Podcasts that rule (for kids and parents alike)
Podcasts are having a renaissance. While the audio format seemed to hit its peak in the early- to mid-2000s, podcasts have recently resurfaced in the mainstream consciousness, seemingly on the tails of the immense popularity of NPR’s Serial, a stellar podcast that tracks reporter Sarah Koenig’s attempts to piece together a murder case.
While Serial isn't kid-friendly, a number of great podcasts are particularly great for listening with kids, especially on the go or in the car. Check out our roundup of some standout podcasts for listening with kids as well as great podcasts just for parents!
Podcasts for the whole family
NPR’s Brains On tackles a different subject of science every week, asking questions like, “Why can’t we tickle ourselves?” The episodes are well-produced, in typical NPR fashion, and are complex enough to keep adults engaged but straightforward enough for younger kids to understand.
Spare the Rock is a podcast that rounds up super-cool kindie and kid-friendly tunes that you can groove to as well.
Gimlet’s Mystery Show debuted this year with a totally novel premise: Host Starlee Kine takes on a “case” every episode, each one of which is a mystery in someone’s life. The mysteries include the overnight disappearance of a corner video store, the origin of a belt buckle in the shape of a working toaster, and more. Mystery Show’s episodes will keep you on the edge of your seat, if not with its episodes’ puzzling developments then with Kine’s charm and humor.
Older kids and teens will dig 99% Invisible, a podcast that touches on elements of culure, society, and the power of design and architecture.
Podcasts that parents will dig
While these aren’t tailored to kids, these are some sweet podcasts for parents to get into.
KEXP puts out this weekly podcast as a roundup of awesome local and independent artists.
How to Be A Girl is a wonderful podcast about one single mother’s experience of parenting her elementary school-aged trans daughter.
One Bad Mother is a podcast that tackles motherhood and all of its less glamorous moments, approaching parenting with a hefty dose of humor – and frequent swear words.
Documentary filmmaker Tally Abecassis documents the struggles of returning back to her career after having her two sons.
Hillary Frank, This American Life contributor, interviews new parents on her podcast to chronicle the struggles and joys of brand-new parenthood.