Podcasts have taken over the listening culture of America. Families can play podcasts in the car as they run errands, or curl up with their favorite podcast personalities after dinner. Both kids and parents are jumping on the podcasting craze. They can be informative, entertaining, and thought-provoking. The best part is that there’s something different for everyone! You can find your favorite channels and subjects and continue to explore them each week.
If you’re looking for some podcasts to listen to together, check out our top 10 picks. These podcasters connect with kids and grown-ups on a variety of STEAM subjects.
Wow in the World
Wow in the World is a podcast created by NPR and hosted by Mindy Thomas and Guy Raz. The podcast serves as a guide for curious kids and parents who learn with them. Dive into the complex world of ants, or explore how the shape of our ears affects how we hear. The podcast covers a variety of science topics ranging from earth sciences to biology and chemistry.
Brains On! is an award-winning science podcast from American Public Media that speaks to kids and curious adults. Host Molly Bloom is joined with a different kid-host to discuss topics relating to the world around us. Every episode starts with questions and encourages listeners to ask questions of their own. There are more than 100 episodes of Brains On!, making this a great choice for road trips. You can listen and discuss together as a family.
What If World
If you have a curious kid who likes to come up with creative situations, listen to What If World, an improvised storytelling podcast that answers your theoretical questions. Host Eric O’Keeffe chooses a question each week and tells a story as he answers it. What if cats ruled the world? What if sharks had legs? While this podcast is done in fun, it can also help your kids start asking “what if” to become more creative and divergent thinkers and teach them to think outside the box.
Jane Lindholm and Melody Bodette at Vermont Public Radio produce But Why, a podcast that addresses the endless questions that kids have. Why is milk white? Why do ants bite? Why is tape sticky? The podcast takes a simple question that you might not have asked before and discusses it to satisfy the curiosity of your kids. The more you learn the more curious you grow.
Tumble was named one of the Best Of 2016 podcasts by iTunes. Lindsay Patterson and Marshall Escamilla host the podcast, in which they tell stories about science and how discoveries were made. One recent episode focused on astronomy and is called “The Road Trip to Outer Space.” Most of their podcasts or clips are only about 15 minutes long, but they do have some longer compilations extending more than an hour. This makes Tumble an ideal podcast for both longer drives and quick trips.
The Naked Scientists
The Naked Scientists are based out of Cambridge University and create content for broadcasters including the BBC and Talk Radio Europe. Despite the name, there is no nudity or inappropriate content covered in these podcasts — just good, wholesome science. “We wanted something that would make people laugh, then think, and would also be memorable and say what it does on the tin! It’s intended that it’s the science that’s naked — no-barriers broadcasting!” This podcast actually brings in leading scientists to talk about their work and discuss topics that audiences are curious about.
Science Vs looks to take on myths, rumors, and fake news with facts. The goal is to fight the “opinionated mob” with concrete information and logical explanations. Some of the topics might not be appropriate for younger children, but the podcasters do their best to explain difficult topics in a way adults and kids can understand. By focusing on the facts, rather than the emotion and rhetoric around a topic, they can educate listeners and show them what is real.
Short and Curly
The Short and Curly is an ethics podcast created by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and discusses issues around what is right and wrong. Some of these topics focus on big picture issues (was Robin Hood right to steal from the rich to give to the poor?) while others focus on topics your kids might experience on a daily basis. Is it ethical to use technology to make you sing better? Who should decide when you can get your ears pierced? The goal is to create open-ended discussions about what is right and why rules are created — and if they should be changed.
The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian
If you love science fiction, this podcast will help pass that passion to the next generation! The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian is sci-fi for kids. Finn, his friends and his robot pets live aboard the Famous Marlowe 280 Interplanetary Exploratory Space Station and explore planets, fight monsters, and solve the mysteries of the universe. This podcast is great for kids who love space and can’t get enough of sci-fi adventures and outer world exploration.
Ear Snacks by Andrew & Polly is a music-based podcast that combines art with science and the rest of the world. The pair create kid-friendly songs that are just as catchy as the top hits on the radio, but have positive and informational messaging. Your car will be popping and your kids singing with tunes like “Grapes” and “Dancing Pants” playing as you travel around town.
These are just a handful of amazing STEAM podcasts for parents and kids. Tell us all about your favorite co-listening podcasts in the comments below!
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