Once you enter the world of podcasts you quickly learn that there is a podcast topic for just about any interest! Over the years our family has discovered many excellent quality podcasts for kids – we are avid listeners.
Although our family tend to listen to non-fiction podcasts (why miss an opportunity to teach, right?), there is definitely a time and place for fiction podcasts too. We tend to switch to them when we are ‘factoid-out' on long trips, or for wind-down time.
So here is a list of some of the best storytelling podcasts available for children. I particularly enjoy listening to these podcasts with my kids because of the host/s voice and tone – plus of course, the chance to share great stories!
Kitty Felde hosts a fortnightly book club with kids around 8 – 12 years old. Each episode of Book Club for Kids discusses a different book, so you can just tune in for the books that appeal to you. Books discussed include Road Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach, Wonder by R.J. Palacio and Pax by Sara Pennypacker.
The Book Club for Kids website also contains resources for parents and teachers including curriculum guides for kids learning at home. Episodes are generally under 30 minutes, including a bunch of shorter and bonus episodes.
Related: CBCA Book of the Year Shortlist 2020
2. Circle Round
Circle Round shares a collection of folk takes from all around the world shared by notable people, aimed at ages 4 – 10.
Each 10- to 20-minute episode explores important issues like kindness, persistence and generosity. And each episode ends with an activity that inspires a deeper conversation between children and grown-ups.
Suitable for the whole family, but specifically aimed at 8 – 12 year olds, Eleanor is a radio journalist that travels through all sorts of different places to shine the very best light on journalism and stops the baddies. Eleanor Amplified episodes are just under 20 minutes each.
4. Girl Tales
Girl Tales is a collection of feminist fairy tales with multiple contributing playwrights and actors. Some of the episodes are a re-imagined version of well-known stories such as Rapunzel, and others are original tales.
Each episode of Little Stories for Tiny People is an individual story, and mostly around 10 minutes long.
Created by Rhea Fletcher, lots of the stories are whimsical animal tales. They are suitable for younger children.
Aimed at younger children, but created so the whole family can enjoy listening, Sophie and Sebastian are whimsical children’s stories partially inspired by the author’s children and also by classic stories like Winnie the Pooh.
I recommend new listeners play Episode 1: The New Neighbours first, then listen in any order.
With stand alone G rated episodes that are usually between 10 and 20 minutes, Stories Podcast includes familiar characters like Snow White and original stories as well.
8. Story Time
Having trouble getting kids to sleep? Story Time episodes are original bedtime stories written for children ages 2 – 13. Some episodes have individual age recommendations which are listed in the notes.
The writers and narrators differ between individual stories, and each episode stands alone so you can listen in any order you please. Episodes are normally under 20 minutes.
The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian is a serialised sci-fi story, with approximately 15 minute long episodes.
Finn Caspian is 8 years old and lives on The Famous Marlowe 280 Interplanetary Exploratory Space Station, from which he and his friends (who form Explorers Troop 201), head off to explore.
The Story Pirates – a group of actors, musicians and comedians – adapt stories written by children into hysterical 30-minute episodes. There's lots of comedy and musical theatre involved, with varied results and a whole lot of laughs.
11. The Two Princes
The Two Princes is a modern fairy take aimed at a tween audience. It does involve some romance as the two young princes work to save their kingdoms. Episodes are generally between 15 and 25 minutes and should be listened in order.
Aimed at 8 – 12 year olds, The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel is described as Goonies meets Spy Kids meets Stranger Things.
It is a serialised mystery about Mars Patel who is searching for missing friends, and is currently in its third season.
Set in the town of Spokesville, The World of Buddy Pegs is a fictional podcast with episodes around 20 – 30 minutes in length. Each episode starts at the local bike shop, run by two dogs, called Buddy Pegs.
The dogs want to bring cycling to the local animal community, making the stories perfect for cycling families.
14. What If World
Hosted by Eric O’Keefe, What If World tells original stories based on questions (including those posed by listeners). Each story is guaranteed to make you laugh, but also includes a lesson. Episodes are generally around 20 minutes long.
From the folks who bring you Book Club for Kids is a podcast especially for girls…and political junkies.
The Fina Mendoza Mysteries is described “The West Wing” meets Nancy Drew.
There’s a legend in Washington, D.C. Anyone who sees the Demon Cat of Capitol Hill will be cursed. Fina Mendoza, the daughter of a congressman, just saw it. Can she save her family from “cat”astrophe?
Come behind the scenes at the U.S. Capitol as Fina solves the mystery of the Demon Cat.
Storynory has been offering free audio stories to the world since November 2005. They are a podcast and a website with audio streaming and all their content is free.
They aim for our audio stories to showcase imagination, good writing, and great narrations. They are also starting to produce more factual content including history and interviews. The aim of their factual programming to stimulate a curiosity about the world, and the ability to think critically.
The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd is the internet’s longest running, professionally produced, family friendly podcast! Though the show was broadcast over the internet in April of 2004, it wasn’t until the advent of podcasting that the show took on the status it now enjoys.
The world’s favourite new time podcast in the style of old-time radio. Here you can enjoy a sampling of classic live Thrilling Adventure Hour episodes, plus the complete Thrilling Adventure Hour Treasury, the triumphant return of Sparks Nevada, Frank and Sadie Doyle, Colonel Tick-Tock, and all your favourite Thrilling characters, complete with a bold new cinematic sound.
You'll also find some From the Vault episodes, never-before-heard live episodes from years past.
If you're aged between 8 and 12, Mackaroy Uncovered has been made for you. It's a serialised mystery-adventure performed by kids. Make sure you start at episode 1 and continue all the way to number 8 to uncover the secret of what's really going on in Mackaroy!
In the quiet Australian country town of Mackaroy, something really strange is happening. The school's principal has disappeared, the whole town's internet keeps crashing every night, and people are being watched. Someone, or something, is keeping tabs on everyone who lives there, and best friends Tang and Mitch are on the case.
The 14-year-olds have an online show investigating conspiracies, but what they don't realise is that someone really doesn't want them to find out the truth. This will be their toughest investigation yet, and they'll soon learn that what's at stake is much more than uploading their next show.
From the creator of The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd, Saturday Morning Theatre is a audio drama anthology series that is fun for the whole family!
Every week the hosts travel back to the glory days of old time radio with daring, and often funny, adventures that will capture the imagination. Superhero adventures, westerns, mystery, comedy, this podcast has it all.
Grimm, Grimmer, Grimmest is a wildly enchanting fairy tale podcast featuring Adam Gidwitz, bestselling author of “A Tale Dark and Grimm.” Weaving in and out of a classroom of witty grade-schoolers and a world full of curious creatures and mischievous foes, each episode features a Grimm fairy tale retold with a surprising flourish.
Listen as kids anticipate plot twists and question the logic of these very Grimm tales! Parents' Choice Gold Award winner and Webby Honoree in the Family & Kids Podcast category.
22. Flyest Fables
Flyest Fables brings you anthology style and critically acclaimed hopepunk fables for the 21st century.
23. Molly of Denali
Meet Molly Mabray, an Alaska Native girl growing up with her parents, family and friends. Over eight episodes, Molly and her friend Tooey discover the identity of a mystery creature that has stolen Molly’s birthday cake.
Join Molly and the gang and discover what life is like for a typical kid on big adventures in Alaska!
Supported by a City of Melbourne Arts Grant, StoryKids shares original tales by Australian kids. The podcast creators, Verity Hunt-Ballart and Amelia Christo, have created 10 minute episodes written from the children's stories, voiced by performers such as Rob Mills and Michala Banas.
Find out about the shortlisted CBCA Book Week 2020 Books
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