7 podcasts that both kids and adults will enjoy together at home
These shows will get your family to laugh, learn something new, or at least take a break from the news cycle
While families do their part by staying home during the COVID-19 pandemic, you and your kids might have more time to fill than usual.
TV shows are great distractions, but your eyes will need to take a break eventually. Podcasts are a free and screen-free alternative. Here are seven exciting shows that kids and adults can enjoy together.
For laughter and bite-sized fun: The Story Store
The Story Store manager Mr. Orlando the Moose and his assistant Gary the Unicorn take orders from real kids and cook up fun-filled adventures. The stories are not only hilarious for kids but contain gems that leave adults laughing out loud. Every episode features zany original songs and celebrity cameos. Where else would you hear Sarah McLachlan sing about a tiger that wants to fly?
Assistant Gary the Unicorn joked that listening to a podcast is "seeing with ears," but the series is so imaginative and colourful that he seems right. Full episodes are 25 minutes, and the store has reopened for business this month to share 4-minute bite-sized stories called Story Store Shorites! Kids can even order their own stories by leaving a message at 1-888-413-2781 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For every child with ambition: Fierce Girls
The producers of Fierce Girls search for inspiring tales of Australia's most extraordinary women, which take them all over the world. Some of this diverse cast of women include: the youngest Australian to summit Mount Everest, the engineer who turns trash into treasure, and the queen of leftovers who feeds the hungry. These women dare to do things differently, and are often driven by their desire to help other people.
Each scripted episode is narrated by a different fierce woman. Four seasons running, this podcast is a powerful booster for self-love, confidence, and compassion. It may inspire the kid in your life to pursue their wildest dreams, or you yours.
For the kid with soooo many questions: Tai Asks Why
Thirteen-year-old Tai Poole isn't afraid to ask big questions, and go out into the world and get answers for them. Topics range from scientific ones like "why is space so dark if it's filled with stars?" to ones kids may experience in life like "How do people get earworms?" and "Why do people bully?" Listeners have said that Tai Asks Why has helped parents talk to their kids about heavy life questions that might not have one concrete, straightforward answer, such as "What happens after you die?" and "What is love?"
Plus, Tai's thoughtfulness also makes it easy to forget the host is only thirteen. The show manages to be informative and empathetic, and can teach listeners of any age something new.
For hours of screen-free adventure: The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian
Jonathan Messinger gets plenty of hosting help from his robot companion BeeBop and 9-year-old son Griffin, in this rare science-fiction series for kids. The story centres on 8-year-old Finn Caspian and his three friends, who take off from the The Famous Marlowe 280 Interplanetary Exploratory Space Station to explore uncharted planets, help aliens, and solve a mystery. The creators describe it as "Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Scooby-Doo." That's one spunky gang.
This goofy and irreverent show has over 100 episodes. A journey through space sounds perfect when you're stuck indoors. Start from Episode 1.
When your kid needs to be tricked into learning: Wow in the World
Mindy Thomas and Guy Raz make it so fun to learn in this NPR science podcast, it's easy to forget you're taking in so much information. The hosts act out dramatic scenes that guide young listeners into the mood for stories on science and technology. The show focuses on topics that adults might not think of: exploding ants, why do eyebrows exist, and more. A content warning that more than one episode discusses pee or poo. Don't worry, it's for science!
In response to widespread school closures, the Wow in the World team is publishing a daily science game show called Two Whats?! And A Wow! where the hosts present three scientific details, and the audience must decide what is fact and what is fiction. New episodes every week day.
When you want a family conversation starter: Smash Boom Best
Does your kid have strong opinions? Then Smash Boom Best is for them. In this show, articulate kids and adults come to debate the most pressing rivalries on our time and see what's truly best: will robots win out over aliens in the future? Would you turn down cheese over chocolate? Does flying outdo invisibility? And of course, the age-old dogs versus cats. At the end of the episode, the judges must make the tough call and pick a winner.
Use this podcast to start a lively conversation with the whole family. We're not responsible, though, if someone picks tacos over pizza and things get heated.
To get transported to a different corner of the world: Molly of Denali
Are you and your kid daydreaming about traveling or living somewhere else? Molly of Denali follows Molly Mabray, an Indigenous girl who lives in Qyah, Alaska and loves adventure.
Over the course of eight episodes, Molly and her best friend Tooey solve a mystery in their village, with the help of Molly's bush pilot mom and trusty sled dogs.
In this limited series, kids will learn how Indigenous people live—and have lots of fun—in Alaska.
Written by Judy Ziyi Gu.