"NPR's Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" while they were toddlers. Future NPR lovers).
Here is a list of our favorite podcasts for kids, available for free download. These are a perfect accompaniment for car rides or sitting down with an art project. To give you an idea, my son is 4.5-years-old and he loves these podcasts, but they would also be great for older elementary aged kids.
Story Pirates: these zany stories are written by kids and performed by professional actors, comedians, and sketch artists using almost exact language of the original composition. Each episode includes a reading of the original story, the performance, and an interview the writer. This inspired my four-year-old to submit his own story which will be performed live in NYC in December by the StoryPirates. Needless to say, we are big fans.
Sparkle Stories: These are sweet, calming stories centered around families and overcoming everyday challenges. These stories preserve a child's innocence, while encouraging them to explore the world and face their fears. The Sparkle Stories website also offers extra stories, recipes, and crafts. They also offer a subscription service if you need more Sparkle Stories on demand all the time. My son will listen to these stories repeatedly for up to an hour while he plays with Legos or does craft projects.
But Why: This podcasts picks the theme based on real kids' questions (you can submit your own questions to become podcasts!) and has real scientists, professors, historians, etc. answer these inquiries through a conversational interview. Some episodes have held my son's interest better than others.
Tumble: Science Podcasts for Kids: These science podcasts are intended for kids aged 8-12 years and also told via interview with scientists. I am a great believer in being able to learn from a wide variety of materials, even those harder or easier than one is accustomed to. My son still enjoyed these, notably the space ones and most especially the Journey to the Deepest Part of the Ocean because we are all about the Marianna Trench. I can see him really loving this podcast in a few years.
Not podcasts, but other free things to listen to...
Our favorite stories on Spotify: A collection of our favorite stories found on Spotify. You can listen for free with commercials. Eclectic, goofy, and thoughtful, this playlist is a wide variety of stories.