Lindsay Patterson is the creator, producer, and co-host of Tumble Science Podcast for Kids. She’s also a co-founder of Kids Listen, a grassroots organization advocating for high-quality audio for children. Lindsay currently lives in Barcelona with her husband and Tumble co-host Marshall and their five year old son.
Here, she presents a selection of the best science podcasts made for kids and their families.
When we started Tumble Science Podcast for Kids back in 2014, the idea of a “podcast for kids” was a foreign concept. We were frequently asked if kids could stay engaged by media that had no screens or even pictures. It was tough to find a model of what a great podcast for kids might sound like. (No “This American Life for Kids” has ever hit the airwaves.) But I’d always wanted to make a science radio show for kids. When podcasts came along, there was finally an opportunity to experiment.
What we discovered is that kids are passionate podcast listeners, and science podcasts for kids are among their favorites. The absence of a model has resulted in incredible creativity across the field. Science shows are produced by everyone from seasoned audio professionals to kids and their families. No two shows take the same approach to communicating science. When your podcast queue is full of science podcasts for kids, you’ll always learn something new, and you’ll never get bored.
Try these shows out on your daily school commute, long road trips, and even before bedtime. Kids love to listen to episodes multiple times, and tell others what they’ve learned. The podcasts made by kids are sure to inspire you with cuteness and curiosity. Maybe you’ll even be inspired to start your own!
Tumble Science Podcast for Kids
This is our show! Every episode is a story about how science actually works, in real life! With the help of kids’ natural curiosity, Tumble highlights the twists, turns, and surprises on the path to discovery. Whenever possible, we take you to the places where science happens – like labs, mountains, museums, and even caves – to find out how scientists are answering their own questions about the world.
The Show About Science
Nate Butkus started this interview show with his dad when he was five. It was evident, even then, that Nate had a natural talent as a podcast host and interviewer. Four years later, he’s been on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, given a talk at SXSW Edu, published his own guide to starting a podcast, and spun off into a politics show as well. Nate’s a superstar and it’s time to get on his bandwagon.
A scripted, sound-rich science series from Canadian conservation non-profit Earth Rangers and produced by Gen Z, a Peabody Award-winning podcast production house. The host, Earth Ranger Emma, draws kids into her adventures and interviews scientists.
Brains On! earns its exclamation point. Every episode is focused on a theme, co-hosted by a kid, and features popular segments that have their own cult followings, like “Mystery Sound” and “Moment of Um.” The result is a consistently creative and well-produced science variety show. Lucky for fans, the team behind Brains On! has spun off into other great kids podcasts, like Smash Boom Best and Forever Ago.
Host Jane Lindholm brings her public radio skills to bear to the classic kid inquiry, “But why?” Instead of shouting “Because!” in every episode, the show explores the answers to all varieties of kid questions. A lot of them happen to be science, but you’ll also find brave treatments of the hardest to answer questions, like illness, violence, and how babies get made.
Aaron’s World is like the kid grandaddy of science podcasts. Aaron started this 50 episode scripted series about prehistoric creatures when he was six. Now he’s 15. The series is completed, which means you can marathon listen to the whole thing.
Wow in the World
Radio superstars Mindy Thomas (Absolutely Mindy on SiriusXM) and Guy Raz (How I Built This, TED Radio Hour, and even more new podcasts) joined forces to make NPR’s first-ever podcast for kids. Each episode is a wild journey into the world of science – super entertaining and beloved by kids everywhere.
Cool Facts About Animals
Hosted and produced by a family of adorable animal enthusiasts, each episode explores – you guessed it – cool facts about animals. I think it’s inspiring for families to listen to, both for the awesome animals and the way that the kid hosts’ curiosity and personalities lead the show.
This show is a well-produced blend of science fiction and real science. The first season is a complete story about three kids separated from their parents during a Zombie apocalypse, but is secretly about SCIENCE! Newer episodes, called “Connections,” take a more traditional format.
Science is Fun E
This sweet show is produced by a 9 year old girl (“Skipper”) and her grandfather (“Private”). In between jokes, they explore everything from monsters to slime to whether aliens built the pyramids. Again, this is a great example of how to empower kids to follow their curiosity, and how families can make podcasts together.
Tai Asks Why
Produced by the CBC and hosted by boy genius Tai, he asks some penetrating questions – like, “How do we solve climate change?” and “What is love?” – and interviews real scientists. I hear he provides inspiration for the music in the show as well!
Want to create your own collection of shows that dovetails with your area of interest? Add shows to your Smart Folder on RadioPublic, then inform the Podcast Librarian of your collection: firstname.lastname@example.org.