Your kid’s new favourite magazine might just be … a podcast? That’s right, Goofus and Gallant from Highlights magazine are going high-tech, and they’re not alone. They’re joining rebel girls, talking cats and dogs and even pirate comedians on the list of some of the best podcasts for young children.
From tooth-brushing tips to fabulous folktales, these fresh podcasts prove that audio shows have come into their own. With creative offerings featuring lively narration, original songs, and occasional big-name guest stars, even the youngest listeners can get in on the action. Now road trips and activities that used to be a chore can be transformed into fun, educational experiences for the whole family.
If you’re a podcast newbie, check out the 25 Best Podcasts for Kids article on the Common Sense Media website, which offers other recommendations for kids of all ages. Otherwise, open up your favourite audio app and dive into these age-appropriate picks for preschoolers and little kids.
Chompers is a bite-sized, twice-daily podcast meant to encourage kids to brush their teeth for the full dentist-recommended two minutes. Each morning and night, kids can enjoy short quizzes, fun facts, stories, riddles, and jokes, all with gentle reminders to get the front, back, and tops of their teeth. There are even morning cliffhangers to encourage you to come back for your nighttime brush.
Circle Round is an engaging, gentle storytime podcast aimed at kids. In every episode, narrator Rebecca Sheir tells a lesser-known folktale or story from around the world, helped by a rotating voice cast of talented stage and screen actors. The stories are captivating and compelling and nearly always accompanied by a positive message or moral.
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls
Rebels of all genders will be enthralled by the Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls podcast, based on the best-selling book by the same name, with inspiring biographies of historical women read by inspiring modern women. These true stories are fascinating bits of history told simply enough that kids will be able to follow them. It’s hard not to feel empowered after listening to a few episodes.
The minds behind the kids’ podcast Wow in the World have transformed the popular magazine Highlights into a high-energy audio series. Classic favorites from the magazine like “Goofus and Gallant,” “Ask Arizona,” and “Hidden Pictures” (or, in this case, “The Hidden Sounds Game”) are reimagined as variety show segments, cheerfully guided along by hosts Tim and Juanita.
This Podcast Has Fleas
With a hilarious concept and a fantastic voice cast, This Podcast Has Fleas is a delight for all ages. The premise is that two family pets — an exuberant dog named Waffles and a cool cat named Jones — have dueling podcasts where they talk about what’s going on in the house from their (obviously superior) perspectives. Dog people and cat people will be howling with laughter.
Little Stories for Tiny People
The whimsical, soothing stories on this podcast are perfect for preschoolers, but “big people” will appreciate them, too. Host Rhea Pechter’s melodic voice and the recurring cast of animal friends will delight young kids. And the clever, well-crafted stories touch on age-appropriate messages and topics.
Nothing can really match a kid’s original story in terms of absurd comedy. And that’s what’s at the heart of this wacky, wild, imaginative podcast. In each episode, the Story Pirates crew — a group of talented improvisers pretending to be pirates — read short stories written and submitted by kids, then re-enact them with hilarious results. There are even original songs, famous guest stars, and interviews with the young authors about how it feels to have their work adapted.
How to listen to podcasts
It can be daunting for a first-timer to enter the world of podcasts, but digital tools have made it easier than ever. Podcasts are available to stream online or with a “podcatcher,” an app you can download specifically for podcasts. Here are some popular options for listening:
Podcasts. The original podcast app (only available for Apple iOS)
Stitcher Radio for Podcasts. “Stitch” together custom podcast playlists with this mobile app
Pocket Casts. A mobile app with a sleek, easy-to-use interface
SoundCloud. An online audio-streaming platform for podcasts as well as music (also an app)
Search an app or website by topic and start exploring science, sports, movies and more. And don’t forget to subscribe! Subscribing lets the app push new episodes directly to your device as soon as they’re available, so you’ll always have the latest update at your fingertips.
Reprinted courtesy of Common Sense Media