. A hidden value of these podcasts is that listening is an immersive act, triggering parts of the mind untouched by video or reading. Learning to appreciate narrative, stories and audio reporting is an important part of childhood growth and development.

Sparkle Stories

Sparkle Stories started in Vermont. I know David and Lisabeth, the parents who create the shows. (They now live in Austin.) Even if I didn't know them, I'd still highly recommend Sparkle Stories; my kid loves them. Sparkle Stories are high-quality original audio stories for children and families.These stories are entertaining, charming and always include a simple lesson or insight. Lessons are woven into the story, so they aren’t preachy or boring. Their core offering is a series of twelve original stories, plus a thirteenth series with stories, songs, and games. (They also offer Sample Story Packs and Audio Books.) All 875+ original audio stories can be enjoyed anytime, anywhere via subscription. Sparkle Stories also offer a free weekly story podcast. This podcast was featured by Apple as one the "Best of 2013." David is a master storyteller. My kid is more into ninjas, Lego, and Star Wars, but these stories utterly captivate her. She'll often bring them up in conversation weeks after listening to them. Sparkle Stories is best for younger kids, up to second grade or so.They also produce an excellent blog, full of recipes, crafts, and wonderful writing. Update: Sparkle Stories has a great new app! Visit SparkleStories.com. View the podcast on iTunes.

Brains On! Science podcast for kids

Brains On! is a podcast featuring science and kids. This is a great one. My family loves it. The producers of the show say they "ask questions and go wherever the answers take us. Sometimes that means talking to a food scientist or a snake handler, other times that means putting on a play about sound waves or writing songs about sleep." They also say, "it’s a science lesson for your ears – join us and turn your brains on!" My kid loves that a different kid co-hosts each episode. This is great role modeling for her, and she pays close attention when the kid is talking. Visit Brainson.org. Subscribe on iTunes. Here is their RSS feed.

Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child

This is an awesome podcast featuring "indie music for indie kids." Not sure what to listen to with your kids? Subscribe to this podcast. Done. The show plays "the best of music aimed at kids (like Dan Zanes, Elizabeth Mitchell, Lunch Money, Caspar Babypants, and They Might Be Giants) right along side kid-friendly tracks from the likes of The Ramones, Mike Doughty, Ella Fitzgerald, Brian Eno, Pizzicato Five, Andrew Bird, Fishbone, and more." It also includes book reviews and exclusive in-studios from dozens of artists. As they say, "it’s not is your typical kids’ programming." Nope. It's brilliant. Visit the site. Subscribe in iTunes.

Bonus

Kid Friday is a video podcast. It can still be enjoyed without watching the screen. This podcast is dedicated to technology: websites, apps, and gadgets. Their motto is "You're a Kid in a Digital World." The podcast is hosted by 16-year-old Hannah, 13-year-old Zoe, Dave, and Winston the poodle. They say, "we talk tech, but always end up somewhere else." This is the number one technology show for kids. Visit KidFriday.com.


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