Headphones at the ready!
We’re always trying to get our kids away from screens, and rightly so! There have been plenty of studies to prove what effect too much screen time can have on little minds. At the same time, we struggle to help our kids keep up with modern life and not fall behind because of our own outdated parenting notions. Enter podcasts! They’re all the rage and yet, don’t involve kids getting glassy-eyed staring at a screen (all you’ll need to do is monitor is the volume!). That’s why we’ve lined up some of the best podcasts for kids to help inspire your little ones.
Your child may be most interested in:
We’re fans of this series, the books and now the podcasts. There’s no better way to break out of the “pretty princesses in pink and purple” mould than by reading these bedtime stories of real-life women who overcame adversity and achieved something extraordinary. Even Rebel Mamas like us need downtime sometimes, so put on the kids’ volume-controlled headphones and let them enjoy these stories as they wind down for the day. In the same vein, listen to Fierce Girls from Australia.
All kids love pirates so they’re bound to love Story Pirates! This collection of stories, sourced from all around the world, are written by kids themselves and brought to life with the help of talented actors and performers.
If your kids prefer to listen to fairytales like Snow White or classics like Peter Rabbit, you’re sure to find something they’ll like here. Occasionally, they do feature original content as well. This one is suitable for children of all ages.
Science & Learning
This is a classic from the National Public Radio (NPR) in the US. It takes complex topics like climate change and black holes and explains it in a way that’s easy for kids (and their parents!) to follow. Highly recommended for all curious young learners.
This one is hosted by kid scientists and reporters from public radio. The hosts take on and answer questions from listeners. Your children can learn about everything from genetics to the plastic problem. The makers have also launched another interesting podcast – Smash Boom Best – where kids and their families get to debate certain topics. It’s interesting to teach children how to defend their ideas.
The more we forget history, the more likely we are to repeat it! Founder of The Past and The Curious, Mike Sullivan, is on a mission to share true stories of inspiration, humour and the incredible (but under-shared) achievements of diverse people. This podcast is sure to spark curiosity in both you and your child.
Emotional & Cultural Learning
This is a favourite with the Sassy Mama team. The topics are thought-provoking and the views, refreshingly honest. You should monitor and listen to these with your teen (a word of caution – there is frequent swearing so it’s best for balanced and mature teens) to get them to increase empathy and awareness. Do listen to this selection of pieces that kids seem to like.
While this is technically a story time podcast, the emphasis is always on an important message – often kindness, honesty and hard work. Each episode (which last up to 20 minutes) ends with an activity for parents and their children, which encourages deeper discussion and understanding of the topic. This gem is also brought to us by NPR.
This podcast features stories of gender and culture from all over the world. It’s made and curated by Lilly Bekele-Piper, who was born in Ethiopia and raised in different parts of the US, before settling in Kenya. Given the founder’s diverse background, this podcast celebrates people’s roots and how they strive to raise themselves and better their lives.
Created by a father who specialises in music education and his children, Noodle Loaf is well designed, with lots of fun, games and music for children. You can even get your kids to join in on the show. Get in touch with the hosts and your little one could be part of the theme song, which features an impressive number of children.
A mystery series for children (that’ll keep your kids away from the criminally-good autoplay function on Netflix!). This series has won a Peabody Award and features a voice cast of middle-schoolers. The story is about an 11-year-old who’s looking for his friends who have mysteriously disappeared. It’s like X-Files meets Stranger Things, but for tweens.
You’re bound to have a lot of fun with this series if you sit down to listen to it with your child. The protagonist, Eleanor, is a gutsy and witty journalist, always on the lookout for her next big scoop. The sound effects are great, ensuring you’ll be completely enthralled in this tale of adventure.
A must-listen-to for everyone who is interested in the news. It’s a great way for older kids to get up to speed with what’s happening in the world around them. The Daily consists of 25-minute episodes, produced five days a week. It’s hosted by Michael Barbaro and his elaborate pauses and thoughtful questions are often exactly on a listener’s mind. Each episode delves deep into one topic – from the Amazon fires to the Boeing 747 Max crashes.
This podcast offers a satirical look at the world’s news, so is best suited for tweens and teens. Lead host, Andy Zaltzman’s clever use of language is a pleasure to listen to, as witty as it is informative, as he is joined by co-hosts from all over the world. It calls itself “an audio newspaper for a visual world” and originally featured John Oliver.