Podcasts have been around for years and now there are more choices than ever! There are many podcasts that are highly educational along with being entertaining allowing parents to sneak in some education on the go (ie, in the car, while waiting at appointments, or while exercising/moving), audio stories help children learn to enjoy reading, and maybe you will learn some fun bit of information yourself!

I LOVED listening to podcasts while we were driving to places in the car.  All our appointments are about 20 minutes or more away from our house, one-way, allowing us plenty of time to catch a podcast of some sort! I enjoyed listening to the podcasts because I found them both educational, and we had a nice variety of topics we could select from on any given day.

We have also spent hours waiting around at appointments. My longest one was when I had my children go see a physical therapist back-to-back-to-back so we were there for THREE hours! Thankfully they took mercy! I would bring my Chromebook with me to the appointments. The therapy center secretary (trust me, always be nice to the secretary) input in the password to the WIFI there allowing us to connect to the internet. This allowed me to play YouTube videos and podcasts plus we were working with an online learning program so this allowed us to accomplish some homeschooling while we sat and waited the three hours! That drive home was an hour each way also giving us time to listen to a podcast or sign educational songs because we all know if I did not do something there would be fighting in the backseat! LOL

Here is a list of podcasts we have brought together for you and maybe you will find that long car ride, or downtime, more enjoyable. Please make sure you screen the episodes. I did my best to choose things that are safe for all listening audiences but a few of the sites for the older kids cover a variety of topics and you may not want your child listening to all of the podcasts on that channel.


Elementary School

Aaron’s World

Aaron created this podcast when he was between the ages of 6 and 11, so there are no new episodes; however, for four seasons he and his family resurrected plesiosaurs, megalodons, and other prehistoric creatures for a science-themed adventure full of sound effects and enthusiasm.

The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian

Finn, his friends, and their pet robots float through space on the Marlowe 280 Interplanetary Exploratory Space Station, sharing their discoveries and adventures in this fun-filled podcast. Not only are these episodes entertaining, but educational as Finn takes tips from his listeners in solving some of the universe’s greatest mysteries!

Brains On!

“Brains On!” is an award-winning audio show for kids and families. Each week, a different kid co-host joins Molly Bloom to find answers to fascinating questions about the world.  Their mission is to encourage kids’ natural curiosity and wonder using science and history…but there’s no age limit on curiosity, and episodes of Brains On! can be enjoyed by anyone.

But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids

“But Why” is a show led by children! They can ask questions and send them in and if your question is selected the hosts answer your question!  But Why, tackle topics large and small, about nature, words, even the end of the world.

Circle Round

“Circle Round” is created and produced by parents of young children. The podcast adapts carefully-selected folktales from around the world into sound- and music-rich radio plays for kids ages 4 to 10. Each 10- to 20-minute episode explores important issues like kindness, persistence, and generosity. And each episode ends with an activity that inspires a deeper conversation between children and grown-ups.

Chompers

To help your family build good brushing habits, “Chompers” counts the times you kids brush by telling them jokes, riddles, stories, fun facts, silly songs, and more, that’ll keep them giggling – and brushing – for the full two minutes that dentists recommend. This is not only a podcast on Apple, but it is also a skill that can be accessed on the Amazon Alexa app.

Five Minutes With Dad

A father and his two young children host the “Five Minutes with Dad” podcast where the family tackles everyday issues and questions. Things like starting a new school, the tooth fairy, how to be brave, family traditions, and much more are discussed in this podcast.

Grimm, Grimmer, Grimmest

This fairy tale themed podcast brings focuses on sharing these tales in unique and different ways than they were originally written. Listen along as storyteller, Adam Gidwitz presents each story in classrooms full of actual kids with the goal of inspiring enthusiastic readers and positive ways of thinking through the tales. Told with significant sound effects, funny voices, and pauses to chat with the audience, this podcast is a constant source of entertainment!

LeVar Burton Reads

In every episode, host LeVar Burton (Reading Rainbow) invites you to take a break from your daily life, and dive into a great story. LeVar’s narration blends with gorgeous soundscapes to bring stories by Neil Gaiman, Haruki Murakami, Octavia Butler, Ray Bradbury, and more to life.

The Music Box

“The Music Box” is an interactive music education podcast for kids, exploring fundamental music concepts through performing, responding, and connecting. The current season is hosted by music educator Faith Murphy. Each episode gets listeners involved in making music! Short episodes are perfect for a car ride or just hanging out at home. Get printable lesson plans and ideas for extending the learning at musicboxpod.org.

Noodle Loaf

A clever interactive music podcast that features echo songs, musical challenges, and a kids’ choir that anyone can join.

Pickle 

“Pickle” is a great way to open up the discussion into life and social skills children need to navigate life. The show tackles questions like “is it ever okay to tell a lie?” “What makes a real friend?” And here’s a question: How much is a person’s life worth? Yikes, that’s a tough one! The cast of Pickle explores life’s stickiest wickets, with the help of curious kids –and the occasional elephant. It’s philosophy, made fun.

Purple Rocket Podcast 

Travel the world with twins Sawyer and Suzie using their Grandpa’s magical globe. Explore the universe aboard the Space Train, fly with fairies, discover an underground civilization with Digger, and so much more! “The Purple Rocket” produces exciting audio adventures the whole family can enjoy! Each season is a unique, originally written series, so find a season that sounds fun and dive in starting with episode one.

The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd

This podcast brings to life the tale of an evil cartoon genius trying to take over the world. It also introduces kids to important historical topics and information. Despite this podcast ending production, there is ten years’ worth of content still available for kids that continue to inspire and entertain!

Radiolab for Kids

“Radiolab for Kids” is a place where we’ve collected Radiolab’s most family-friendly content. (Because we all know that over the years, some of the content has been…er…NOT so family-friendly!) From “What do dogs see when they look at the rainbow?” to “Do animals laugh?” the topics are squeaky clean (mostly) and all about curiosity. Radiolab for Kids is sure to delight and engage the most curious minds.

Sound Tales

“Sound Tales” are stories, songs, and sounds that spark children’s imagination made 100% by the human voice. Slow down the pace, take a breath, and listen with your full attention. Kids can move and imagine or sit quietly and reflect. Sound Tales is for long rides, cooking dinner, play dates, and bedtime. Parent and kid-approved!

Story Pirates

Story Pirates is a side-splitting podcast that adapts real stories written by children into sketch comedy and musical theater. The pirates themselves are a professional group of actors, comedians, musicians, and improvisers – which makes for world-class storytelling!

Tumble

Tumble is a science podcast for kids, to be enjoyed by the entire family. They tell stories about science discoveries, with the help of scientists!  Lindsay and Marshall host the show as they ask questions, share mysteries, and share what science is all about.

What if World

Another fun story-telling podcast for kids! Your host, Mr. Eric, takes ‘What if?’ questions posed by kids and spins them into fascinating fictional stories. What If World will stretch your kids’ imaginations, and give them hours of entertainment.

Wow in the World

Hosts Mindy Thomas and Guy Raz guide curious kids and their grown-ups on a journey into the wonders of the world around them. We’ll go inside our brains, out into space, and deep into the coolest new stories in science and technology.

Young Ben Franklin

Before he was Benjamin Franklin, inventor, and statesman, he was just Ben, a boy in Colonial Boston with an adventurous spirit, a curious mind…and a penchant for getting into trouble.

Meet our most endearing Founding Father at 13, charming rebel years away from discovering the ageless sayings and brilliant inventions that made him famous. When Ben and his friends stumble upon a mysterious letter leading to a legendary treasure, he’ll have to use his wits and bravery to outsmart the cruel British governor of Massachusetts.


Middle School

The Allusionist

(possible inappropriate content)
Even if you’re not studying for the SATs or ACTs, you might find it interesting that “trend” was a nautical term long before it meant something everyone was tweeting about. Language is fascinating and strange, and host Helen Zaltzman has a lot of fun exploring its ins and outs.

The Big Fib

In the era of fake news, kids need to learn to be able to tell what’s true from what’s false. And what better way to do that than a game show that puts kids in the driver’s seat, adults on the hot seat, and a sound-effects robot strapped to the roof? Each week, a kid interviews two experts in a particular topic, one of whom is a genuine, credentialed expert, the other a liar. Hilarious and fast-paced, the show teaches kids to ask insightful questions, weigh the evidence before them, and trust their gut.

The Earth Rangers

Earth Ranger Emma is the host of this show.  She is a wildlife biologist and roaming reporter for the Earth Rangers podcast, a show for everyone who loves to explore the mysteries of nature. Join Earth Ranger Emma as she explores the deep jungle, the frozen Arctic, and splash around some wetlands, all in the name of science!

Good Job, Brain!

“Good Job, Brain!” is a free weekly clean* audio podcast that’s part quiz show & part offbeat news. It’s the ultimate nutrition for your brain. So eat up!
*no explicit language but poop does come up sometimes, well, maybe all the time.

Math Mutations

“Math Mutation,” a podcast for people of all ages where we discuss fun, interesting, or just plain weird corners of mathematics that you would not have heard in school. The creator of Math Mutations, Erik Seligman, also runs a blog for Math Mutations where you can find additional information and reference for his podcasts.

Once upon a time in Zombieville

Okay, so this podcast may not be directly educational but did you know the series was originally created with visually-impaired children? I had to include it!  This is an award-winning sci-fi/comedy podcast series out of the UK where the child protagonists battle evil in an effort to save the world. It’s been called  ‘a comic book for the ears’ and that’s exactly what it is – painting a colorful visual for children with expressive voice actors, epic soundtrack, and real-life sound effects. With 28 episodes this is great entertainment everyone! 

The Past and the Curious

“The Past and the Curious” brings you history-themed episodes your kids will love! Sharing the stories of fascinating figures from the past, host Mick Sullivan is a professional museum educator who knows his stuff.

Smash Book Best

This fun and fast-moving spin-off of the popular Brains On! podcast is a kid-friendly debate podcast. A kid judge listens to and scores the rousing, fact-based arguments of two contestants. With episodes like “Piranhas vs. Venus Flytraps” and “Pizza versus Tacos,” kids will be hooked, and they won’t even notice that they’re learning how to defend their ideas along the way.

StoryCorp 

One of the largest oral history projects of its kind, StoryCorps has recorded the stories of over 250,000 people in the U.S. Students at just about any grade level or in any subject area could use the StoryCorps interviews in a variety of ways, including writing prompts, discussion topics, primary sources for research projects, and more. Children also can record their own stories.

Student Podcast Challenge

This podcast is meant for public school teachers and students but I also think this podcast is awesome if you have a homeschooled child who would love to learn to a podcast or want to know how to conduct an interview like a news reporter! The folks behind NPR’s Student Podcast Challenge made this handy guide on how to make a podcast in the classroom. The podcast talks about how to gather good sound, ask great questions, and conduct smart interviews. It’s everything you need to make an amazing podcast!

This Day In History Class

From the desk of “Stuff You Missed in History Class,” “This Day in History Class” quickly recounts a tidbit from today’s events in history.

Treasure Island 2020

Treasure Island 2020 is a Peabody Award-nominated reworking of the classic story by Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island. James Hawkins helps his mom run a motel in modern-day Montauk, Long Island. But when a mysterious man washes up on the beach with a treasure map tattooed on his chest, James discovers that Billy Bones is, in fact, a time-traveling pirate from the 18th century. James and his new friends, Morgan and Max, follow the map right into a magical portal that leads them back nearly three hundred years into a swashbuckling adventure.

The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel

The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel is a scripted, serial mystery podcast narrated by middle-grade kids. It’s the tale of an 11-year-old boy who goes searching for his missing friends. This award-winning podcast is described as a mix between The Goonies, Spy Kids, and Stranger Things.

Unspookable

This family-friendly podcast dives into the history and mysteries behind scary stories, myths, and legends, including Charlie Charlie, Bloody Mary, witches, mermaids, zombies, and more.

A Way with Words

A fun radio show and podcast about language examined through family, history, and culture.


High Schooler

CrowdScience

“CrowdScience” is funded by the BBC and they take your questions about life, Earth, and the universe to researchers hunting for answers at the frontiers of knowledge.

Dear Hank & John

Hosts, and brothers, John and Hank Green (authors and YouTubers) offer both humorous and heartfelt advice about life’s big and small questions.

Freakonomics Radio

Discover the hidden side of everything with Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of the Freakonomics books. Each week, Freakonomics Radio tells you things you always thought you knew (but didn’t) and things you never thought you wanted to know (but do) — from the economics of sleep to how to become great at just about anything. Dubner speaks with Nobel laureates and provocateurs, intellectuals and entrepreneurs, and various other underachievers.

Hidden Brain

Shankar Vedantam uses science and storytelling to reveal the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior, shape our choices, and direct our relationships.

History of England

David Crowther has loved and lived with the story of the history of the English for as long as he can remember. In this podcast he retells the story of the history of England, in a regular, chronological podcast; you go from the cataclysmic end of Roman Britain to modern-day history.

History of WWII

The History of WWII Podcast is produced and narrated by Ray Harris Jr. who has a degree in history from James Madison University. He has been obsessed with the events and people from WWII since and created this podcast to share his knowledge.

How I Built This

In this once-a-week podcast, host Guy Raz examines the stories behind some of the world’s best-known companies. From innovators to entrepreneurs to idealists, Rax takes you on a narrative journey of how their movements came to be. Some interviews include the founder of 1-800-GOT-JUNK, how Wikipedia became our online encyclopedia, and even ice cream kings Ben and Jerry.

Kids These Days

Kids These Days is a podcast hosted by teens, about teens. What we’re thinking about, laughing about, and stressing about. This limited-run show is a collaboration between Community High School in Ann Arbor and Michigan Radio.

Part-Time Genius

Will and Mango have lots of questions. Will we ever live without sleep? How do rats keep outsmarting humans? Where are the sunniest tax havens to hide your money? Join these Part-Time Geniuses as they dive into ridiculous topics… and discover some pretty smart stuff along the way.

Science Friday

Science Friday with Ira Flatow covers a variety of complex science topics, from the first Apollo moon landing to climate change to how exercise affects the heart. On the show’s website, listeners can access full episodes or choose from a selection of shorter segments from the episode. Related articles and videos are also available to supplement the audio.

Stuff to Blow Your Mind 

Ever wonder how the electric eel generates juice or what trypophobia is? Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick have answers, whether talking about mind-blowing mysteries or the newest scientific revelations, in this hour-long podcast.

Stuff You Missed In History Class

Little-known history comes alive three times a week in this fascinating, comprehensive podcast from the people at HowStuffWorks. With a focus on weird events, overlooked stories, and underrepresented groups, this popular series is educational, too. The extensive archive is easily searchable by topic. Teachers can find supplemental material for lessons on the civil rights movement, European history, World War II, and much more.

Stuff You Should Know 

From the people behind the award-winning website HowStuffWorks, this frequently updated podcast explains the ins and outs of everyday things from the major (“How Free Speech Works”) to the mundane (“How Itching Works”). Longer episodes and occasional adult topics such as alcohol, war, and politics make this a better choice for older listeners, but hosts Josh and Chuck keep things engaging and manage to make even complex topics relatable. And with nearly 1,000 episodes in its archive, you might never run out of new things to learn.

Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! 

NPR’s weekly current events quiz. Have a laugh and test your news knowledge while figuring out what’s real and what we’ve made up.

Working 

(possible inappropriate content)
Slate’s aptly titled podcast revolves around what Americans actually do at work, digging into the minutiae of their day-to-day lives. It explores these topics by interviewing those with interesting jobs, allowing it to explore everything from the boring parts of being a porn star to the exciting calculations of forensic anthropologists.


Sorry, this post is a little light on pictures/visual but it took me three days to research and then write this post. I should mention I am not a blogging pro but I am working on it! Maybe I will go back later and add some of the images for the podcasts? I do hope you found this post helpful and your downtime not only more enjoyable but more educational too! Please comment below if you know of a great podcast I left off or have any feedback on the article! Till next time!

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