11 podcasts the whole family can enjoy

first_img ‘Marvels’ Expands Marvel’s Podcast UniverseSpotify Simplifies Podcast, Music Navigation for Subscribers Stay on target Back in the olden times, before 24/7 Minecraft streaming and the like, kids and adults used to huddle around the family radios every night to listen to their favorite programs – tales of adventure, discovery, and education. Amazingly enough, that tradition has found new life in the 21st century in the form of podcasts.Audio-only storytelling is undergoing a renaissance, with podcasts on just about every topic under the sun available for instant downloading. But one market that is still a little under-served in the podcasting world is the all-ages one. Kids love them, but the percentage of the product is pretty low. That’s changing – we’re especially excited for the first episode of The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel, a serial drama performed by kids, launching today from Blobfish Radio.If Mars Patel gets your little ones into the podcast world, they’ll probably be jonesing for more stuff to listen to. We’ve got you covered. Here’s our rundown of the best podcasts for kids of all ages.Thrilling Adventure HourLet’s start out with something that’s very reminiscent of the old-time radio dramas we mentioned up top. For ten years, the Largo nightclub in Los Angeles hosted Thrilling Adventure Hour, live performances of entertainingly weird narratives. The group started podcasting their shows in 2011, and there’s a seriously sizable archive of old episodes to work your way through. Each show featured the continuing adventures of Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars, as well as several rotating segments. They’re funny, fast-paced and incredibly addictive.Listen here.TransistorScience is an irresistible subject for podcasting, and many of the best all-ages shows start with it as a center point. Transistor, produced by PRX. Hosted by a trio of female scientists, this show isn’t explicitly for kids, but it explores subjects that they’ll find fascinating. Some of the most compelling episodes include why people pee their pants, a man who couldn’t remember anything, and the discovery that plants can communicate with each other. Exploring the mysteries of science can get kids interested in STEM careers for their future, and adults might find things out they never knew as well.Listen hereStorynoryIf you’re looking for something a little more fictional, Storynory might scratch that itch. This long-running podcast updates each and every week with a new episode, drawing from classic fairy tales, public domain literature, and the imagination. These aren’t bargain-basement performances, either – narrator Natasha Gostwick has an incredibly engaging voice that draws listeners into the adventure. One thing that makes their selection cool is that they present stories from all the world’s cultures, not just Western Europe. Stories from Africa and Asia make their way into the mix, and they’re awesome.Listen hereAnything GhostPlenty of podcasts delve into the paranormal, but few do it with the verve of Anything Ghost. On this show, host Lex Wahl reads submissions of personal experiences with the supernatural sent in by listeners. He’s been doing it since 2006, so the dude knows how to deliver a good ghost story. Wahl’s program isn’t targeted at kids, but if yours have a taste for the supernatural and are already reading Harry Potter and the like, there’s not anything here that’s too much for them. Only ten episodes at a time are available to listen for free, but for just $20 you can get access to the archives forever. It’s very worth it.Listen hereRadio Adventures Of Eleanor AmplifiedClassic adventure takes on new life in this recently-launched program from Philadelphia NPR station WHYY. Titular character Eleanor is a globe-trotting reporter who will go to any end to get the scoop and her exploits are charmingly written and performed. Producer John Sheehan pulls out all the stops to make each episode rich in audio, with tons of sound effects and incidental music helping to pull things along. There are only ten episodes in the first season, but hopefully, it’ll do well enough that WHYY will commit to more.Listen hereThe Light BulbThis is another podcast that’s come to an end, but with a backlog of 71 episodes, there’s plenty to keep you busy. Produced by the team at StoryWonk, The Lightbulb is a podcast devoted to stories: how we tell them, how we read them, and more. Although not specifically targeted at kids, the clever pop culture analysis is appropriate for advanced learners. Being able to consume media critically is a vital part of living in today’s media landscape. The husband and wife team that host the show have great chemistry, naturally and their banter is natural and entertaining.Listen hereStuff You Missed In History ClassPut together by the minds at How Stuff Works; this wide-ranging podcast explores moments in the world’s history that are underserved in textbooks. Kids love to learn stuff that’s “forbidden” at school, and having a thorough knowledge of history is a serious asset. Even better, the team tries to present a view of events that’s gender and racially balanced, not glossing over elements to make a certain group look good. The stories presented in every episode are gripping, but some might be too advanced for younger listeners. Each episode opens with a detailed content warning so you can screen out the more sensitive topics.Listen hereWe Got ThisA truly great podcast is made by the chemistry between the hosts, and We Got This‘s Mark Gagliardi, and Hal Lublin have that in spades. The premise of the show is simple: every episode poses a question of the Best in some category, and the duo (joined by a different guest) hash it out. Hot dogs or hamburgers? All-time best movie villain? Best day of the week? No topic is too petty. The hosts refrain from swearing, which makes We Got This appropriate for younger viewers, and WWE fans will enjoy appearances from grapplers like Simon Gotch and Xavier Woods.Listen hereSawbonesIf there’s one thing kids love, it’s gross body stuff. Dr. Sydnee McElroy and her husband Justin co-host the wildly entertaining Sawbones, which examines the rough and rugged history of medicine every Friday. Learning how demented doctors were in the not-too-recent past is amazingly fun and a little scary. This is probably better for older kids who have a little more knowledge of human anatomy, but they’ll find it gripping. Justin’s complete ignorance gives Syd a great way to explain complicated topics in a way that’s fun. Note that a few episodes discuss sex and other stuff you might not be comfortable with kids hearing, but there’s always a warning right up front.Listen hereShort & CurlyEthics are a tricky proposition for kids to wrestle with. Learning the difference between right and wrong – and why that matters – is just as important as reading, writing, and arithmetic. Australian podcast Short & Curly is all about taking kids through moral dilemmas and actually having them engage with them. It’s an unusual premise, but one the producers make work. Starting with catchy questions like “Should we eat our pets?” the hosts really unpack the historical basis for things we believe are instinctively correct, and then flip the script to illuminate the social perspectives we bring to the issue.Listen hereRadio Adventures of Dr. FloydOne of the oldest podcasts on our list, the first episode of Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd hit the Internet airwaves all the way back in 2004. In the intervening years, this wacky serial adventure has accrued a devoted fan base for its funny and educational ramblings through history and literature. The titular Doctor Floyd must prevent his nemesis Doctor Steve from using science for evil ends, and episodes feature some truly unexpected guest stars. At just five minutes per, they’re perfectly bite-sized. The show ended in 2010, but there are multiple seasons on iTunes to dig into.Listen herelast_img read more