Ah, the great American family road trip. Not only is it fun to take in new sights together, it’s exciting to get out of the rut of that predictable family routine. But with the kids all cramped in one car, it can be hard to keep the little ones entertained while en route to your exciting destination. So after you’ve exhausted every
road trip game, spied every sign with your little eye, and listened to the Encanto soundtrack 3,000 times, it’s time to upgrade the in-car entertainment and ensure that the rest of the trip is quiet and fight-free. Behold, podcasts! They’re the parenting hack you’ve been looking for to ensure a smooth ride. From brainy shows to expand your kids’ brain cells to revamped tales of classic fairy tales perfect for tweens, there’s something on this list for everyone.
podcasts for adults are tempting, it’s not like you can listen to that newest true crime story slasher with your little ones in the car. Luckily, there’s so many great audio options that are made just for children, but bearable for adults too. Here’s a list of 10 podcasts that will rev up your next family road trip. Whether they educate or entertain, they’ll keep your children occupied, even if they run out of the holy grail of road trip essentials: snacks! Forever Ago Forever Ago is a fascinating podcast for the whole family. Apple Podcasts
If you’ve ever wondered who made the first sandwich or what the first video game was, it’s time to check out
. This podcast blends braininess and entertainment to bring you and your curious family the behind-the-scenes story of one cool thing from history. There’s also stories about interesting kids to inspire your offspring to get out there in the world and do something fantastic. If you want to guarantee that your children are bursting with fun factoids and can dominate the next family viewing of Forever Ago Jeopardy!, an episode of Forever Ago is packed with knowledge that bests the textbooks. For example, did you know that the poop emoji almost didn’t happen? Unimaginable, right? Smash Boom Best Smash Boom Best is a great podcast if you’re competitive. Apple Podcasts
Finally, a productive way to fight with your family!
is known as “the show for people with big opinions” where you are presented with two things, then proceed to “smash them together,” and decide what’s best. Fun guests like comedians or writers come on to convince the listener to choose between things like black holes or meteors. They even dare to take on the Sophie’s Choice of which is awesome-r: birthday parties or trick-or-treating! And then at the end, a kid judge weighs in on who presented the best case. The organized segments include a declaration of greatness, a micro round, sneak attack, and final six (where you have to sum up the glory of your thing in six short words). Kids who love being contrary or really get into point-counting competitions will really dig this podcast. Families who get caught up in the zoological battle between Smash Boom Best axolotls and flamingos might not even notice they’re stuck in some gnarly highway traffic. Greeking Out Greeking Out is a mythical podcast for families who love ancient stories. Apple Podcasts
You can’t go wrong with a podcast from National Geographic, and this kid-friendly retelling of ancient classic mythology will really get your little ones hooked. These original adaptations of some of the greatest stories ever told feature gods, goddesses, monsters, and heroes. In its fascinating seventh season, the podcast spins the yarns of some of the most famous mythic stories like the saga of ancient stunner, Helen of Troy and the hellish mother-daughter drama of Demeter and Persephone. There’s also a fascinating episode on ancient athletes and the OG Olympic games. As each story unfolds, the narrator has some nerdy banter with the “Oracle of Wifi” who offers her wisdom in her robotic voice.
is a podcast pick for any family who loves adventure and classic storytelling while speeding along on the open road. Greeking Out Short & Curly An Australian podcast that asks kids to tackle big questions. Apple Podcasts
For the strategic parents who use their vehicles as an opportunity to trap their children when they need to have an important discussion with no exits available, here’s your chance to engage your kids in some convos about ethics too. This podcast is all about asking those “curly” questions like: can you be friends with a teacher? Is it okay to read someone’s diary? Do you have to forgive someone who says sorry? Should you bully the bully? The
podcast Short & Curly asks those big-questions but works through possible answers in appropriately bite-sized kid portions (with great Australian accents to boot). The hosts even get controversial with hard-hitting investigations when they tackle the canine topic: should pugs exist? Julie’s Library
Realize your childhood fantasies and cozy up to some great children’s books read by
THE Mary Poppins herself. You’ll revel in these audio performances delivered by iconic actress Julie Andrews, who also happened to play another one of the famous caretakers on film (let us not forget one of best family musicals of all time — The Sound of Music). What’s unique about this podcast is that it includes several generations of women in the family with Andrews reading and chatting about some of the best picture books with her daughter, author, and educator, Emma Walton Hamilton. While this hasn’t been updated in a while and it’s unclear if it’s on hiatus or kaput, the old episodes are still worth checking out to discover amazing children’s literature that will never have an expiration date. Julie’s Library Mother Tongue with Sirine Mother Tongue is a podcast that celebrates langauge and culture. Apple Podcasts
While you’re enjoying that spirit of family wanderlust, why not travel even beyond the borders of your car and this country, and learn about the culture, tradition, and language of a place you and your kids might not know that much about. As the title of the podcast suggests,
Mother Tongue with Sirine is a love letter to languages spoken around the world. Your kids can explore Arabic, Cantonese, Hindi, and Tagalog while also learning about the music and food of some of the most fascinating places around the world. Each episode is super short and less than 10 minutes, so you can easily listen to back-to-back shows while you get some great ideas for a family trip abroad. The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian Families will be over the moon for this fun sci-fi podcast. Apple Podcasts
Two words: alien adventures. That’s all the convincing you will need to whet your kids’ appetites for this serialized science fiction story for children. Get ready for an audio binge that can definitely last until you get to your final destination. With 226 episodes in the can, you can follow 8-year-old Finn Caspian as he boards his rad interplanetary space station. Along with best buddies Abigail, Elias, and Vail, the kids in Explorers Troop 301 work together, solve mysteries, and battle the occasional aliens or space monster. With tons of galactic action,
this sci-fi podcast also brings on lots of the laughs thanks to BeeBop, the narrator’s jokey robot co-host. The Big Fib The Big Fib is a family podcast in search of truth-tellers. Gen-Z Media
Liar, liar, pants on fire!
The Big Fib is a podcast that lets kids take the reins when it comes down to matters of deceit and honesty. Every week a kid grills two supposed experts on a unique topic (like pickles or or hiccups or cheetahs) to figure out who is the real deal smartypants, and who is the liar. This fast-paced podcast is perfect for kids who are notorious for asking a million and seven questions, but it also teaches little ones how to be insightful and build those critical thinking skills. Plus, spotting a fake is a truly important life skill once your kids are old enough to access those dating apps and contend with those deceitful catfishers. Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls Good Night Rebel Girls is a podcast that will inspire the whole family. Apple Podcasts
Whether you’ve got a SUV full of sons or a Dodge Caravan packed with daughters,
is really made for everyone. The podcast tells the stories of some amazing and diverse women whose accomplishments and impact will knock your socks off. Listen to the fascinating beginnings of world class athlete and activist Megan Rapino or get inspired by the incredible story of Poorna Malavet who went from sweeping her elementary school floors to climbing Mount Everest at age 13. When you download the exclusive Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls Rebel Girls app, you not only have access to over 200 immersive stories and some cool activities, there’s also actual bedtime stories with dreamy soundscapes to play in the car if you want your little ones to unwind, or if you have the ambitious goal of putting your passengers to sleep in the backseat. Grim, Grimmer, Grimmest A fairy tale podcast for the family who loves to be spooked together. Apple Podcasts
Acclaimed children’s author of
The Inquisitor’s Tale and The Unicorn Rescue Society series, Adam Gidwitz is also a dad who knows a thing or two about stirring up those heebie-jeebies. As a self-proclaimed “ creator of scary content for kids” with an impressive Netflix show under his belt, Gidwitz brings his signature spook to the podcast Each episode includes a classic fairy tale retold with surprising twists to a bunch of wise-cracking kids.There’s no better way to pass the time in the backseat than by taking in some chilling fairy tales while simultaneously scaring your kids into sitting still. Grim, Grimmer, Grimmest.
Whether you’re looking for some memorable family bonding in the car, or you need to distract your perpetually bored backseat complainers during a road trip, podcasts are great to entertain the kids and learn some cool new things along the way. The time has finally come to banish that dreaded loop of “are we there yet?” — forever.