Summer is upon us and you know what that means… family road trip time! And as tempting as it is to just stick iPads in front of your kids for the long drives while you tune into NPR, S-Town or let’s face it, Top 40… there are actually a ton of kid-friendly podcasts on the rise worth checking out.
Now, if you’re like me and try to avoid subjecting yourself to annoying kid content (and there’s a LOT of it out there), have no fear! I have scoured the interwebs in search of great podcasts for kids that won’t make your ears ring. And rather than give you a laundry list of everything I listened to, I’m just going to cherry pick the very best – the ones I would listen to even if I were driving solo.
This Podcast Has Fleas
Hands down my favorite kid-friendly podcast, “This Podcast Has Fleas” is comedy genius. The show is about a cat and a dog with dueling podcasts and I literally laughed out loud the entire time. Everything from the writing to the voice acting performances to the production quality is top notch. The show features Jay Pharoah from SNL, Emily Lynne who was in “Friends from College” and even Alec Baldwin! Now, if you’re looking for something highly educational, this may not be your top choice. But if you’re in the mood for some entertainment that will make you laugh just as hard as your kids? This one is the cat’s meow.
“Story Pirates” is a brilliant concept where a group of actors, comedians, musicians and improvisers perform actual stories written by real kids from around the country. Unsurprisingly, the stories by the kids are wildly random and imaginative and as a result, the show is wickedly funny with unexpected twists every time. What I like most about this podcast is how it inspires kids to get interested in creative writing. Any kid can submit a story and the kids whose stories get chosen actually get interviewed on the pod, another great motivator for your little ones to write their own creative tales for a chance to be pirated!
Smash Boom Best
This is a debate show where each episode features two things kids love pitted against one another, like Tacos versus Pizza or Cats versus Dogs. Although it sounds a bit simplistic, the show is actually very entertaining and packs in a lot of interesting facts I never knew. I also really like how it teaches kids the basics of debating: having a clear opening argument, a solid rebuttal and strong points to support your case. Whether you’re raising a future lawyer, politician or just looking for some fun conversation starters, this podcast is great for the whole family.
The Cabinet of Curiosities
This is a brand new history podcast that I don’t think was intended for kids but I think it is a fascinating listen for the whole family. Each 8-minute episode is a “twice weekly tour of the unbelievable, the unsettling, and the bizarre.” It goes into unusual topics like ancient computers and dice games with hidden meanings. I learned about things I had never even known existed and I know there’s nothing kids love more than weird, odd trivia. So far, the episodes that have been published feel kid-appropriate, but always a good idea to check first in case future episodes veer into a different territory.
I’m a sucker for any kid’s entertainment with a strong, female lead character and “Eleanor Amplified” does not disappoint. This is an adventure show that follows “world-famous radio reporter Eleanor…[who] foils devious plots and outwits crafty villains, all in pursuit of the big story.” Not only is this podcast very story-driven and entertaining for the whole family, but it also gives kids an appreciation for journalism early on. In the days of “fake news”, it’s so important for our kids to understand what journalism is and why good journalism matters. And in my opinion, Eleanor is the perfect heroine to do so.
I hope this list is a helpful starting point for you as you begin your next road journey – and I hope it decreases the number of “Are we there yets???” along the way. Let me know what you think of these podcasts in the comments below and holler if there’s a podcast out there you think should be on this list.