Forget music and random acts of kindness—nothing connects people like Serial. If you’ve spent any time arguing that the second season is duller than the first, that it’s more important than the first, or that it’s both, you know a good podcast sparks conversation like nothing else. So here are five podcasts you and your kid can enjoy (and maybe argue about a little).
Note: As this list goes on, the ideal age of the listener goes up. Your child is your own, of course, and they may enjoy the big-kid stuff earlier than their peers.
You knew the best street in the world would be on this list, right? Subscribe to this podcast and you’ll never lack for bright, cheerful, honest, and educational content you and your kid can watch together. If you don’t like Sesame Street, that’s really okay. No judgment. When you can, just see a good doctor and be honest with them about how long ago your heart turned to stone.
Reading books to your kids is priceless. You should do it whenever you can. But when you’re really worn out, sick to death of made-up words, or just feel like listening along with your kid, Story Time will save the day. This free podcast provides an archive of well-told bedtime stories. You’ll hear about a village girl who can talk to animals, a glass snowman, a crocodile in a pickle jar, and Morg getting stuck watching her baby sister. Again. Some stories wrap up in under five minutes, others go for more than half an hour. Choose one that fits the night and take the night off reading aloud.
Football tornado. Other tornadoes. World-class performers adapt stories written by kids. A field trip to opposite land. Bird tornado. Ukulele Island. Marshmallow shooter camp. Honestly you should listen to this podcast even if you don’t have kids.
This science podcast for kids has a great tagline: “we’re serious about being curious.” It explores questions like how we catch colds, if there’s life on other planets, real-life spidey senses, and why no two snowflakes are the same. Some last ten minutes, others pass the twenty-minute mark, but they’re all slickly produced, warmly narrated, and just the right amount of silly.
This one comes out of left field, but so did Babe Ruth. Today’s podcasters really have nothing on the golden age of radio. If your kid likes adventure, sonar sound effects, and the chilling void of space, this incredibly deep archive of sci-fi radio dramas will make road trips fly by, and they might even spark a conversation with your kid about what rights we should assign to amorphous and carnivorous extraterrestrials. You have to talk about it eventually, right?
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