My nightmare has come true! I have worked SO HARD to make sure that my children do not turn into turnips from staring at a screen all day. With the new distance learning format, my children and most if not all of my patients are plugged in to Zoom sessions, webinars, instructional videos, and practicing skills online. ARGH! After hours of video feeds and courses, my kids look a little zombified. Circles under the eyes, strung out, blah. Time to beef up those listening outlets too! Below, please see some potential podcast and auditory formats for entertainment. I have listened to most of these and enjoy them myself as well. Get those ears and imaginations working! The below content is a combination of sources, some of which were compiled by Kiwi, which I love as well.

Story Pirates

Story Pirates is a podcast with embedded songs. This podcast teaches children about story writing and structure and encourages their creation of story. Find all three seasons on your any app that plays podcasts.

Consider for ages 3 – 12

Circle Round

Through creation of adapted folktales from all other the world, these stories explore morals like kindness, persistence, inclusivity, connection and increase cultural awareness. The episodes end with an activity for parents to use for extension. Circle Round episodes can be found here.

Consider for ages 4 – 10

Wow in the World

A silly podcast, Wow in the World offers insights on the weird and wonderful world of science and technology. Think the science version of Weird But True. The episodes are free to listen to, but some of the extra content (like printables and activities that accompany each episode) that does require a membership. Listen to all the episodes here.

Consider for ages 5 – 10.

Extra Blurt and Extra Blurt Jr.

This is a podcast for the whole family and is game show style. Extra Blurt and Extra Blurt Jr. are interactive audio game shows. You can shout out your answers to the trivia questions, try tongue twisters, and learn about topics like robots, music and sea creatures. Pinna is offering a 60-day free trial while schools are closed, but a paid subscription would be needed after that.

Consider Extra Blurt for ages 8 and up, consider Extra Blurt Jr. for ages 5 – 8.

Molly of Denali

Molly of Denali is a PBS Kids podcast. This is a story about a group of Alaskan children on the hunt to solve a mystery about cake. Kids will learn about life and culture in Alaska, from folklore to traveling on a bush plane. Episodes can be found here.

Consider for ages 4-8. 

The Unexplained Disappearance of Mars Patel

This is one of my personal favorites. The Unexplained Disappearance of Mars Patel is a pre-written podcast for middle grade kids. There is a lot of mystery, drama, and the supernatural. You can find all of season one here, and the rest of the seasons on Pinna.

Consider for late elementary and middle school


Giraffes Can’t Dance

When Gerald the giraffe tries to dance, the other animals tease him. His legs are skinny and his neck is long. Will Gerald find his own groove and be able to join in the Jungle Dance? Get the story here.

For ages 3 – 6.

Ada Twist and the Perilous Pants

Ada Twist, grade-school scientist, knows there’s always an answer to every scientific question. And in this story she’ll have to use her questions to help save Uncle Ned, who floats into the sky while wearing puffy helium pants! Is it possible for Uncle Ned to fly all the way into outer space? It’s time to use science to find out! Get the book here.

For ages 6 – 9.

Stories for Kids who Dare to be Different

What do Russian poet Anna Akhmatova, Icelandic pop singer Björk, children’s author Dr. Seuss, and artist Andy Warhol all have in common? They’re all trailblazers featured in this book! Read true stories about historical and modern figures who broke the mold and made the world a better place. Get the book here.

For ages 6 – 12. 

Charlotte’s Web

While we’re always excited about new books, sometimes the classics really hit the spot. The tender story about a pig named Wilbur and a spider named Charlotte has been warming hearts since 1952. And as a bonus, the audiobook is read by the author himself. You can find it here.

For ages 8 – 12.

Astrophysics for Young People in a Hurry

Neil deGrasse Tyson breaks down the mysteries of the expansive cosmos into bite-sized pieces. Get ready to picture the universe in your mind’s eye in this adaptation for young listeners, narrated by LeVar Burton. This audiobook is free to listen to here while schools are closed.

For ages 9 – 18.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Book 1)

The spell-binding beginning to the Harry Potter series takes us back to Harry’s first foray into the wizarding world. Stephen Fry performs a fantastic read of the book that will transport you to the halls of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. This audiobook is free to listen to here while schools are closed.

For ages 9 – 18

Free audiobook trials (add one at a time to get the most free listening time)

EPIC! is now offering a free trial for its database of over 40k digital books, including offers that are in an audio format from little kid up to late middle school.

Audible has released a segment called Stories, which includes free audiobooks from little kids up to adult classics. You can stream from a computer, tablet, or phone, it will keep track of your place, and there are books in 6 languages.

For older children, several classic author works from Dickens, to Kipling, to Carroll can be found on Storynory. This site has a lot of embedded advertising, so be careful where you click. For the younger kids, there are also an offering of fairytales and original stories.