Listening to children’s programming started in the Golden Radio Era in the 1930s and continued well past the arrival of television. Kids ran home from school, eager to turn the dial and wait for the words, “It’s Howdy Doody Time! The thrill in listening to the Adventures of Little Orphan Annie, science fiction themes, such as Flash Gordon, and situational comedians like Amos and Andy. Any genre was possible, from westerns to comic book heroes, from family story hour to heroic dogs’ stories. Edge-of-your-seat entertaining maintains its popularity in the 21st century. Kids are still tuning in, engaged, and finding short, nonvisual shows entertaining and educational. Best of all—children are unknowingly practicing the skill of listening!
Accessing podcasts has numerous options for students. With parental help and approval, kids can create free accounts through Spotify, Stitcher, Kids Listen, iHeartRadio, and Tune-in. Listening without interruptions may be a challenge, unless parents are willing to commit to a one-time cost or monthly fee.
Here are 20 podcasts that your child may enjoy!
Stories Podcast: A Bedtime Story, available for free on Stitcher and iTunes
Started on June 21st, 2020, “Stories” provides an original, 10 to 20-minute weekly story appropriate for all age levels. It features the retelling of classics, folktales, and international myths. Unfortunately, most podcasts begin with the introduction of a sponsor.
The Tiny Potters: A Kid Led Harry Potter Podcast, available for free on Kids Listen
Two brothers, Anderson and Addison, sought to begin a kid-themed podcast discussing the seven-book series Harry Potter. Ranging from 10 to 22 minutes, listeners, across 14 episodes, can develop new or familiar interest in minor characters, from Professor Albus Dumbledore to Hagrid’s dragon, Norbert, to magical objects, such as the sorting hat and the mirror of Erised. Afterward, listeners may start reading the series!
The Show about Science, available on Kids Listen
Kids who love the “wondrous world of scientific research and discovery” can join Nate and his professional guests to explore curious topics about science, such as Asian carp, nanotechnology, and planetary geology. Across four years, Nate, now nine, has 82 episodes, and features science experiments on YouTube.
The Story Seeds, available on Spotify, Stitcher, Kids Listen, iHeartRadio, and more.
In February 2020, the idea was implemented to create original stories combining authors with a young writer ranging in age from six years old to 12. Each episode, ranging from 20 to 40 minutes, features the brainstorming process of writing and ends with reading. A follow-up podcast features a 20 to 40-minute interview with every featured writer to promote books and learn more about the creative writing process.
The Music Box, available on Kids Listen and iHeartRadio
Young music lovers will enjoy engaging in an interactive musical podcast. Topics include classical composers, musical terms, instrumental families, and creating homemade instruments. For the past three years, each season provided ten episodes lasting approximately 15 minutes each.
What If World, available on Stitcher
Kids who ask wacky questions such as “What if a tiny dragon lived in my closet” or “What if trees went to school?” receive answers as stories. Husband and wife team Eric and Karen O’Keeffe developed over 172 episodes ranging from 9 to 22 minutes in this popular, hilarious podcast!
Story Pirates, available on iHeartRadio
iHeartRadio awarded Story Pirates as this year’s best kids and family podcast! Among the top-three favorites, the show features songs and sketches written by children. Special guests include notable names, such as Julie Andrews (Mary Poppins) and Kristen Bell (Frozen). Children can access www.storypirates.com to listen to the show, receive activities, and submit original stories.
The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd, available on Stitcher
Since November 2004, the world’s most brilliant scientist, Dr. Floyd, has offered children a perspective of people and events that shaped the world’s history. Titles include “Annie, are You Oakley?” and “All’s Wells That Ends Welles.”
For ten minutes to an hour, thousands of podcasts are available to bring back the Golden Era of Radio. Whether she or he is holding an iPhone, Kindle, or laptop, there’s an enthralling show or story waiting to be heard! Press play! Happy listening!