No matter if you are a parent who has decided to raise a child bilingually or an ESL teacher – I do hope that you’ll find this article inspiring!
Before I recommend a list of stimulating podcasts, let me first explain what podcasts really are.
Citing Magda from Angielskie Majstrowanie
podcasts are like a personal radio – you can choose whatever you’d like to listen to
Podcasts are recorded monologues or conversations or short stories. They are easy to download and can be listened to everywhere you want.
I presume listening to podcasts is getting more and more popular.
I highly recommend you to listen to the podcast on 'How to learn English using podcasts?' to get some practical tips on active listening :)
How to find podcasts for kids?
Of course, by typing in your search engine ‘English podcasts for kids’.😉 But, after that you can end up with zillions of websites and stuff which you have to browse through, and… you still cannot be sure that you’ll find suitable content for you and your child or pupils.
Why listening in English is important?
If you have decided to raise your child bilingually, you should provide as many sources of quality English as possible. Usually, parents start their child’s English journeys with kids’ songs. (check out my playlist for the whole year) They may also choose cardboard illustrated books in a target language.
I personally chose not to use screen and technology in my child’s presence, so I am not using cartoons and short animated stories for children – plenty of which are available on YT channels. So, I needed to find another way of immersing the child in English.
Listen to what?
We usually listen to an English radio station at home and we are now familiar with almost every nursery rhyme broadcasted there. Yet, my daughter is getting older and I need to extend our listening content a bit.
I took a look at short stories, audiobooks, and podcasts dedicated to children. I am fully aware that by only playing these recordings around my child, she won’t learn the language. We try to actively listen together and then talk about it or act a story out.
Podcasts in your English classroom
I came across interesting content which can be successfully used in English classes with students. As a teacher, I do like to browse through the net and look for authentic materials. In this case, podcasts are recorded for native users of English.
Podcasts give your students an excellent opportunity to:
hear different accents,
learn about English speaking countries
and their cultures.
English podcasts for kids
In this section, you'll find podcasts with well-known fairy tales, classic stories, and some new short novels for children. They are suitable for both toddlers and older children.
Funny stories told in American English with great musical effects and a very pleasant voice of Rhea Pechter – the writer, podcaster, and producer.
I've listened to a few episodes and one of my favourite was about the sofa. It was a really hilarious episode! I enjoyed it very much.
This website has a collection of classic stories for children, original stories, and more – over 600 audio files are ready to be download or play – absolutely for free. What makes this site outstanding is that podcasts are performed by certified speakers. Three main actors have a master's in Classical Acting from London's prestigious Central School of Speech and Drama. Additionally, Storynory has high quality and available transcripts.
Moreover, Storynory 'runs popular writing competitions in which they ask our young audience to send in their own stories. Authors usually pick three of the best to read out on Storynory and sometimes offer other prizes from sponsors.'
Stories podcast has many classic and original stories. They are presented by an American accent woman and they are read quite fast. I found there some well-known seasonal stories like 'The Night before Christmas' or 'The Legend of Sleepy Hollow'. Additionally, there are many spooky stories for those who like having goosebumps ;)
Another great collection of stories for toddlers, preschoolers, and young children up to 13 :) Story time podcasts are approx 20 minutes long, so they are a good choice for everyday active listening. The language is clear and understandable, and what's more, podcasters speak slowly. That's important for little children!
In this section, I tried to gather all podcasts which tackle the issue of language. I was looking for something for non-native English speakers. However, I found it difficult to come up with a list of decent ESL purpose podcasts for kids. Instead, I will present you with some language-oriented listening content.
That's a really entertaining show, and I enjoyed it a lot. What makes it even better is an Australian accent which is not very popular in Poland.
Story Salad is a fun and wacky improv storytelling show. Join Matt from playschool and one of his super storyteller friends as they are given three words to make up a story about it, ON THE SPOT! What do a teddy, the colour orange and a castle have in common? No idea! How about a toilet, guitar and a cat? No clue, but we’ll find out very soon because Matt and his friend only have three minutes to whip them up into a Story Salad.
I do recommend using them with students from Year 3 and above. Also, you can try to do improv like this in your own classroom :) This activity can give you so much fun and creative writing to do :) (speaking would be a bit more difficult, but... do give it a chance!)
Of course, I am using this CLIL terminology, because I am an English teacher. If you want to get to know more about CLIL, read some of my articles here. This group of podcasts is about a variety of topics including Biology, Cooking, Travelling, History, etc.
I found many valuable podcasts but I'll just mention some of them. More links will be provided at the bottom of this article.
Biology, Science, Animals
The Earth Rangers
The Earth Rangers Podcast is a podcast created by a great team of scholars and scientists. Its language is quite difficult (American English), but it’s good for listening activities – listen for specific info. Earth Rangers website gives ideas and resources for both parents and teachers. There are approximately 40 episodes.
Cool facts about animals is an American podcast created by a group of children. Language is rather simple. What I like the most about it is that tricky and complex vocabulary is explained. In each episode children firstly describe a chosen animal and then they read and discuss facts about it. They compare different species of animals. This podcast is a great choice for animal lovers 🐾
Bedtime History is a series of educational, relaxing stories for kids and families. 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.
These episodes are perfect for CLIL history lessons. They are recorded by an American podcaster who has a very pleasant voice. They meant to be listened to before bedtime, however, I'd advise you to listen to them anytime :)
Discover the incredible stories behind some world famous inventions in this podcast.
Fun Kids has many original interesting podcasts on various topics. This one is quite short but I bet your kids will have a really nice time listening to it. Sir Sidney McSprocket is an Irish scientist who tells about different inventions in a very pleasant way.
British children share their short recipes for tasty dishes from all over the world. Enjoy your kid at home or during the CLIL lesson. You will find basic info about food and its origin in very short episodes of Fun Kids radio podcasts.
For parents: daily routines
Podcasts can support your daily routines. I found some energizing ones to dance and sing-a-long with your kids, special programmes for a quiet and relaxing time, and also some calming for sleeping time. BTW, if you want to implement morning songs at your home - check my article here :)
Sleep Tight Stories brings you new and captivating bedtime stories every week. The stories range from retellings of fairy tales, folk stories, classic Canadian works, and original stories written by guest authors. Each story is beautifully told by Sheryl MacLeod and friends and is just the right length. Sleep Tight Stories is advertising-free and safe for kids of all ages.
I am absolutely into this podcast! I'm not really familiar with Canadian works, so this is something new for me. I love the idea of reading such stories with music; it creates such a magical atmosphere...✨
MY FAVOURITE SITES WITH DOZENS OF FANTASTIC PODCASTS
ABC Kids Listen
Need some more podcasts?
|Five minutes with Dad|
short funny stories told by Dad and children
"podcast adapts folktales from around the world
into sound- and music-rich radio plays for kids"
|Dream Big Podcast|
an inspiring family-friendly podcast
created by 10-year-old Eva and her mum Olga
|Sophie and Sebastian|
"They are meant to entertain the entire family, not just kids."
|The World Of Buddy Pegs|
"The World of Buddy Pegs is a series of free original children’s
audio stories for families who want to share the inspiration
and empowerment of bicycling with the next generation"
|The Calm Kids Podcast|
"Stories by kids, for kids to unwind, and go to sleep relaxed and happy"
|Short and curly|
a fast-paced fun-filled ethics podcast for kids and their parents,
with questions and ideas to really get you thinking.
It asks curly questions about animals, technology, school, pop culture and the future.
|Wow in the World|
"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."
"On each episode, we capture the magic that happens when kids ages 6-12
meet and collaborate with beloved storytellers who grow
original short stories inspired by their story ideas!"
|Molly of Denali|
Join Molly and the gang and discover what life is like
for a typical kid on big adventures in Alaska!
I hope you'll find my article useful!
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