Top 10 Bedtime Podcasts For Kids
There’s nothing better than snuggling up with a good book and reading to your kids at bedtime. It’s important for their literacy and vocabulary, and it creates some magical bonding time (especially if you’re pretty nifty with a wide funny voice repertoire!) But sometimes you need an alternative - perhaps you have grown up guests over for the evening, or you’re travelling and don’t have books to hand, or maybe you’re just knackered with a sore throat and fancy cuddling up with your kid and being read to by someone else? That’s when podcasts save the day!
We’ve done the VERY hard work of listening to some brilliant, entertaining, funny and relaxing podcasts to pick out our favourites for kids. (Pssst, don’t tell anyone but they are pretty entertaining for grown ups too!)
Note - we have provided links to each podcast, but most of them are available across all streaming services, so whether you prefer Spotify or are a die hard Apple fan, search for them on your usual app and you’ll probably find them there.
Like diving into a shelf of new but familiar bedtime books, Story Time is a series of narrated stories. Each one is original, but they are somehow traditional and comforting, perfect to lull little ones off to sleep. Each episode is less than 20 minutes long so just the right length to keep the attention of smaller listeners.
Named amongst the best podcasts for kids by Huffpost, The Times and the Washington Post, in What If World the host, Mr. Eric, takes a question asked by a kid and spins it into an off the cuff story. Previous episodes have been inspired by questions such as “What if you got sucked into a town but there was nobody there?”, “What if doughnuts came to life?” and “What if somebody wove a tapestry around the sun and nobody could see?”
Primarily an audio podcast, the crew behind What If World have also taken the time to provide transcripts of their episodes for those hard of hearing or kids who would like to read along. High five for that!
Created to help calm and soothe kids who need to wind down, each episode of Be Calm on Ahway Island begins with a kid friendly guided meditation and then follows with an original relaxing short story. The gentle soothing voices will help energetic or anxious kids to chill out and prepare for sleep, and the breathing and mindfulness techniques practiced in the podcast can be repeated through the day when a little calm is needed.
Whilst fictional stories are fun, there are a lot of fun, inspiring and interesting real life stories in history too. This podcast, created by a parent for his own kids, takes moments of history and spins them into short bedtime stories that teach important tales of the past in a way that is interesting to children.
A fantastic science podcast for kids, Brains On explores questions posed by kids in an in depth way, packed with silly sketches, sound effects and fast moving dialogue. The kids, and you, might just learn a thing or two!
Brains On presents Forever Ago, a history show for the whole family! Every episode explores the origin of just one thing — like sandwiches, video games, clocks and more — while teaching listeners to think critically about history.
Oscar winning actress Julie Andrews is joined by her daughter, children’s author Emma Walton Hamilton, for this new family podcast. They invite you into their library to read their favourite children’s books. Every story is brought to life with sounds, music and activities. Designed to spark a lifelong love of reading, the show also features guest appearances from authors, kids and other VIPs.
The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian is a serialized science-fiction story for kids, told in 15-20 minute episodes. The story centers on Finn Caspian, an 8-year-old boy aboard The Famous Marlowe 280 Interplanetary Exploratory Space Station. It’s targeted for ages 5-10, and contains no violence, a little bit of suspense, and some aliens who are real chuckleheads.
For older kids aged 8-12, who might be growing out of the bedtime story books but still want a little escapism before bed, this multi-award winning serial is a captivating option. Described as ‘Stranger Things for kids’ this high quality mystery series is written for kids and performed by kids. Now on it’s third series, start from the beginning for hours of gripping storytelling and imagination.
Teens will enjoy this eerie, macabre series. Structured as though it were a community radio station for the town of Night Vale, the mysterious is ordinary and the ordinary is mysterious in this clever concept. The show has a cult like following amongst older teens who love its dark and mysterious style.
We hope you and your kids will enjoy listening to some of these podcasts as much as we do. We’ve downloaded some of our favourites already, to listen to on long car journeys and keep the kids entertained wherever we go this year. If you and your family have favourite podcasts we haven’t included here please tell us, we’d love to know! Send us a message on Instagram and we’ll give them a listen. The only trouble is, just like a good book, sometimes they’re so good they’re too hard to switch off when it’s time to sleep!