ORLANDO, Fla. – Instead of playing "Baby Shark" on repeat while on a road trip or replaying the latest Disney movie for the millionth time, try exposing your child to a podcast.
You may be thinking NPR or your favorite sports radio show, but there are series made for kids and some curated with the help of kids. A recent Kids Listen survey revealed podcasts are a great way to pull your child away from the screens and provide engaging entertainment while making them exercise other senses, beyond their eyes.
Kids Listen advocates for high quality content for children, making sure sounds are ethical and appropriate for young listeners. The nonprofit has been studying how kids engage with podcasts and learned kids are likely to listen to an episode more than once. About three-fourths of the parents surveyed say their kids become curious and start discussions based on the podcasts they listen to.
Point is, they seem to have a positive impact on kids. Plus, they tend to be entertaining and subtly educational.
Don’t know where to start? Below you’ll find a list of family-friendly podcasts that are great for kids 12 and under. You may even find yourself wanting to listen to the next episode even if your child isn’t around.
It’s news for kids.
The podcast was created by four Emmy Award-winning journalists and together they make a daily five-minute news podcasts on topics meant for kids. Think New York Times The Daily, but shorter and more age appropriate. Since the podcast is meant for young ones, there’s no talk of murder, terrorism, assault or anything gruesome. They also stray away from politics. It’s just meant to pique your child’s interest in the news of the world. There’s even a short quiz on the news briefing at the end, so kids can stay engaged. You can double-dip and get your news briefing too. This podcast is meant for kids ages 8-14.
A more whimsical approach to history but still informative.
The show is meant for the curious kids who may wonder how we got to the present day. Even if they’re not interested in ye old times, creator Mick Sullivan tries to create episodes filled with inspiration, humor and highlight those in history that may have not made the history books. He uses friends and family to tell these historic moments.
Episodes range from the critter that accompanied Lewis and Clark and historical hoaxes that made April Fool’s history.
Episodes are on the longer side but you won’t notice with the quirky storytelling.
If your child is into music or hip-hop, Flyest Fables may be more their rhythm. It’s stories of the 21st century. Episodes follow the main character Antoine, a young boy bullied in school. He finds a magical book that takes him into the world of Princess Keisha, who is on a quest to save her mom and the Kingdom of Orleans.
The podcast is currently in its second season, but Flyest Fables has already tackled some heavy topics in a kid-friendly way. Antoine learns about homelessness, people with different skin tones and other topics that might be hard for a parent to explain. Creator Morgan Givens addresses the tough topics through Antoine’s adventures. Parents may find some modern twists to older, familiar stories or recognize some of the adventures Antoine goes on.
Flyest Fables is known to start household discussions, so take a listen with your child so you can talk about Antoine’s adventures too. This podcast is recommended from young kids to tweens.
“We’re serious about being curious.”
This is a podcast for the kids into dinosaurs and slime. Brains On covers all topics on the science spectrum, explaining feelings like sadness and happiness to addressing ants. It even pits Ice Age vs. Jurassic discussing which is the better pre-historic period.
Each week, a different kid co-host joins adult host Molly Bloom to find answers to fascinating questions about the world. With more than 100 episodes, these fascinating can get dangerously close to gross topics. You should decide ahead of time if you want your child to know where their poop and pee goes. This podcast is recommended for anyone curious about the world.
It’s old-timey, a little bit cheesy and just as fun.
The adventure series follows the world-famous radio reporter Eleanor Amplified. She foils devious plots and outwits crafty villains all while in pursuit of the big story as a journalist.
This she-ro explores natural disaster preparedness and uncovers fake news. The old-time radio show has modern conveniences like cell phones and today’s technology but has all the old-time flair. The episodes are amusing and relatively short. It’s like a cartoon but in a podcast format.
You’ll enjoy the sounds of Eleanor’s adventures. This podcast was meant for kids between the ages of 8 and 12.
Do you have a child that constantly asks outlandish “what if” questions? How are you supposed to answer what if sabretooth tigers could be ninjas? Or what if weasels could fly?
Luckily, there’s a podcast for that.
What If World takes in kid questions and dedicates an episode to some of the wildest ideas. The episodes are told in the form of stories in about 20 minutes. There’s a point to the stories, each adventure intertwines a lesson. It may not be obvious between the zombies, dinosaurs and ninjas but your child is sure to get a moral lesson and a few giggles out of an episode.
Kids aged 7-11 would likely enjoy this podcast.
There are a number of kid-friendly podcasts. If you have any suggestions, let us know in the comments. Make sure to tell us if you try one of these out.