Podcasts are great for giving you the scoop on almost anything. The problem is, not all podcasts are appropriate for listening to with your family. Like these true crime podcasts, for example.
Which is where we come in. Using this list as a guide, you can turn podcast listening into an activity for all ages. It’s filled with clean, informative podcasts that will keep adults and kids entertained and engaged for hours.
1. Science Vs.
As you might guess from the name, this is a science-based podcast. It offers a contrasting and sound alternative to the fads, trends, and strong opinions that capture headlines. Wendy Zukerman hosts it, and she’s certainly up to the task. Zukerman has worked for New Scientist Magazine and the Australian Broadcasting Corp. More recently, she created this podcast.
What can you expect from it? The subjects center on topics that matter to society. Recent episodes focused on renewable energy, vaccines, and balding. You can also look forward to subjects that are a bit unexpected. For example, the show covered Bigfoot, too.
This is a prime pick for your family because it taps into humans’ natural curiosity. Also, all episodes are approximately half an hour in length. That’s long enough to elaborate on a theme, but not too long to cause boredom.
This podcast markets itself as the longest-running, family-friendly, professionally produced option online. It’s existed since 2004, but really took off once podcasts became more popular. Each episode is a weekly, five-minute, science-fiction serial. It stars Dr. Floyd, a brilliant scientist, plus his arch nemesis, Dr. Steve. Think of the show as something similar to the old-time radio hours of past eras.
Doug Price and Grant Baciocco multitask as the show’s creators, writers, and people behind numerous character voices. Various other cast members also take part. There are eight seasons of the show so far, giving you plenty of content to enjoy.
The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd has won a Parsec Award for excellence in sci-fi podcasting. It has also received multiple Podcast Peer Awards in the Fiction Podcast and Family-Friendly Podcast categories. The episodic, short-form nature of this one should get your family excited about tuning in to this worthy option.
TED talks are short, themed presentations by people who aim to encourage alternative viewpoints. Many of the podcasts debunk myths or offer surprising outcomes. The TED Talks available online in the Kids and Family category relate to one or both topics. However, use your best judgment about whether to stream a particular episode for your family. For example, one discusses learning from 100 days of rejection. It might not be ideal for a kindergartner.
There are various topics to learn about, though. They range from the physics of everyday life to DIY projects for kids who love engineering. The podcast lengths vary too, from short to medium. The speakers describe their subjects passionately and typically cater to their audiences. Both of these things make the TED Talks fascinating.
If you have never been interested in history, this podcast might change your mind. It covers diverse, historical topics with uncommon slants. The current hosts are Tracy V. Wilson and Holly Frey.
Learn about women of the Reformation Era or two green-skinned children from the 12th century. The U.S.S. Akron aircraft carrier and the construction of Disney’s Haunted Mansion ride are also covered. All the podcasts are highly educational. However, please note that some include subject matter (like murders) that could upset young kids.
Consider Storynory a potential substitute for your voice when your child won’t get settled to sleep. It features a new story each week. Natasha-Lee Lewis and her friends read each one beautifully. The content includes original stories, Greek mythology, fairytales, and more.
If your family collectively loves space travel and outer space, the podcasts produced by NASA are perfect. There are several to check out, so make sure to give all of them a listen at least once.
NASA X discusses new technologies and the people involved in bringing them to life. You might also like What’s Up, a podcast offered by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It gives guidance on what to do to see the moon, stars, and planets in the sky. Even better for visual learners, it’s a video podcast.
Space To Ground gives an interesting perspective, too. It comes from the International Space Station crew. They live and work 250 miles above the Earth. All of NASA’s podcasts feature different hosts and angles, making them appeal to almost everyone.
Listen: NASA’s Podcasts
Since 2004, Story Pirates has used a world-class team to bring kids’ stories to life. Actors, musicians, and other artists come together on stage and act them out. The point is to get young people excited about literacy and its power. Sketch comedy and musical theater combine, making each performance lively and memorable.
The podcast features host Mindy Thomas of SiriusXM’s Kids Place Live reading a child’s story. Then, the performance troupe gives its interpretation of the tale. Afterward, the host talks to the writer and gets his or her perspective.
Hosted by Molly Daniels and Carl Smith, this Australia-based podcast touches on tough ethical questions. You’ll hear thought-provoking matters from “why kids can’t vote” to “whether people have to love their siblings”. This podcast is ideal for children aged seven or older. It could also stimulate further discussions of difficult subjects as a family.
Think the music your kids love is unbearable, but the songs you adore aren’t age-appropriate? This podcast, hosted by Dave Loftin, is the answer to that common problem. Every week, it serves up two hours of tunes for the family — and not just kids’ music. After listening to it, you’ll feel more confident that listening to music works as a shared experience.
Here’s another serialized podcast to get kids (and older family members) engrossed in a continuing story. Featuring episodes of 15-20 minutes in length, the story reveals the life of Finn Caspian. He’s an eight-year-old boy aboard a space station. While listening to this sci-fi podcast, you’ll hear of Finn and his three friends, and the adventures they experience.
Written and performed by Jonathan Messinger, the podcast features appearances by one of Messinger’s sons, Griffin. Serving as the show’s editor, Griffin weighs in to give his father regular input. The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian targets kids aged five to 10 and is suspenseful, but not violent. On the show’s official page, it’s described as Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Scooby Doo — in space.
Which Podcast Will You Play First?
Now there’s no need to keep your podcast listening restricted to when the kids aren’t within earshot. After diving into the suggestions on this list, you can expect to learn a lot, and your kids will learn the same things. You might even come away with new favorites to add to your podcast collection.
And remember that all of these podcasts, and most others, are available for free. So when you need some free family entertainment, these podcasts could come in very handy.
Have you heard any of the podcasts on this list? If so, which one do you rate highly? Do you have any other family-friendly podcasts to add to the list? Please let us know in the comments below!
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