Our 2021 Picks: Our Favorite Podcasts for Kids

Whether you’re facing another lockdown or a long drive, we’ve curated a list of our favorite podcasts for kids to keep them informed, entertained and thoroughly delighted. The best thing? These shows make great listening for adults too!

2021 has been the year of the podcast here at PocketSmith. So far, we’ve talked about our favorite business and financial podcasts, as well as the podcasts that delight our team and make them happy. Now, we’re turning our attention to the best podcasts for kids, as picked by the little ‘uns of PocketSmith!

What selection criteria have we used? 

These shows have all been given the thumbs up by kids aged between 6 and 12. Some had the magical ability to entrance passengers on a long road trip, lighten the mood when things got a little heavy, or ease boredom during lockdown. Whatever it is, we think they’re worth a listen, so here goes!

Short & Curly

Short & Curly is a fun, witty Australian podcast all about ethics. Each episode asks a central question that really gets you thinking, from school, technology, sports, to animal welfare, pop culture and the future. 

One of the joys of the show is the chemistry between the two lovable hosts, science journalist Carl Smith and writer and actress Molly Daniels. Each episode, Carl and Molly are joined by resident philosopher Dr Matt Beard from The Ethics Centre, and a brains-trust of school children from around the country.

Listen as they navigate controversial topics like:       

  • Do you always have to keep a secret?
  • Swimmers vs. sharks — who matters most?
  • Is it fair to punish the whole class?
  • Mind games and teasing on the sport field
  • And the ever popular, are parents hypocrites?

Review: “I am a HUGE fan of your podcast. I love all the funny bits throughout each episode, and how much effort goes into each and every one. I always listen to your podcast at night when I cannot sleep, and it really helps.”

But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids

But Why is a show that answers questions that come directly from kids. No topic is too large or too small to tackle! Created by Vermont Public Radio, each episode features interesting guests who help demystify their area of expertise. 

We haven’t come across a single boring episode, but here are some highlights:

  • Ep 93: Why do trains run on tracks? Amtrak’s Patrick Kidd answers questions about how trains work, how they manage to run so fast despite how heavy they are, and why passengers don’t need to wear seatbelts.
  • Ep 131: What happens to the forest after a fire? University of Washington professor Ernest Alvarado answers questions from children in Australia and California about why forest fires happen, what makes fire burn, and why water and sand can help put out fires. 
  • Ep 142: Why do things seem scary in the dark? Featuring an exploration of the fear of darkness with Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket, as well as a night hike with Vermont Fish and Wildlife biologist Steve Parren to talk about ways to embrace the darkness.
  • Ep 154: How are words added to the dictionary? Lexicographer and Merriam-Webster Senior Editor Emily Brewster answers the fascinating question, “How are new words created?” 

Review: “Great podcast! I learn so much from it.”

Ask the Nincompoops

Ridiculously fun and funnily ridiculous, Ask the Nincompoops features British author Andy Stanton (of the Mr Gum books fame) and actress and comedian Carrie Quinlan as they answer questions set to them by flocks of (in their own words) shamefully ignorant children. 

There are only 20 episodes, but each is a delight. From ‘Who invented cheese?’ to ‘What are trees for?’ and ‘What’s the meaning of life?’, Andy and Carrie’s banter is a “feast of nonsense, hilarity and truly outrageous lies”. Prepare for shrieks and giggles 

Million Bazillion

Described by The New York Times as a “godsend for anyone who knows a little kid with big questions about money”, Million Bazillion tackles some hefty topics like how advertising works, and how to get what you want through negotiation (Editor: surely a potentially dangerous skill for kids to hone?).   

Co-hosts Jed Kim and Bridget Bodnar answer awkward and uncomfortable questions that kids have about money, in an honest and fun way.  

Review: “This podcast is so good and teaches me about money and how to use it smartly.” 

Unspookable

Unspookable is a family-friendly look at the history, science and power dynamics behind our favorite scary stories, myths and urban legends. Each week, host Elise Parisian takes listeners on a journey behind the scenes of Bloody Mary, werewolves, Slender Man, kraken, ouija boards and more!

While the show is aimed at kids, we think this podcast is best for older listeners aged 8 and up.   

Review: “I found this podcast a couple of months ago, and I’m addicted. I honestly thought it was going to be scary, but the way that they give a deeper meaning to the actual story, makes it soooo interesting. If you like scary things or wanna know more about scary things, you’ll love it.”

We’re always keen for more podcast recommendations, so if you have any suggestions, please send them our way at [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you! 

*All reviews are from Apple Podcasts.

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