The Ultimate Guide to Podcasts for Kids: Our Top Picks For All Ages

The Bark Team | January 03, 2024 | Culture & Media

collection of popular podcasts for kids

With all the different forms of entertainment available to kids nowadays, podcasts can easily get lost among all the YouTube shorts and Fortnite battles. But podcasting is just as vast and popular, with over 90 million weekly podcast listeners in America alone. And there are tons of quality podcasts for kids that will actually grab and keep their attention. 

Podcasts are like modern-day radio and can be about almost any subject you can think of. But unlike the radio, you don’t have to wait to listen to your favorite show — you can stream it on demand any time you like, 24/7. And the best part — podcasts are super easy to find on most devices and platforms, such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, and Stitcher. 

We've put together everything parents need to know to introduce their kids to podcasts, including our top picks for the best podcasts for kids. Let’s dive in! 

Why Should My Kid Listen to Podcasts?

Podcasts are an awesome way for kids to learn new things in a fun, more personal way. No matter what your child is interested in, there’s most likely a podcast about it. 

Here are some benefits of podcasts for kids:

  • They’re educational: Podcasts can allow kids to learn without feeling like they’re being lectured to. Some subjects that may be a drag in school can easily be made more interesting in a podcast. 
  • They’re entertaining: One of the best things about podcasts is that they’re super entertaining — and it doesn’t involve staring at a screen! Podcasts for kids can be just as entertaining as TV or video games, but it doesn’t have to count towards their screen time for the day. 
  • They help build listening skills: With podcasts, it’s a pure listening experience. Getting kids to focus on information enhances focus and comprehension skills. It helps kids follow narratives, understand different voices, and grasp complex ideas.
  • They support language learning: Exposure to diverse vocabulary and sentence structures in podcasts can help with language development and communication skills — no matter their age!

Best podcasts for kids under 5 years old

Kids under the age of 5 tend to have shorter attention spans and are still developing their listening comprehension skills. It’s best to stick to podcasts with very simple vocabulary and episodes that are short and entertaining. Podcasts with simple stories, engaging music, and repetitive concepts are great for kids under the age of 5.

Story Pirates

Story Pirates takes story ideas from kids themselves and turns them into creative and fun sketches and audio stories. These stories will have your kids giggling away in the backseat with a new story every week. Parents will also love hearing some familiar voices on Story Pirates, from Kristen Bell to Julie Andrews. 

Circle Round

It’s like story time but better. Circle Round shares folktales from around the world, filled with music and engaging storytelling — perfect for younger kids. There is also a digital component with visuals that can be used to create an immersive podcast experience.

Story Seeds

Similar to Story Pirates, this podcast uses ideas submitted by young listeners as seeds. Then, in each episode, the author and host take that seed and turn it into a whimsical and engaging story that kids will completely fall in love with.

Best podcasts for kids 6–10 years old

At this age, podcasts can help target critical thinking skills and include even more educational components to elevate their learning. Interactive elements are a great way to keep 6-10-year-olds engaged with their podcasts. While there can be more variety here, stories that are easy to follow with recurring themes can make podcasts easier to follow for this age group.

Grimm, Grimmer, Grimmest

Though this one sounds a little grim, it’s actually a play on the Brothers Grimm, who originally wrote some of the most famous fairy tales, like Cinderella and Hansel and Gretel. With engaging storytelling, vibrant soundscapes, and a touch of humor, Grimm, Grimmer, Grimmest introduces young listeners to familiar stories with unexpected twists, keeping them entertained while exploring the stranger sides of these tales. 

The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian

This serialized science fiction podcast follows Finn Caspian — an 8-year-old boy — and his friends as they explore the universe. It’s like a weekly TV series but in audio format. With over 11 seasons, kids can enjoy intergalactic adventures, blending space exploration, friendship, and problem-solving lessons. The characters are relatable and similar in age, making it a fun choice for kids aged 6–10.

But Why?

We all know kids love to ask why. So, help satisfy their curious minds with a podcast designed to answer exactly that question. Every episode, this podcast covers diverse topics—ranging from science and nature to culture and history. But Why? encourages children to ask questions and approach the world with a curious mind. Not only will your child uncover facts about some of the most fascinating topics, it will keep them entertained for hours.

Best podcasts for teens 11–14 years old

Once kids hit their tween and teen years, they generally have much stronger language and information-processing skills. Here’s where more complex themes can be appropriate. Kids at this age tend to develop more specific interests, so it can be helpful to pick podcasts that are relevant to their interests.

Smash Boom Best

Smash Boom Best is hosted by kids, and in it the hosts turn those heated dining room table debates into podcast episodes. And when we say debates, we mean the serious kind — like pizza vs. tacos. Not only will kids learn fun facts about new topics each week, but they’ll also get a taste of debate. Smash Boom Best encourages kids to consider diverse perspectives, form their own opinions, and develop strong reasoning skills as they navigate the exciting world of debates and friendly competition. Kids can also come back and vote for who they think won after every episode.

Stuff You Should Know

This one is like the But Why? podcast but for a slightly older audience. Stuff You Should Know is essentially a grab bag of random topics that the hosts, Josh and Chuck, research and share with listeners in a lighthearted and comedic way. They cover everything you can think of — from the scientific reason we have body odor to the fascinating history of journaling. Some episodes may cover some mature material, such as war or drugs, which is why we put it in the 11–14 category. 

The Big Fib

In a world where Fake News has become an all-too-common phrase, The Big Fib teaches kids valuable critical thinking skills. It’s a game show format podcast where each week, a kid interviews two experts. But here’s the catch: one of them isn’t an expert. As kids dig through fun facts and witty conversation, they start to uncover which one is the imposter.

Stuff You Missed In History Class

This one’s for the kids who fancy themselves as history buffs. Hosted by enthusiastic and passionate historians, Stuff You Missed In History Class dives into some of the lesser-known events in history. It encourages students to go beyond what they learn in school and to get a different perspective on the world that came before them. Episodes are well-researched and cited, making it perfect for those looking to impress their peers or go above and beyond on their next history assignment.

Best podcasts for teens 15–18 years old

As older kids, they can be exposed to more mature subjects. They can also handle more complex themes that require strong comprehension skills. 

The Mortified Podcast

By this point, all teens will be familiar with all the embarrassing moments that come with growing up. The Mortified Podcast makes those feelings and experiences feel normal with real-life stories by adults from their teen years. The relatable stories can help older teens in the long yet gratifying journey of self-discovery. Plus, the stories are sometimes downright funny. Hopefully, listening teens can learn to not take themselves and their “mortifying” experiences too seriously. 

Grown, a podcast from The Moth 

Very similar to The Mortified Podcast, Grown is a collection of stories told by people from all walks of life. And many stories are told by adolescents themselves, giving it a relatable and empowering quality for teens listening. The podcast encourages the idea that everyone has a unique perspective to share and we can learn the most by listening to perspectives very different from our own. 

TED Talks

You might be familiar with TED Talks. But if not, they’re a not-for-profit organization whose goal is to spread ideas and knowledge around the world. While they host many talks live and on YouTube, they also have a podcast. While subjects can vary, it’s a treasure trove of inspiration, knowledge, and diverse perspectives. Talks cover topics ranging from science and technology to personal development, social issues, and creativity. While some topics can be more mature or complex than others, many older teens will love learning from experts in these episodes.

Explore the world of podcasts with Bark

If you and your child haven't explored the world of podcasts, now is the perfect time to start! But, like anything in the digital world, not everything is always safe for your kids. Fortunately, Bark makes it easy for the entire family to explore podcasts while staying safe. Bark can help you block inappropriate sites and apps, as well as scan your child’s device for concerning content and send you alerts. We can even monitor Spotify and send you an alert if your child is listening to a podcast or song with inappropriate content. Learn more about how Bark can help your family and start your free, 7-day trial today!

About Bark

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