It’s shaping up to be an unusual one with the current state of the world, but nonetheless, summer is here with its sunscreen, popsicles, and slower pace. Knowing that some of us may be traveling on long road trips or just having a quiet respite around our homes, we thought it would be nice to put together a list of podcasts to wrench your and your family’s eyes away from the screens for a bit. So have a listen! There are suggestions for the kids to enjoy, for parents to gather some insight, and some fun ones for when you’re in the need to indulge a guilty pleasure or pursue a personal curiosity. With that in mind, hope you find something that piques your interest!
Family Friendly Podcasts
Be Calm on Ahway Island
Original Children’s Stories and Meditations for nap time, bedtime, and any time it’s relax time! Be calm with us.
A great alternative to winding-down before bed or naps or even just a quiet activity when you’re needing some zen time as well.
Wow in the World From NPR
Hosts Mindy Thomas and Guy Raz guide curious kids and their grown-ups on a journey into the wonders of the world around them. We’ll go inside our brains, out into space and deep into the coolest new stories in science and technology.
Lots of fun topics for your slightly older kids to enjoy in here - dreams, toilets, sloths, and more. Parents will learn as well!
Ear Snacks is a musical podcast for kids about the world. Andrew and Polly and their friends consider music, science, art and culture in a fun-filled podcast that parents enjoy and younger kids eat right up.
This podcast offers fun information like best kids’ music from the Grammy’s, mixtapes for road trips, and lots of other totally kid-friendly topics such as loose teeth, glasses, and toenails just to name a few.
But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids
But Why is a show led by kids. They ask the questions and we find the answers. It’s a big interesting world out there. On But Why, we tackle topics large and small, about nature, words, even the end of the world.
I don’t know about your kiddos, but I think ‘why’ is my kids’ favorite question. And I don’t always have an answer for them! So why do we poop and fart? And why are some words bad? And what is a jellyfish made of? This is an awesome podcast you and your kids will love listening to!
Bedtime History: Inspirational Stories
Bedtime History is a series of educational, relaxing stories for kids. Learn about inspirational characters such as Neil Armstrong, Sacajawea, George Lucas and J.K. Rowling. Other topics include space exploration, current events, and great feats of engineering such as the transcontinental railroad.
About 5-10 minutes in length, these are nice stories with an interesting and informative slant for your older children.
Story Pirates is a group of world-class actors, comedians, improvisers and musicians who adapt stories written by kids into sketch comedy and musical theatre.
Kids’ stories are usually hilarious to begin with. Add music, improvisation, and a hefty dose of fun and you’ll get the full effect of Story Pirates. Featuring famous folks such as Kristen Bell, Billy Eichner, and Bobby Moynihan among others, this podcast is a great listen!
Life Kit: Parenting from NPR
Raising awesome kids takes help. NPR has science and experts to get you through the toughest parenting moments.
Sesame Workshop has input in various episodes and it’s especially worth checking out “Is it OK To Lie About Santa and The Tooth Fairy?" and “Kindness Can Be Taught: Here’s How”. Like what you’d expect from NPR, it’s grounded in thoughtful research - I always walk away feeling like I’ve learned something I can put into practice immediately.
The Longest Shortest Time
Stories about the surprises and absurdities of raising other humans - and being raised by them. The Longest Shortest Time is an award-winning podcast about parenthood in all of its forms. But you don’t need to be a parent to listen.
It has since ended, but still worth a listen as host Hilary Frank talks with experts and other parents about a wide variety of parenting topics ranging from infertility, pregnancy, childbirth, race, gender, imaginary friends, family size and more.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts with Susan Cain
Hosted and produced by Susan Cain and Panoply, the first season of the podcast focuses on giving parents and educators the tools to empower quiet kids. Expect to learn about how caregivers and schools can better understand and support introverts, how the changing landscape of social media impacts quiet children, the neuroscience of introversion, and more. You’ll also hear sound advice from Susan and experts in education and parenting.
Such a great resource if you think you may have an introverted child. They are especially good about giving tangible, useful advice.
Nursing and Cursing
Changing the world one diaper at a time. Nursing and Cursing is a parenting podcast that covers more than your 10 month old’s full diaper. Five friends break down all the crazy that comes after the baby. Kids, husbands, sex, money. Everything from the early days of sore nipples and sleepless nights to parenting with a hangover and picking a preschool. Was your kid screaming on the other side of the bathroom door while you tried to find five seconds to put your last tampon in? Then this is the podcast for you.
These women aren’t afraid to talk about some of the more embarrassing aspects of motherhood and don’t hold back on their true feelings or where they’ve gone wrong.
The Motherly Podcast
The Motherly Podcast features honest conversations about modern motherhood with inspiring leaders - who also happen to be mothers. These incredible women, like Sen. Tammy Duckworth and Annemarie Slaughter, are helping to redefine motherhood, using their voices to uplift women with practical ideas and expert insights. Hosted each week by Liz Tenety, an award-winning journalist and co-founder of Motherly.
Some amazing interviews with women such as Chelsea Clinton, Kristen Bell, and Joy Cho.
Happier with Gretchen Rubin
Gretchen Rubin is HAPPIER, and she wants you to be happier too. The #1 bestselling author of The Happiness Project and Better Than Before gets more personal than ever as she brings her practical, manageable advice about happiness and good habits to this lively, thought-provoking podcast. Gretchen’s cohost and guinea pig is her younger sister, Elizabeth Craft, a TV writer and producer living in Los Angeles, who (lovingly) refers to Gretchen as her happiness bully.
An upbeat podcast grounded in research and real-life, there are lots of tidbits to both entertain and help along the way.
Watch What Crappens
A daily podcast that revels in all things Bravo. Join Ben Mandelker and Ronnie Karam as they praise, ridicule, and eviscerate the Real Housewives, Vanderpump Rules, Below Deck, Southern Charm and whatever other crap Bravo throws at us. We mock because we love.
Sometimes, we just have to indulge ourselves…
By the Book
Half reality show, half self-help podcast, and one wild social experiment. Join comedian Jolenta Greenberg and culture critic Kristen Meinzer as they live by the rules of a different self-help book each episode to figure out which ones might actually be life-changing.
Both funny and insightful, the way these two hosts play off each other is highly entertaining and you feel like you get the benefit of a self-help book without all the reading!
Discover the hidden side of everything with Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of the Freakonomics books. Each week, Freakonomics Radio tells you things you always thought you knew (but didn’t) and things you never thought you wanted to know (but do) - from the economics of sleep to how to become great at just about anything. Dubner speaks with Nobel laureates and provocateurs, intellectuals and entrepreneurs, and various other underachievers. Special features include series like “The Secret Life of a C.E.O.” as well as a live game show, “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know.”
I know, it sounds a little dry, but these are highly entertaining and fascinating. Check out “There’s a War on Sugar. Is it Justified?” and “The Zero-Minute Workout” for two great episodes.
There are a lot of fads, blogs and strong opinions, but then there’s SCIENCE. Science Vs is the show from Gimlet Media that finds out what’s face, what’s not, and what’s somewhere in between. We do the hard work of sifting through all the science so you don’t have to.
So lively and fun, this podcast looks at timely issues in a scientific but funny way. Check out “Fertility Cliff: Is it Real?”, “Fasting Diets: What’s the Skinny?”, and “Alcohol: A Pour Decision?" to get a taste of what they offer.
Late Night with Seth Meyers
Listen to A Closer Look and more in the audio edition of Late Night with Seth Meyers.
What’s not to like? It’s Seth Meyers and oftentimes a guest without having to stay up so late.
Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend
After 25 years at the Late Night Desk, Conan realized that the only people at his holiday party are the men and women who work for him. Over the years and despite thousands of interviews, Conan has never made a real and lasting friendship with any of his celebrity guests. So, he started a podcast to do just that. Deeper, unboundedly playful, and free from FCC regulations, Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend is a weekly opportunity for Conan to hang out with the people he enjoys most and perhaps find some real friendship along the way.
As funny as you would expect, Conan O’Brien has amazing guests and some of the funniest stuff comes from the banter between him and his assistant and podcast producer. I think I’ve laughed aloud in every episode.
So whether it’s for distraction while you fold that umpteenth load of laundry, a way to while away travel time in the car, something to entertain your toddler for ten minutes while you scroll your phone for a breather, or just something to make you laugh, hopefully a new podcast in your earbuds will be just what you need.