If you’ve got a family vacation planned, you might be desperate for suggestions on how to keep your children entertained. In addition to games, books, and movies, podcasts are a great way to keep your kids occupied on road trips! From little ones all the way up to teens, there is a huge variety of offerings that add interest and education while helping you to keep the peace, (and YOUR sanity!)
Here are the very best kids podcasts for road trips!
Below, you will find four sections divided up for little kids, bigger kids, tweens, and teens. I have provided 10 podcast suggestions for each age group, with a total of 40 recommendations.
Note: I’ve done my very best to curate recommendations with options for all ages, and to list them under what I feel is age appropriate for each group. But PLEASE be sure to review the following suggestions to determine what YOU feel is best for your family.
For little Kids (Preschool+)
1. Little Stories for Tiny People– Featuring original audio stories that are perfect for toddlers and preschoolers. Gentle and whimsical!
2. Animal Sound Safari – An Australian podcast reminiscent of a safari style Magic School Bus. Woo-hoo! Packed with interesting stories about human and animal relationships, each episode contains cool stories and facts. Great for little animal lovers!
3. Circle Round -A collection of folk tales from around the world, narrated by different celebrities and exploring topics like kindness, perseverance, and generosity. Simple and sweet.
4. Ear Snacks – Children’s musicians Andrew & Polly explore different themes through songs and interviews, with humor and thoughtfulness woven throughout. A fun and meaningful listen.
5. Bedtime Explorers – Stories of magical adventures are used as a way to help kids relax and ease into bedtime. Nice and peaceful.
6. Peace Out – A great way to introduce young kids to meditation and coping skills through stories. A lovely way to foster a calm environment.
7. Noodle Loaf – This music podcast is really interactive and includes songs, musical challenges, and a kids’ choir. Perfect for music lovers and ideal for a family sing along!
8. The Music Box – Each episode provides interactive activities about different musical concepts. Another great choice for music lovers!
9. Earth Rangers – This is a great pick for young science enthusiasts. A fun and immersive dive into nature and animal science!
10. Stories Podcast – An array of both the traditional, classic children’s stories, as well as original tales. Offers a nice combination of diverse stories.
For Bigger kids (Elementary School Age+)
1. The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian – The story of an 8-year-old boy who lives on an interplanetary space station. He explores the galaxy and solves mysteries with his friends. Great for young sci-fi adventure lovers!
2. Eleanor Amplified – Another fun story following radio reporter Eleanor, who is forever in search of “the big story”. This means she finds herself experiencing all kinds of adventure! Fun and engaging!
3. KidsNuz – This podcast was created by moms who are broadcast journalists. It provides young listeners with five minutes of kid-friendly news and is a great way to keep kids informed in an age and content appropriate way. Short and sweet!
4. The Past and the Curious – A fun podcast featuring different people telling interesting, little-known stories from history. Each episode also contains a related song and there’s a quiz segment too. A super-simple and entertaining way to learn more about history!
5. Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child – Introduces top picks in kids’ music, each and every week. Great way to prioritize music!
6. Wow in the World – NPR’s Guy Raz and Mindy Thomas host this podcast that’s all about the latest news in science and technology. Entertaining, engaging, and perfect for curious kids!
7. Molly of Denali – Based on the PBS Kids series, Molly Mabray, is an Alaska Native who along with her friends, embarks on a series of adventures as she tries to solve a mystery. Spread over the course of 8 episodes.
8. Story Pirates Stories written by kids that are woven into a narrative about a musical-theater company’s magical misadventures. Featuring songs and sketches based on these stories, and includes famous guests like Kristen Bell, Dax Shepard, Lin-Manuel Miranda, John Oliver, and Lake Bell. Lots of fun!
9. But Why? A Podcast for Curious Kids – Each episode features several kid-submitted questions, and with the help of experts, it gives clear, interesting answers. Great choice for curious kids!
10. Peace Out – Short stories that help children calm down and relax by guiding them through visualization and breathing exercises. Perfect for teaching mindfulness and self-regulation.
1. The Two Princes: Fantasy adventure following two young princes as they seek to save their kingdoms. They encounter all sorts of danger on their quest. Great for adventure lovers.
2. Book Club for Kids – Features middle schoolers talking about a popular middle-grade or YA book and sharing their top recommendations. Each episode includes a passage of that week’s book read by a celebrity guest. Great way to find new books!
3. Harry Potter and the Sacred Text – This podcast dives DEEP into Harry Potter, studying the books and discussing themes like commitment, loyalty, revenge, and forgiveness. Perfect for Harry Potter fans and philosophical minds!
4. The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel – Written for tweens, and performed by tweens, this is a wild and fun mystery. Great for kids who enjoy solving mysteries.
5. Brain’s On – Each week a different kid co-hosts. All different types of questions are covered and the podcast goes wherever these questions lead. From food scientists to snake handlers, and all sorts of other things in between, this is wonderful way to explore science. Engaging and entertaining.
6. Smash Boom Best – This is a debate show that’s a spin-off of Brain’s On! Two things are pitted against each other and a kid judge listens to and scores the arguments of two contestants. Listeners are encouraged to choose their own winner along with the judge. Episodes like “Dragons versus Unicorns” and “Pizza versus Tacos,” offer enticing topics that are fun to debate.
7. Short and Curly – An ethics podcast including all sorts of questions and ideas that require lots of critical thinking skills. Questions about animals, technology, education, and pop culture are covered, as well as many other topics meaningful topics. Relevant and interesting for kids.
8. Being 12: The Year Everything Changes – A great look at the complexities of being 12. This time of physical, mental, and emotional changes can be challenging and full of transformation. An interesting and supportive podcast for 12-year-olds!
9. Fierce Girls – This is all about the accomplishments of Australian girls and women. From sports to aviation, and scientists to spies, all sorts of female achievements are celebrated. Celebratory and empowering!
10. Six Minutes – From the creators of The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel, each 6-minute episode continues the story of 11-year-old Holiday, who finds herself in the middle of an adventure with absolutely no memory of where she came from. Intriguing and interesting!
1. Stuff You Should Know – Hosts Josh and Chuck dive into how all sorts of things work in this interesting podcast. Including a wide range of topics, from the far fetched and extreme, to the everyday, this is best suited for teens and adults, (due to certain topics best suited for more mature audiences). There are over 1,000 episodes this podcast’s archive, so there’s LOTS to learn!
2. Dear Hank & John – Brothers Hank and John (authors and creators of the Crash Course videos on YouTube) answer all kinds of life’s little (and big!) questions. Fans of Crash Course videos will likely LOVE this podcast! And yes, this is THE John Green who wrote The Fault in Our Stars, (as well as several other noteworthy YA novels!).
3. MentalMusic – Made for teens, by teens, this podcast focuses on mental health. Episodes focus on all sorts of topics like insomnia, the impact sound has on daily life, and how social media influences mental health. Covers a wide range of really important issues.
4. Part-Time Genius – All sorts of bizarre questions are posed and explored in this interesting podcast. This is perfect for teens with vivid imaginations and inquisitive minds.
5. Song Exploder – This podcast has musicians dissect one of their own songs and explain the creative process. Great choice for young aspiring musicians and songwriters
6. Science Friday – A great choice for science as it relates to current events and the scientific concepts that are in the news. Science fans will definitely love this one!
7. Stuff You Missed in History Class – This podcast covers tons of wild and wacky historical events, most of which the majority of us have never heard about. A great way to get teens excited about history!
8. TED Talks Daily – These select TED Talks are short, but packed with information. Covering just about every subject imaginable, this is a great way to lean into curiosity, learn something new, and challenge long-held beliefs. A wide range of topics makes this a reliable option for skeptical teens!
9. Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! – This is a fun choice for trivia buffs and game enthusiasts. A current-events quiz show of sorts, it features famous special guests and offers tons of humor and entertainment. This is a fun one to listen to as a family too!
10. Savor – An interesting look into how people live and eat. Culinary creators and consumers throughout the world are interviewed, and the science, history, and culture of food are explored. A great choice for budding cooks, (and honestly, anyone who loves food!).
If road trips are in your near future, these 40 suggestions really do offer the very best kids podcasts available!
From toddlers to teens, you’ll be sure to find something for all ages and interest levels.
Show your children this list, see what sparks their interest, and have at it! And if you’re met with resistance, don’t worry, that’s completely normal. Just have some episodes available that you think might (eventually!) engage them and press play at some point while you’re on the road.
You never know what might capture their interest!
If your child finds something they really like, they’ll probably want to keep listening to other episodes. Be sure to subscribe (there are a number of simple ways to do this; I just subscribe to my podcasts via iTunes.) This way new episodes will automatically appear in your feed and you’ll be notified right away.
Here’s to awesome podcasts, simple ways to keep your kids engaged, and epic family road trips!