16 Storytelling Podcasts Parents Can Trust

Need a little help? Try using a high-tech storyteller

Two girls listing to a story podcast on their iPod
Podcasts offer a great storytelling alternative to books or TV.

 ImagesBazaar / Brand X Pictures

Storytelling podcasts can be a great way to keep children engaged while traveling or at home. Podcasts can be downloaded onto any smartphone, iPod, or tablet and listened to anywhere, even without a Wi-Fi signal.

Here are 16 of the best storytelling podcasts that are age-appropriate and feature stories that kids will love. Best of all, these story podcasts are completely free to download and stream online.

Disney Story Central storytelling podcast, Elsa from Frozen and Woody from Toy Story

 Disney

Disney Story Central Podcast features professionally produced storytime versions of some of Disney's most-popular movies. Each episode focuses on a different movie and the plots of each film are told as they would be told if you were explaining them to a child from memory. Perfect for five to 10 year olds and any child who loves Disney.

What We Like

  • All of the most-popular Disney films such as Moana, Frozen, The Little Mermaid, and Cars are featured.

What We Don't Like

Elmo's Adventures in Spending, Saving, and Sharing kids podcast

 Sesame Street

This 13 episode podcast series follows Sesame Street's Elmo as he prepares for the local fair. Elmo interacts with his friends and family members who teach him lessons about saving, sharing, and spending money. Perfect for three to five year olds.

What We Like

  • A quality production that feels like listening to an actual Sesame Street episode.
  • Practical life lessons presented in a friendly and entertaining way.

What We Don't Like

  • Elmo's Adventures in Spending, Saving, and Sharing is unfortunately a limited series which means that no new episodes are planned.
Wow in the World kids podcast

 Wow in the World

Wow in the World follows the wacky adventures of Guy Raz and Mindy Thomas which are deliberately written to be engaging and educational. The show is produced by Emmy award-winning, Meredith Halpern-Ranzer, who had worked for eight years on Sesame Street as a producer and editor and is a founding member of the Children’s Media Association.

What We Like

  • Interesting facts mixed in seemlessly with the dialog and story.
  • Kids aged five through 10 will get a kick out of the fun voice acting on display.

What We Don't Like

  • The end of each episode contains a 20 second commercial for other podcasts for completely different age demographics and some of these ads mention issues such as gun violence which are totally inappropriate for the listeners of Wow in the World.
Peace Out yoga story podcast

 Bedtime FM

Peace Out is a yoga-inspired storytime podcast that combines relaxation techniques with guided visualization via a bedtime story. Suitable for all ages.

What We Like

  • Teaches children breath and body awareness.

What We Don't Like

  • Is really only suitable for bedtime.
  • New episodes are only released every two weeks.
What If World kids story podcast

 What If World

What If World is a kind of improv storytelling podcast where the host creates stories inspired by suggestions from his listeners. Any parent who has ever had a child demand they tell a story about seemingly random subjects will know what to expect here. Stories range from flying Ninja Turtles to unicorns that can turn into rocks with each one ending with a morale such as "trust your feeelings."

Children aged six years and up will get a kick out of this storytelling podcast.

What We Like

  • Encourages creativity.
  • Listeners get to submit their ideas for future stories.

What We Don't Like

  • The host can talk a bit too fast at times which can make the stories hard to understand for kids under five.
Story Pirates kids storytime podcast

Gimlet Media

 

Story Pirates is a storytelling podcast that follows the wacky adventures of a group of pirates as they explore the world and encounter a variety of crazy characters and dramatic situations.

All of the characters are professionally voiced and the script is simple enough for children to understand while being layered with enough extra comedy for older listeners to laugh at. Children and adults who love watching surreal cartoons like Adventure Time or Spongebob Squarepants will get a kick out of Story Pirates.

What We Like

  • Incredibly talented actors and comedians lend their voices to this podcast.
  • Witty dialog will keep elder siblings and adults entertained.

What We Don't Like

  • Each episode ends with a reminder for listeners to interact with the Story Pirates accounts on Twitter and Instagram which may not be appreciated by parents wishing to keep younger children off of social media.
Story Time kids storytelling podcast

 Bedtime FM

Story Time is a free podcast that releases 15 minute bedtime stories for chidren on a weekly basis. Each story is completely original and is read by the host who adjusts his tone when voicing different characters as a parent would when reading a book to their child.

Children under the age of five will appreciate Story Time the most.

What We Like

  • Will appeal to fans of British childrens TV shows such as Thomas the Tank Engine.
  • Fan letters from listeners are read at the end of each episode.

What We Don't Like

  • When the host voices a child in a story, he can be a little difficult to understand.
The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel kids story podcast

Mars Patel LLC

 

The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel is an awarding winning podcast that tells an ongoing story involving a group of school friends. This podcast will appeal to fans of Young Adult novels due to its sense of adventure and mystery and unwillingness to speak down to the listener.

What We Like

  • All of the roles are voice by professional child actors which makes the story significantly more engaging than it would have been otherwise.
  • Each episode picks up where the previous one left off which will give young listeners something to look forward to.

What We Don't Like

  • Some situations in the ongoing story may be too intense for younger viewers who fall below the recommended eight to 12 age rage.
Circle Round kids storytime podcast

 Sabina Hahn for WBUR

Circle Round is a story podcast series that tells Americanized versions of classic folktales in under 15 minutes. Each tale has a clear lesson that's explained at the end of each episode and the official Circle Round website provides additional material such as coloring pages which can be downloaded and printed for free. Recommended for ages four to ten.

What We Like

  • Each episode ends by encouraging kids to talk to their parents about the morale mentioned in that episode.

What We Don't Like

  • While adapting folktales from different cultures is commendable, almost all of the original culture is absent in the final product which feels like a missed opportunity.
The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian kids story podcast

 Gen-Z Media

The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian is a weekly podcast that features the continuing adventures of a junior space explorer. Despite the Sci-Fi setting, there's very little violence with the focus mainly being on adventure and mystery.

Recommended for children aged five to 10 though younger listeners may want to fast forward through the introductions at the beginning of each episode.

What We Like

  • Listeners get to send in voice messages which are played at the end of each episode. 

What We Don't Like

  • Each podcast episode takes a while to get to the actual Finn Caspian story.
Stories Podcast kids podcast

 Wondery Inc

While not having the most creative title, Stories Podcast contains a fairly good mix of stories for children to listen to based on fairy tales, popular children's books, and even some completely original stories. 

What We Like

  • A good mix of classic fairy tales and completely original creations.

What We Don't Like

  • Most episodes average around 12 minutes in length but there are several which go for as long as 30 or even 40 minutes long which can make listening to this podcast hard to plan.
  • Very strong advertising at the beginning of every episode and requests for donations at the end.
Saturday Morning Media kids story podcast

 Saturday Morning Media

Saturday Morning Theatre contains short original stories for kids, often spreading them out across several episodes. 

What We Like

  • A good variety of voice actors and background music make this podcast a lot more engaging than many others.
  • Free craft downloads available on the podcast website.

What We Don't Like

  • Each episode begins by immediately asking for a donation.
  • Some of the stories are only four minutes long which could frustrate younger listeners.
The Past and the Curious kids podcast

 The Past and the Curious

The Past and the Curious is a podcast that features stories based on true historical events and figures. Each episode contains at least two stories told by the hosts and a song is performed at the end to bring it to a close.

Kids aged eight and over will appreciate this podcast the most.

What We Like

  • A good selection of true stories not commonly given exposure in the classroom or on TV.

What We Don't Like

  • The songs performed at the end of each episode feel out of place and will make most kids tune out.
Baalgatha : Children's Stories from Panchatantra, Jataka Tales and more kids podcast

Baalgatha

 

Baalgatha is a podcast that explores children's stories and folklore from India and other countries. The storytelling can get very detailed and will appeal to children aged 10 and up who have an interest in travel and other countries.

What We Like

  • This podcast is a fantastic way for children to gain exposure to other cultures, accents, and names.
  • New episodes are published every two to three days.

What We Don't Like

  • The lack of music may bore younger viewers.
Off Track kids story podcast

 ABC

Off Track is a weekly series that takes young listeners on a trip through the outback to learn about Australian animals. They'll learn what each species eats, how they live, and even what sort of sounds they back.

What We Like

  • Explores Australian animals that most children would have not encountered.
  • The podcast series keeps things fresh the occassional interview or a focus on a specific plant.

What We Don't Like

  • Younger viewers may find it hard to imagine what's being discussed without video. Recommended for ages six and up.
Little Stories for Tiny People kids story podcast

Rhea Pechter

 

Little Stories for Tiny People is an ongoing podcast that features a new original story every week. Each tale is read clearly and precisely by host, Rhea Pechter, who knows exactly how to read to her pre-kindergarten demographic.

What We Like:

  • The host speaks in a deliberately slow and clear voice which makes this podcast ideal for those who have yet to start school and is perfect for children who may not speak English as a first language.

What We Don't Like:

  • The stories can go for as long as 20 minutes which can be too long for this podcast's target audience, especially in an audio-only format.