Let’s Get Brainy… 11 of the Best Science Podcasts for Curious Kids & the Whole Family, Too!
“Podcasts might be thought of as a form of academic gift!” – Less Back
Listening to podcasts can be a wonderfully engaging activity that facilitates learning, reduces screen time, develops auditory skills, and provides learning opportunities outside of the classroom. Thankfully, podcasts made for kids are becoming more readily available and easily accessible.
If your child has a smart device, they can listen to podcasts while going to and from school, in the car during family trips, or at home while hanging out or doing chores. Best of all, they’re free! All you need is a smart device, a set of headphones or speakers, and internet connection (or you can pre-download episodes for your child to listen to).
Looking for the perfect podcast for your child? Here are 11 of the most favorite science podcasts that will entertain and educate kids interested in STEM/STEAM or for those curious kids who seem to always ask a bazillion questions about science!
Science Podcasts for Younger Kids
This award-winning podcast answers questions from kid listeners all around the world. What’s even better? A different kid joins host Molly Bloom each week to interview scientists and co-host the show. The show’s mission is to encourage kids’ natural curiosity and wonder using science and history and there’s no age limit on curiosity as episodes can be enjoyed by the whole family!
But Why? A Podcast for Curious Kids
This podcast answers all the “bazillion” questions that kids ask each and every day and it’s led by kids! But Why tackles topics large and small, about nature, words, even the end of the world. In addition they bring in experts in a variety of fields and have kids join the discussion and ask the experts their own questions.
Houston We Have a Podcast
Is your child curious about space? Then you should check out this podcast from NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Each week they teach something cool about space exploration and life in space. Although this podcast isn’t written specifically for children, it’s full of fun facts and the discussions are easy enough for an elementary school-aged child to understand and fully enjoy.
The Show About Science
Cuteness overload! This podcast was created by the inquisitive Nate Butkus when he was just five years old, and is an awesome adventure into the wonderful world of science, research, and discovery. Now nine, Nate, along with his scientist and educator guests, explores everything from chemistry and climate change to the human brain and bat biology. Nate truly does a fantastic job and if your child is curious about science, then this show is well worth a listen!
Described as a “kid-friendly Radiolab,” Tumble explores a variety of science topics, from outer space and bacteria to dinosaurs and the human body, interviewing experts in the field. Tumble is hosted by Lindsay, a science journalist, and Marshall, a teacher. Most episodes run from ten to twenty minutes long and can be enjoyed by kids of all ages, as well as their parents.
Wow in the World
Produced by NPR, Wow in the World delves into topics involving space, technology, and the human brain in each twenty- to thirty-minute episode. Tech geeks will love episodes that explore 3D printing and artificial intelligence, and space lovers can learn all about black holes and alien asteroids. There are also plenty of other topics sure to interest listeners of all ages: What makes chili peppers hot? Can we make ice cream melt more slowly? What makes that sound when you crack your knuckles?
Science Podcasts for Older Kids
Even shorter, but no less entertaining and engaging, 60-Second Science is hosted by the award-winning magazine Scientific American. Every episode is not quite a mere one minute; most are actually around two to three minutes in length. 60-Second Science examines all kinds of topics on health, animals, technology, and more. This podcast will pique the interest of kids who might not have the attention span for longer episodes yet.
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
This is not your typical science podcast, but if your kids love Harry Potter and you love rationality, it’s the perfect fit. It’s fan fiction, in audio form. As their website states: “This is an alternate universe story, where Petunia married a scientist. Harry enters the wizarding world armed with enlightenment ideals and the experimental spirit.”
Older kids who love to read science fiction and fantasy books will get a kick out of the bi-weekly Imaginary Worlds podcast. Host Eric Molinsky interviews writers, artists, filmmakers, and game designers about how they create fictional worlds and why fans love them. Molinsky takes on topics in half-hour-long episodes such as food in science fiction worlds, the plight of androids, fictional languages, and more.
Science Podcasts for the Whole Family
Astrophysicist and pop culture icon Neil deGrasse Tyson discusses astronomy, physics, and life in the universe with a new co-host each week. Co-hosts run the gamut from celebrities (Katy Perry, Kevin Smith) to fellow scientists (Alan Alda, Bill Nye) and everyone in between. Each episode is about 50 minutes to an hour long and great for the whole family to listen to at home or on a road trip.
Science Friday (or “SciFri”) is a call-in talk show that typically broadcasts on public radio stations every Friday, and is also available to listen to in podcast form. Science journalist and host Ira Flatow discusses current news on science, nature, and technology. Each episode is composed of two hour-long segments, and topics are as varied as can be: voting, how genetics affect your sleep, theories on dark matter, and a week devoted to cephalopod science.
Cultivate your Child’s Interest in Science
Podcasts are a great way for chilren to introduce science topics at home and explore their interests and curiosities. So the next time your mind starts swirling and you start feeling overwhelmed by your child’s insatiable curiosity to ask questions about sciency things, just have them tune into one of these great Science Podcasts for Kids!
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