If your family is anything like mine, we spend a lot of time in the car. Sometimes it’s short trips to school and sports and other times it’s driving to see family or go skiing. I thought winter would mean less time in the car. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Somehow, we’re in the car even more, traveling all over New England. To help with the entertainment, I’ve been searching for new (to me) podcasts my kids will enjoy and won’t bore me to tears. Podcasts are a screen-free way to pass the time in the car, on a snow day, or when you just need a break. If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out this other list of awesome podcasts. I’ve expanded the list, thanks in part to suggestions from you, our dear readers!
Here are 5 podcasts kids will love. Prepare to be entertained, delighted and maybe even smarter after listening.
‘Mars Patel’ truly is the best podcast I’ve listened to (kid or adult) since the first season of Serial. Mars Patel is a middle-school student who, along with his friends, is on a mission to find two friends who have disappeared without any explanation. This fun and imaginative story is told from a child’s perspective by some very talented child actors. There are two seasons (so far) and you’ll be glad because the program is so enthralling you won’t want it to end. Rumor has it that a television show is in the works, and I can’t wait. Give this award-winning podcast a chance, you will not regret it.
Circle Round takes classic folk-tales from around the world and adapts them for a modern audience. The 10-20 minute episodes are performed by well-known actors and ask challenging questions and spark thought provoking discussions. Circle Round is produced by WBUR, an NPR station in Boston. The program explores themes such as generosity, responsibility and persistence, and we all know the world could use more of all of those values.
Terrible name aside, Short and Curly lets listeners become philosophers and ethicists. Produced by Australians (cool accents included), Short and Curly uses storytelling to prompt “thought experiments” which help kids in exploring consequences of the decisions they make. This podcast is aimed at 5-12 year olds, but younger kids with some ability to think abstractly may also enjoy it. My four year-old had some interesting opinions on fairness after we listened to the episode about classroom fairness.
But Why? seeks to answer the interesting and curious questions of children from all over the world. But Why? takes listeners on field trips to explore and talk to experts. The program goes beyond answering the original question to spark curiosity and imagination in listeners. Topics range from silly (“Why Do Bicycles Stand up?) to intense (“What Is The End Of The World Going To Feel Like?”). Be sure to check out the episode entitled “How Do You Talk To Kids About Violence In the News?” an episode produced for parents in response to a mass shooting.
Eleanor Amplified is a fictional world-famous reporter who follows her leads wherever they take her, through the halls of Congress, out to sea and even into orbit. While entertaining and enthralling listeners, Eleanor Amplified explores adult issues of journalistic integrity, truth-telling, and the value of access to information in a way that’s accessible to kids. This podcast is best for kids 7 and older.
I hope that you find these podcasts as enjoyable as my family does. Please share other gems that you have heard.