13 Best Kid-Friendly Podcasts Perfect for the Classroom

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When I first heard the idea of podcasting in the classroom, I thought it sounded a little weird.

Aren’t podcasts for adults? Would the kids think it’s weird to listen to a talk show? Would they get bored? Is it a good use of class time?

After many hours of searching, I’ve found what is probably the best collection of kids podcasts to make a regular part of their day. So…

What are the best podcasts for the classroom? The best podcasts for the classroom include: 

  • Story Pirates
  • The Owlsteins
  • Books For Kids
  • Animal Sound Safari
  • Wow in the World
  • Houston We Have a Podcast
  • The Big Fib
  • Brains On

And a lot more. When I was doing the research, what I really wanted to know was:

  1. What to expect from each show
  2. What age audience each show is for
  3. How each show could work in a station or classroom activity

So we’ll cover that and other important bits! Get your ears ready for awesomeness.

Fiction podcasts for the classroom

1. Story Pirates

  • What to Expect: Step aside SNL the kids have the best sketch comedy show around now. The Story Pirates are a group of sketch comedians that create shows out of stories written by kids. 
  • Audience: Any. Especially great for 1st-5th
  • Trailer: No trailer but check out this clip of Lin-Manuel Miranda rapping the origin story of Merlin the wizard on the show.
  • Episode Length: 35 minutes
  • Recommended Episode: S3E10 The Puzzle Competition
  • Classroom Activity: This would be a great option for long station time, or break the content up over several days.  Pair this with your favorite fiction reader response questions or have classroom discussion.

2. The Owlsteins

  • What to Expect: You can compare this podcast to the audio versions of Dr Seuss books we all used to listen to on tape back in the day.  The stories are easy to consume, written in rhyme, and share a clear theme for kids to take away.
  • Audience: K-1st
  • Trailer: The Owlsteins Trailer
  • Episode Length: 5 minutes
  • Recommended Episode: S1E2 Stay Positive
  • Classroom Activity: Great for short 5-15 minute stations if paired with a young elementary level reader response activity like one of these.

3. Tara Tremendous

  • What to Expect: Tara Tremendous is just so epic. It plays out like an audio chapter book. The voice acting and writing are awesome. The show makes the listener feel special: “This recording is being broadcast on a special frequency and only those who are worthy can receive it.”
  • Audience: 1st-4th
  • Trailer: Right here!
  • Episode Length: 15-20 mins
  • Recommended Episode: S1E1 The Voice
  • Classroom Activity: Reader response, book report, any activity that goes along with a chapter book goes with this.

4. Spooky Troop

  • What to Expect: Another one from the makers of Tara Tremendous. This collection of spooky stories is gripping.
  • Audience: 2nd-4th grade
  • Trailer: Here
  • Episode Length: 10-15 min
  • Recommended Episode: S1E5 Teamwork
  • Classroom Activity: Same as Tara any activity for a chapter book or anthology works great here.

5. What If World

  • What to Expect: Admittedly, this show is weird. Eric takes bizarre combinations and weird story ideas and questions into off the cuff stories. As weird as it is, kids love it. 2,700 reviews.
  • Audience: 1st-3rd
  • Trailer: No trailer, but here’s a description.
  • Episode Length: 20 min
  • Recommended Episode: What If It Rained Candy
  • Classroom Activity: Students could pass each other “what if questions” and craft stories off of them.

Non-Fiction podcasts for the classroom

1. Animal Sound Safari

  • What to Expect: ABC really takes kids on a zoological adventure here.  The focus of the show is on the origin of how animals got their traits.  Kids can learn from biologists in a super fun way topics like how dogs came to be our best friend.
  • Audience: K-3rd Grade
  • Trailer: Yup! Check it out!
  • Episode Length: 18 minutes
  • Recommended Episode: How Did Dogs Become Man’s Best Friend?
  • Classroom Activity: this can make a great 30 minute science station or activity; pair it with reader response questions and you’re not just boosting comprehension skills but teaching science as well.

2. Books for Kids

  • What to Expect: The #Author series is where its at. Timmy interviews authors to ask them for the story behind the story. Did you know Peter Raymundo was an animator for Mulan before he wrote 3rd Grade Mermaid? Yeah, I didn’t either until that episode.
  • Audience: 2nd-6th
  • Trailer: No trailer
  • Episode Length: 15-30 minutes
  • Recommended Episode: #Author Darcy Pattison
  • Classroom Activity: This would be a great option for book report assignments where the student researches the background of the author by listening to the author interview.

3. Wow in the World

  • What to Expect: From NPR, Wow in the World is one of the earlier well-produced podcasts for kids.  Show topics are wide ranging from science, technology, nature, and philosophy.  They have a bite-sized 10 min episode game-show-style series called “Two Whats!? and Wow!” that would be great for stations. It takes the form of the game “two truths and a lie” but centers on science questions.
  • Audience: This is almost perfectly an all-ages podcast. 1st-6th. Kindergarten could struggle.
  • Trailer:  It’s right here.
  • Episode Length: 30 min and 10 min (the trivia episodes).
  • Recommended Episode: This “Two Whats..” episode on caterpillars.
  • Classroom Activity: “Two Whats!? And a Wow!” Is a great game-show style series that students could do a simple station where they answer the questions in real time and see how they did.

4. Houston We Have a Podcast

Source: Nasa
  • What to Expect: Questions about space from “how do you go to the bathroom in space” and many more topics are covered in this podcast from NASA
  • Audience: 3rd-8th. Younger audiences will struggle.
  • Trailer: No trailer
  • Episode Length: 1 Hour
  • Recommended Episode: Space Hygiene
  • Classroom Activity: Unless you’ve got an hour to burn for space-related class time, this is a research activity. Great for homework research projects. Another idea is to spread an episode out over several days worth of station time.

5. The Big Fib

Source: The Big Fib
  • What to Expect: In this show, kids are guests on the show. The hosts take a topic and tell 3 facts and the kids have to guess which is true.
  • Audience: 1st-4th
  • Trailer: Yup!
  • Episode Length: 15 min
  • Recommended Episode: Teeth
  • Classroom Activity: Choosing between 2-3 “facts” for which is true and which is false is always a blast and you can make that game out of almost anything your kids are studying.

6. Forever Ago

Source: Forever Ago
  • What to Expect: Every episode they look at the history of a thing. Like shoes or clocks or sandwiches
  • Audience: 3rd-6th
  • Trailer: Right here!
  • Episode Length: 30
  • Recommended Episode: Shoes: How French Royalty Became the Fashion Police
  • Classroom Activity: These episodes make great research and presentation style activities.

7. Greeking Out

  • What to Expect: These are kid-friendly adaptations of Greek mythology stories. Greek Mythology can be a little suggestive though, so even though NatGeo does a great job handling it, it could be inappropriate for very young students.
  • Audience: 4th-8th grade
  • Trailer: Right here!
  • Episode Length: 25 minutes
  • Recommended Episode: S2E4 Daedalus and Icarus
  • Classroom Activity:

8. Brains On

Source: Brains On
  • What to Expect: Science based episodes that take a topic kids would wonder about, find out what questions kids have specifically and talk about the answers.
  • Audience: 2nd-4th
  • Trailer: No trailer.
  • Episode Length: 30-40 mins
  • Recommended Episode: Do Plants Have Feelings?
  • Classroom Activity: Again, research and present activities pair great with this podcast.
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