I have been an off and on again fan of podcasts for a long time. When I was a practicing school librarian, I had a podcast with my students where we would highlight news going on around the school. I dabbled a few times in creating my own book related podcasts, but that never really turned into a habit. What I do love is LISTENING to podcasts and there are many excellent ones out there for parents, teachers, and librarians on all topics. But, did you know that there are also many fun ones specifically for kids…many of them BY kids!? I have a toddler and I have decided that I can listen to “kiddie music” only so much. Even though we still have lots of dance parties at home – I’ve started expanding our car tunes to podcasts and I am so happy for the change. PS – podcasts are not only great for little kids, but for older kids too. Here is a great article about why kids love podcasts (and why they are great for their brains) from the New York Times (October 3, 2017).
I want to share some of the awesome podcasts I’ve been exploring lately. Check out this round-up of some of my favorite podcasts for kids! And, scroll down for a list of a few resources to help you find even MORE podcasts for kids…once I started looking for some, I found a TREASURE trove of them!
Book Club for Kids – This is an awesome one for kids who are in grades 3 – 6. Basically, kids read a book and then discuss it. There is a dramatic reading from the book, which will encourage kids to check out and read whatever book is being discussed, if they have not already. I would have LOVED to use this podcast with my students for modeling how to talk about books AND it is even interactive – kids can “call in” to talk about books they are reading! There is also a page on the website with QR codes to each show for you (teachers and librarians) to put on the books discussed. In love!
Calm Kids Podcast – The description of this podcast makes my heart melt, “When Charlotte, 7, suffered bouts of anxiety and could not fall asleep, her big sister, Lucie, 11, decided to make up relaxing stories to calm her down and eventually doze off. The two sisters decided to record some of these stories, to help other kids struggling to fall asleep.” There are age recommendations in the descriptions of each show, but I think anyone between the ages of 3 – 10 will be relaxed by listening to this podcast anytime, but especially before resting.
Circle Round – I love fairy tales and folktales, so I love this podcast. An aside: you will find that a lot of podcasts for kids that are essentially stories read aloud, are fairytales, folktales, and original tales – reason being, you cannot just read a book from a popular author on your podcast and think everyone will be okay with it – you have to take copyright into consideration and fairytales and folktales are in the public domain. This podcast was created for ages 4 – 10, the stories are short and interesting. The toddler and I have been listening in the car and while I make dinner at night. The website includes coloring pages that go along with each tale. In a classroom, I could see this podcast being used with lessons about folktales and fairy tales – after listening, you could encourage your students to write and illustrate their own tales!
Girl Tales – Another one that is retelling popular folktales and fairytales. What I like about Girl Tales is that it offers, “a feminist twist on classic fairytales, fables, and myths.” And, the stories are written by women and trans* playwrights!
Highlights Hangout – This one is BRAND NEW! Brought to you by the Highlights Magazine folks. It’s silly and kooky, just what you’d expect. Elementary age kids will love it. Basically, a silly variety show on the “radio” for kids.
Little Stories for Tiny People – LOVE the host’s voice. This podcast is original stories, geared towards toddlers and young kids, written by the podcast creator (and host), Rhea Pechter. Great for car rides or bedtime or anytime!
Peace Out Podcast – Guided breathing exercises and a bedtime story! The narrators voice is SO CALMING. I might start listening to this before I go to bed each night.
Story Pirates – LOVE this one! Kids send in stories they write and professional actors act out the stories. Another great one to use in the classroom!
Story Time – Original stories that are less than 20 minutes long. Each show description suggests an age range that will enjoy the story. You could have this one loaded on to classroom devices for students to listen to during independent reading time or during something like indoor recess.
Tumble – Great for parents and kids! Science podcast! Scientists answer questions sent in by kids. Teachers! They even Skype with classes. Scroll down on the website for a link to the sign up form!
Wow in the World – A great STEM – related podcast that is all about science, technology, and innovation. Fans of XM Radio will recognize Mindy Thomas from Kids Place LIVE. This one is great for all ages!
Places to find awesome podcasts for kids!
As mentioned above, once I started looking for podcasts for kids, I found SO MANY! Here are a few resources you can use to help you find a few YOU love. The podcasts above stood out for me, but there are so many other great ones to listen to! Find your favorites!
Common Sense Media – A great website for parents that will help you make decisions on books, movies, and digital media – like podcasts!
Kids Listen – Many of the podcasts listed above are part of the Kids Listen community.
Do you listen to podcasts with your kids? Which ones do you love?
PS – Next up! Podcast Round-Up #2 – Podcasts for Librarians!