I love talk radio, but have often struggled with finding things that are appropriate and/or interesting for Max as well, when he’s in the car with me. We’ve turned to family-friendly podcasts more and more for our in-car entertainment, and these are some of our favorites to listen to.
100% Family-Friendly Podcasts
Good Job, Brain!: Officially Max’s first favorite podcast. It’s hosted by a pub trivia team, who basically records their team practices and sends it out as a podcast. It’s super fun and geeky, and we love it every week.
The gang recently published a Good Job, Brain book as well, which is highly recommended bathroom reading. 😉
Buttons & Figs: Billed as “a podcast for kids about nonsense,” the episodes are pretty short, about 15 minutes on average. There’s all sorts of silliness, including kid guest hosts, audience submissions, and downloadable activities.
The Limericks episode introduced Max to one of my favorite poetic formats, so we’re making them up all the time now.
Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian: It’s like a cross between Star Wars and Shakespeare, set to a radio drama and hosted by a fun dad and his son. We binge-listened to the whole first season on a long car trip over Christmas, and we were HOOKED. The first season, along with Beebop’s miniseries, are available in their entirety, and season two just launched a couple of weeks ago.
But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids: This is from the fine folks at NPR, and is a show made by kids, for kids. They answer all those burning questions that kids want to know, like How Do Popcorn Kernels Pop? and Are Yawns Really Contagious? Episode lengths can vary on this one, from 15-30+ minutes, so we always check to see before we start a new one.
Brains On! Science Podcast for Kids: I love when I can learn something from a show as well, and this is a great example. They don’t just cover standard questions with finite answers, like How Does the Internet Get to Us?, but they also do some cool human-interest type stories as well. They had a lovely series about National Parks recently, and the What Makes Cute Things Cute? episode was really interesting and opened up a cool conversation with Max and I.
About 93% Family-friendly podcasts
These are ones that we enjoy, but not all episodes are kid-appropriate. All three of them are good about mentioning a warning in the opening if it might not be suitable, or you can pre-listen first. I enjoy all of these on my own as well as with Max.
This American Life: A classic. Stories about people, their lives, their experiences. It’s been a public radio staple for ages, but I love having access to them on demand through podcasting.
A few of my recent favorite episodes: No Coincidence, No Story!, One Last Thing Before I Go, and Just What I Wanted
Stuff You Missed in History Class: I really enjoy the ladies who host this, Tracy V. Wilson and Holly Frey. They’re smart and have great chemistry together. They cover a HUGE variety of subjects, from people to events, and I’ve learned a ton from them.
Be sure to check out the 1789 Women’s March on Versailles and this blog post about how equality can feel like majority when you’re used to the opposite.
Stuff You Should Know: Another great show from the people at How Stuff Works, it’s a great overview of a million different topics. The episodes are based on a “How ___ Works” model, and they’ll cover things like quinoa, pacifism, porta-potties, and flea circuses. Like I said, random assortment. We enjoyed the Partial History of Action Figures and How Polar Bears Work episodes.
Still Untitled: the Adam Savage Project: A pretty new addition to our listening library, from the amazing Adam Savage of Mythbusters and his team over at Tested. We’ve only listened to a couple of episodes, but listening to him and his buddies geek out over Star Wars in the Rogue One Spoilercast episode was super fun. (They language is the main concern here; we heard sh-t a couple of times, if that’s a concern for your family.)