Whether you’re looking for a way to keep peace in the car, fill the time until dinner, or calm down before bedtime, these story podcasts for kids will become your new favorite family pastime!
Are you a podcast-listener? I wasn’t…until about a year ago when I finally dipped my toe in the water. Once I’d had a taste, I jumped enthusiastically on the bandwagon.
Do you know what really converted me to podcasts, though? I’ll give you a hint…it wasn’t a “grown-up” podcast (although I do have a few I love…try 3 in 30 and the Brooke Snow Podcast).
What turned me into a regular listener and an avid fan was…
I discovered a whole world of story podcasts for kids that are phenomenal. They are high-quality, creative, and entertaining.
Why story podcasts for kids are so great
They’re perfect for car rides. We love audio books for long trips, but when we’re driving for 20-30 minutes, I want something shorter. A 15-20 minute podcast is the perfect answer. It keeps everyone occupied, stops the “he’s-kicking-my-seat!” bickering, and makes the time pass quickly. Before we know it, we’re pulling up to our destination, and everyone’s happy!
They exercise kids’ imaginations. These podcasts are produced by master storytellers who use vivid imagery, dramatic voices, and music to bring their stories to life. Unlike like watching a screen, which encourages passive consumption, listening to a story engages the imagination as you picture the story unfolding in your mind. This is a critical skill for children. It’s a great alternative to TV (not that I’m completely against screen time; I just like having options).
They are a great way to calm down and reset. You know those moments in the late afternoon when everyone is tired, and hungry, and generally getting on everyone else’s nerves? Podcasts are perfect for those moments.
When my kids are being too crazy for my tired mama brain, or when they’ve been fighting and need a break, or when they are upset that none of their friends can play, I love to pull out a podcast to help us all chill out.
Sometimes we lay on the grass in the backyard and eat a snack, sometimes we snuggle on the couch, and sometimes I gather everyone to the table with paper and crayons and we draw while we listen. Sometimes I listen with them, and close my eyes for a much needed break. Other times, I get them settled and then sneak off to do dishes. Fifteen minutes later, the story ends, everyone is feeling calmer (including me!), and we can carry on with our day.
For the record, there are also a fair number of mediocre, mildly annoying podcasts for kids as well. We’ve tried a lot of podcasts in the last year…
These are the ones we listen to over and over. You’re going to love them!
Our favorite story podcasts for kids
#1 – Circle Round
This is the first story podcast we ever listened to, and it’s still our absolute favorite. Each week this NPR-produced show retells folktales from around the world that promote messages of kindness and generosity. If you are a new podcast-listener, this is the place to start.
Recommended Episodes: Rabbit’s Wish, Every Other Friday
#2 – Grim, Grimmer, Grimmest
If you’ve ever read the original versions of the classic fairy tales written by the Brothers Grimm, you know just how bizarre they are; brilliant storyteller Adam Gidwitz tells a new one each week with a perfect balance of humor and drama. What makes this podcast unique is that he records the story as he tells it to a class of kids, inviting their participation…and lots of laughter.
Recommended Episodes: The Peasant’s Clever Daughter, The Iron Stove
#3 – Classical Kids Storytime
Music brings stories to life, and Minnesota Classsic Radio does it best by pairing classic fairy tales and folktales with classical music from all the greats throughout history. Hear the tale of Cinderella with music from Rossini’s famous opera, or dance along to Tchaikovsky’s beloved music while listening to the story of Clara and her Nutcracker prince. I love that this podcast helps remove the stigma of classical music as boring and makes it relatable and entertaining for kids!
Recommended Episodes: Cinderella, The Nutcracker
#4 – The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian
If your kids love space, robots, and funny stories, they will love listening to the adventures that Finn (an eight-year-old boy) and his friends have aboard the Marlowe 280 Interplanetary Exploratory Space Station…and the planets they explore. It’s lots of fun, high-interest for kids, and the quirky robot regularly elicits belly laughs from my silliness-loving six-year-old.
Recommended Episodes: This is a serialized podcast, so be sure to start at the beginning!
#5 – Story Pirates
Part musical storytelling, part improv comedy, the Story Pirates take stories written by kids and turn them into full-fledged musical productions…funny, wild, and completely ridiculous. We got to see these guys perform live with the Utah Symphony last year, and I’ve never heard so much laughter at a symphony. Fair warning: This podcast is really high-energy and zany, so I wouldn’t suggest it for calming down at bedtime, but my kids think it’s hilarious.
Recommended Episodes: The Wizard Who Could Just Go Poof, Rosie the Rose
#6 – Story Seeds Podcast
The former English teacher in me just loves the concept of this podcast. Each episode features an original story inspired by a young author (ages 6-12) and brought to life by a famous published author. You get to listen in on their collaboration session, then enjoy the reveal of the final story…read by that week’s featured author. It’s a fabulous way to expose kids to the writing process as well as hear some new and wacky stories by some amazing published authors!
Recommended Episodes: The View From The Top (with Chris Grabenstein), The Magic Seed (with Dan Gutman)
Are you a podcast-loving family? What are your favorites? Tell me in the comments below!
Want more ideas for ways to have fun with your kids? Try these!
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