Summer’s not over yet and that may mean you have some car trips coming up. Or, perhaps, you just want to give your kids some screen-free learning opportunities? Here are some excellent podcasts, on a variety of topics and themes, to enjoy, selected by Josh Carlson, Manager of Youth Services. Also, be sure to check out Part 1 in this series of podcast recommendations as well as recommendations for Great Podcasts for Parents and Caregivers.
All of these podcasts should be available on any service you use to listen to podcasts, such as Apple Podcasts, Apple Music, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, etc.
If you have some additional great podcast recommendations, leave them in the comments below!
At Your Level
Ari Kelly was 10 when he started this podcast after his school closed due to COVID-19. Since then, he’s gone on to create a podcast covering a wide range of topics of interest to kids his age, from the entertaining and downright silly to the serious – from video games, dad jokes and superheroes to the concept of time, birthdays during a pandemic and careers. One of the really cool parts is the podcast’s interactive using Zoom and the podcast’s website. Other kids are able to take part – asking questions, solving riddles, being involved, recording content. School Library Journal says of At Your Level, “It offers hope and teaches kids relevant values such as resiliency and creativity.” You can learn more about Ari Kelly and the inspiring and interesting story of the At Your Level podcast in this issue of Podcast Magazine.
From the people that produce the A Kids Book About… series of books, and specifically A Kids Book About Adventure, this podcast brings the “summer camp” experience to wherever your child is. Stories, camp songs, activities and entertainment that are full of “the exploration of trying new things and togetherness.”
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls
Spinning out of the fantastic book series of the same name (available on Library Catalog / OverDrive & Libby), Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is stories of incredible women and girls told by incredible women and girls, historical and contemporary. So much to listen to with 3.5 years, and counting, of episodes available.
Good Stuff Kids
If you and your kids like good kids music, but also are interested in the creators of good music, Good Stuff Kids is a great podcast for you! Featuring interviews with different musicians, across the entire spectrum of music. While there is a strong emphasis on younger kids-focused music (kindie rock, kindie folk, etc), the show does at times go broader and deeper, and the conversations on inspiration and craft are great for budding musicians to hear. The roster of illustrious guests includes luminaries in the kid-music field such as Raffi, Dan Zanes, members of the Wiggles, Frances England, Elizabeth Mitchell, Tracey Bonham, Elena Moon Park, The Not Its, Tim Kubart, Lucky Diaz, Oran Etkin, Sharon & Bram (of Sharon, Lois & Bram), and many more!
The Past and the Curious
Delving into the little known aspects of famous people and events, this entertaining history podcast is sure to intrigue and educate your kids (and you!).
Short & Curly
Short & Curly explores ethics and morality, through interesting questions and silliness. A great podcasts for kids to listen solo, but also another wonderful opportunity for together listening to sparking thoughtful family conversations. Recommended for elementary school aged kids.
Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child
Like Saturday Morning Cereal Bowl in the last Great Podcasts for Kids, Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child is a “radio show” format family-friendly music podcast produced by big name musicians (They Might Be Giants, Snoop Lion, others) featuring big name music guests. Some seriously awesome music to be heard here,
From Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child:
We’re radio nerds, and we want to raise another generation of radio nerds. That means a set that starts with Elvis Costello, switches to Brooklyn history-oriented family rock band the Deedle Deedle Dees, and then pivots to Guided By Voices, or one that starts with British folk punker Frank Turner, then family hip-hop artist Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, and finishes up with Earth Wind & Fire. Check out some recent playlists and you’ll get the idea. It’s Kidz Bop- and condescension-free, and genuinely curated, not randomly generated. It is good radio, period, not just good-for-kids.
Science, facts, fun and more, to learn about animals, the environment, and conservation from with biologists and zoologists. It’s like if you mashed Ranger Rick magazine, the Wild Kratt’s TV show, and Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, in a blender and created a kids podcast.
Noodle Loaf is hard to define. It’s an amazing blend of amazing music and songwriting, along with fun and games, AND science learning. Short, silly, great for preschoolers and up. One of NYT’s Top 5 Music Podcasts for Kids.
Tumble explores the stories behind science experiments and scientists, while providing a huge dose of learning and entertainment along the way.
Books, Reading & Stories Podcasts
Speaking of Mary Poppins, I mean, Julie Andrews, in Julie’s Library, she and her daughter, author and educator Emma Walton Hamilton, read their favorite children’s books. Recommended for younger kids.
The Story Seeds
Kids collaborate with bestselling authors to create stories. The author crafts a story from their work together, and then you listen to the story. It’s as awesome as it sounds.
I’ve seen this described in several places as Drunk History, without the alcohol. Kids create original stories and then a cast of improvisers, actors and comedians tell them. Story Pirates won the 2020 iHeartRadio Award for Best Kids and Family Podcast, and has featured talented guest players such as Lin-Manuel Miranda, Julie Andrews, Claire Danes, John Oliver, and Kristen Bell.
“Tails and Tales” Compiled Podcast Episodes from School Library Journal
SLJ has put together three age-range lists (Elementary, Middle School and High School) of episodes of podcasts related to the summer reading theme, “Tails and Tales,” featuring a wide variety of of stories, fables, and folk tales, as well as interviews and STEM learning.