A good podcast can turn mundane activities, such as cleaning, running errands and commuting, into time spent learning about something new or just being entertained. Here are podcasts focused on parenting, ones you can listen to with your kids (and not be bored), and ones that are great for your kids to listen to on their own.
Image from jonathan-grado.
There are so many good podcasts out there, but there's only so much time in a day. The Wall Street Journal reported on 'podcasts nuts' who make time for podcasts by speeding them up with apps such as Overcast. Like, up to 5x speed. Sure, that saves time, but it also probably spikes your blood pressure and makes listening to podcasts super stressful. So what's the best speed to listen to podcasts in without sacrificing your health or ruining the podcast?
Listen on Your Own
Whether you're looking for tips and tricks that other parents have up their sleeves, to if you want to dive into tough topics such as whether divorced parents should spend time together for their kids, you have a ton of options for podcasts focused on parenting.
- The Mom Hour: These two hosts, who have eight kids between them, cover a ton of topics on this podcast. They cover things that are relevant from those with toddlers all the way up to teens.
- The Modern Dads Podcast: Focuses on a variety of topics that many dads face and often bring on experts to share their tips and advice.
- Mom and Dad Are Fighting: Each episode addresses a specific situation and how to deal with it, such as raising a biracial child or handling co-parenting when you disagree.
- The Longest Shortest Time: Perfect for when you want something that goes deeper, follows someone's story, and makes you reflect on more than just what your kid is eating for dinner.
- Scummy Mummies: Hosted by two comedians, this show has lots of humour without shying away from topics that every parent needs to know about.
Podcasts, especially ones that go into such personal subjects, can really vary when it comes to what you like. You might not subscribe to each show on the list above, but they give you a place to start.
Listen with Your Kids
Podcasts can be a great way to take the pressure off you to entertain your child, offer some time to recharge, and give you something to bond over.
- Wow in the World: Addresses questions that your kid probably has (like, "Where does chocolate come from?") in an approachable way that draws in both adults and kids. Perfect for kids aged six and up.
- Tumble: Focuses on science and explaining it in a way that's approachable for kids, but also entertaining for parents. Great for curious kids aged five and up.
- Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child: Featuring songs and music that will have you and your kids dancing around the house together. Excellent for all ages.
- Stuff You Should Know: From site How Stuff Works, this podcast is great for road trips since they're usually over half an hour long. Covers a huge variety of topics, so you can pick and choose which ones your kid will like. Good for kids aged 10 and up.
- Stuff You Missed in History Class: Also from How Stuff Works, this podcast goes over historic events, people, and places that most of us (particularly people in the US) have never heard of. Ideal for history buffs who are eight and up (they have warnings at the start of episodes which may not be appropriate for kids).
- The Naked Scientists: Despite the name, this podcast is pretty kid-friendly and often has panels of experts on that give in-depth information to help your kids (and you) learn more about the world around us. Many of the listener questions that they answer are ones you might hear from your kid (such as, "Can we talk to dolphins?"). Probably more suitable for kids aged eight and up.
- Short & Curly: This podcast also has a format that delves into questions your kid might have, including some deeper ones such as "Is it every OK to lie?" This show can be a good way to start more difficult conversations with your kid. Suitable for ages seven and up.
- Science Vs: Another science podcast that's great for both parents and kids. This one has a structure which reviews the conclusions discussed so far, making it easy for kids to follow. Great for kids aged seven and up (they have warnings at the start of episodes that may not be suitable for kids).
- NPR's Kids & Family: NPR has such a great round up of podcasts for kids and their parents that I couldn't pull out just one. There's a variety of styles and subjects, so check out the ones that sound like they match your kid's interests.
Let Your Kids Listen on Their Own
Just like with kid's TV shows, movies and books, not every podcast is one that your adult brain can last through. Some podcasts are designed specifically for kids and may be better for your child to listen to on their own. Of course, you can always listen to them, but you may get bored more quickly than with the shows in the above section.
- Sesame Street: A similar format to the well known kid's show, this podcast is great for toddlers through kids aged six to seven.
- Storynory: Many of the stories featured in this show are created specially for it! The overall plot may sound familiar, but that won't make a difference to your kid. Perfect for toddlers to kids aged eight.
- The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd: In the style of old-timey radio shows, this one is poised to capture your child's imagination. This podcast has been going on since 2004, so you have plenty of material to entertain your kid if they like this show. The creator of this show also runs Saturday Morning Theatre, which focuses on a mystery style story. Great for kids 5+.
- Story Time: Perfect for when you're too tired to read a bedtime story, or your kid can't decide which one they want to hear. These stories run about 20 minutes long and each episode is a new story. Of course, if you use this to replace you reading a story, you'll want to listen to it with your kid to make sure you two still have that time to bond. Ideal for toddlers and kids under 10.
- Story Pirates: This podcast takes stories written by kids (for kids) and turns them into sketch comedy that will have your child rolling on the floor with laughter. Great for kids aged three to 10.
Do you have a favourite podcast about parenting? Or one that you and your kid love to listen to? Leave your recommendations in the discussion below.