I’ll admit it – I’m not techy. I try to avoid dealing with apps. I don’t know how to use a streaming service. Heck, I can barely change the clock in my car! But there’s one thing I do love – Podcasts. I listen to them all the time – and on car trips I’ve started playing them for my kids. (mostly to avoid letting them figure out that there actually is a DVD player in our vehicle.) Check out these podcasts your whole family will love!
Surgery ABCs: This podcast isn’t new – it was produced in 2018. But it gets a shout out from me for a few reasons. It’s local, having been produced at the U of A, and it’s perfect for your younger listeners. It’s the first podcast I introduced my then-four-year-old daughters to, and at about 10 minutes per episode, it was an ideal length for them. Surgery ABCs explored mysteries of the human body like “why does food taste good” and “why is my pee yellow” breaking down complex topics into understandable chunks. We’ve heard every episode many, many times, but this is always the podcast they ask for first.
Brains On!: A podcast that makes science fun and interesting, this one is a great one to start with particularly if you’re looking for some backup to help explain the COVID-19 pandemic to your kids. “Understanding how germs spread” is a great gateway podcast into some of the more salacious topics “Brains On!” offers, like their “Making Sense of Myths” series, covering everything from unicorns to UFOs! At about 30 minutes each the episodes are better for older kids, or those longer car trips with littles.
Wow in the World: Arguably the biggest kids’ podcast around, Wow in the World features the adventures of hosts Mindy Thomas and Guy Raz as they explore the world around them. If you like great storylines, excitable hosts and explosive sound effects, this is one for you! When I’ve asked fellow parents about their kids’ favourite ‘casts, this is the show that comes back to me time and again.
But Why?: How many times a day do you hear “But Why?” – Now leave the answers to the experts! Why do people have nightmares? Why do lions roar? Why is ice slippery? Get the answers in these fun, understandable 20-30 minute podcasts. Have a “but why?” question of your own – kids can even submit a topic for this bi-weekly show. When I rattled off the list of topics, my kids’ first choice was “Do animals get married”!
Eleanor Amplified: It sounds like an old timey radio show, with fantastic sound effects and excellent voices, but it feels like a modern adventure. My kids love Eleanor Amplified – primarily because one shares the name of the main character, but also because the episodes aren’t too long to lose them. Follow this loveable protagonist as she outsmarts the bad guys time and again – you’ll probably learn a few things along the way too!
Molly of Denali: My kids absolutely love the PBS show, and, with the podcasts coming in at bite-sized 8-10 minute chunks, they love the podcast too. Like the show, the podcast follows the adventures of 10-year-old Molly, who lives in the fictional village of Qyah, Alaska, where her family runs the community trading post. From searching for her lost dog to celebrating her birthday, head out into the wilderness with Molly.
Podcasts your whole family will love – what are your family’s favourites???