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These podcasts are free and easy to listen to from any device via popular apps such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Stitcher.
Elementary school: The full playlist contains 20 shows and approximately six hours of listening, in genres spanning history, literature, music, science, and more. Episodes include “Summer at Imagination Inn” (Buttons & Figs), “Africa for Kids: Living Next to the Namib Desert” (Go with Nugget for Kids), and “Aru Shah and the End of Time” (Book Power for Kids).
Middle school: This selection ranges from myths, legends, and adventure to time travel, reading, and writing. The full playlist features 20 episodes—“Bigfoot, Unicorns and Dragons: Making Sense of Myths” (Brains On!), “Fortnite of Many Earths” (This Week in the Multiverse), and more—for roughly six hours of listening.
High school: This collection of episodes covers a wide array of fiction and nonfiction that stretches the Imagine Your Story theme. Some podcasts may include a mix of young adult and adult recommendations, but all episodes are appropriate for high schoolers. The full playlist contains 13 episodes ranging from fantasy to horror and technology, for about seven hours of listening.
“Circle Round” — Folk tales from around the world, told with the help of celebrity readers.
“Stories Podcast” — A combination of classic children’s stories and original tales.
“Molly of Denali” — An eight-episode serialized narrative, based on the PBS Kids series.
“Story Pirates” — Stories written by kids are woven into a narrative about a musical-theater company’s magical misadventures.
“What If World” — The improvisational storyteller Mr. Eric tells fantastic tales based on “What if?” questions submitted by listeners.
“Girl Tales” — Feminist fairy tales written and performed by playwrights and actors.
“Calm Kids Podcast” — Two sisters, Lucie and Charlotte (ages 11 and 8), share their original stories.
“Aaron’s World” — Aaron, a dinosaur lover, started this podcast when he was a kid to share dinosaur facts. It grew into a narrative adventure series that ran for five years.
“But Why?” — The public radio host Jane Lindholm helps answer kids’ most burning questions.
“Earth Rangers” — A sound-rich dive into nature and animal science, guided by Ranger Emma.
“Wow in the World” — Guy Raz and Mindy Thomas, radio and podcast stars, serve up science news with a heavy dose of silliness.
“Smash Boom Best” — This debate show pits two awesome things against each other, encouraging listeners to choose their own winner.
“Animal Sound Safari” — This Australian podcast travels in a Magic School Bus-style “safari mobile” to discover animals around the world.
“Pants on Fire” — Kids are challenged to “spot the liar” on this game show, co-hosted by a robot.
“Soundwalks” — Each short episode is a guided meditation through beautiful soundscapes.
“Bedtime Explorers” — Settle down for the night with stories of magical expeditions.
“Peace Out” — This calming podcast teaches meditation and self-regulation through stories.
“Ear Snacks” — The children’s musicians Andrew & Polly explore different themes through songs and interviews.
“Noodle Loaf” — A clever interactive music podcast that features echo songs, musical challenges and a kids’ choir that anyone can join.
“The Music Box” — Each episode is a lesson about a musical concept featuring interactive activities.
“Classical Kids Storytime” — A sneaky way to introduce your kids to classical music, with the help of children’s stories like Hansel and Gretel.
“Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child” — An hourlong show that will introduce the family to the best in kids’ music, every week.