Audiobooks Book Reviews Family Life

How to Make Your Children WANT to Run Errands

This post is sponsored by Circle Round, one of the best storytelling podcasts for kids produced by WBUR

podcasts for kids

I love audiobooks for longer drives, but much of our driving is in short little bursts.

We hop in the car and drive seven or eight minutes to school. We drive six minutes to the grocery store or eleven minutes to Target.

I’m happy to listen to my own audiobooks for those tiny pockets of time (especially since I listen on double speed, so I can get 22 minutes of content in on an 11 minute drive), but for younger listeners that can be tricky.

I also run into the issue that much of our driving involves dropping off or picking up one of my children, so listening to a long book means one or more of my girls is always missing pieces of the story.

best podcasts for kids

One way we’ve dealt with this is by listening to books they’ve already read or listened to, so that it’s not as big a deal if they miss some of it or if they can only listen for a few minutes at a time.

Another good solution we’ve found is listening to short stories. We’ve checked out some collections from the library on CD and when I remember, I look for them on my library’s digital collection.

But sometimes you forget to go to the library or your library doesn’t HAVE anything or you don’t want to sort through a million online options or something that’s going to be automatically returned to your library.

And so one of my favorite little tricks is story podcasts for kids.

kid podcasts

Podcasts for Kids

They download automatically, you can listen to the newest one or any of the older ones, and they’re the perfect length for those quick errands.

So I am ridiculously enthusiastic about a new podcast that launched this week called Circle Round.

It’s a new storytelling podcast for kids ages 4-10, and is produced by WBUR (that’s Boston’s NPR station – they also produce super popular shows like Car Talk and Modern Love).

best podcasts for kids

Circle Round Podcast

Circle Round focuses on folktales from around the world and the show is hosted by Rebecca Sheir and then has a variety of insanely talented actors in each performance.

In the sneak-preview episode, Jason Alexander is the main character – a farmer who is fed up with how crowded and noisy his tiny home is. That name didn’t actually mean anything to me, but I KNEW I recognized that voice and as soon as I realized it was George Costanza from Seinfeld, I loved that episode even more. 

We’ve listened to two of the episodes so far (new ones release every Tuesday afternoon) and my girls have absolutely loved them.

They’re the perfect length (between 5-20 minutes) and they are just marvelously done, with great narration, sound effects, and music. We’ve listened to a number of podcasts for kids over the last year, and this is definitely the best one we’ve tried.

best podcast for kids

I love that my girls are being exposed to all these well-known and not-so-well known folk tales from around the world, and I really appreciate that they’re enjoyable for ME to listen to.

I grew up listening to lots of stories. We had this funny set of fairy tales narrated by a man and woman named Jennifer and Jason that we listened to in the car (they were on cassette tapes) and our family STILL quotes some of the best lines from them. We must have listened to every story at least 50-100 times over the years, and I have such good memories of those, so I don’t mind listening to these episodes over and over again, because repetition is so enjoyable for most children.

Also, they say for ages 4-10, but after we listened to the first one twice, I asked Star (who is 2.5) some details about the story and she rattled them all back to me without hesitation and she’s as quick to ask to re-listen to them as either of my older girls.

Circle Round podcast

And because they’re on my phone instead of on a CD or cassette, it’s easy for me to pull out my phone and let them listen while we work on puzzles, color, or fold laundry.

I cannot WAIT for the next episodes to air and if you’re looking for an easy way to introduce your child to listening to stories, I can’t think of a better way than Circle Round.

I get lots of questions about how to introduce young children to audiobooks, and this is definitely my new go-to recommendation. It’s so easy, accessible and enjoyable and one of the best podcasts for kids I’ve come across!

You can subscribe to Circle Round via iTunes, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast app and download episodes. And if you listen, let me know how you and your children like it or if you have other favorite podcasts for kids! 

If you liked this post about the Circle Round podcast, you might also enjoy:

Circle Round

Photos by Christie Knight Photography

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  • Reply Kate @ Mom's Radius September 22, 2017 at 8:20 am

    Cool. Thanks for sharing! I’m checking it out now. Hopefully my 7 year old will be interested.

  • Reply Paige Flamm September 22, 2017 at 9:59 am

    I just heard about this earlier in the week! I’m excited to give it a try since we’re going to be in the car A LOT when school starts next week!

  • Reply Rachel Rosen September 22, 2017 at 10:32 am

    We just discovered this podcast yesterday! We already listen to Wow in the World and But Why: a podcast for curious kids. My kids absolutely love listening to podcasts. And I love it too! Soooo much better than kidzbop or annoying kids music.

  • Reply Grace hennessey September 23, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    Per your instgram post we tried this podcast today. We love stories podcast but I’m always looking for new ones so we listened to the first episode of circle round and liked it! I love how unique the story was and it was great narration!

  • Reply Helen Harris September 25, 2017 at 8:57 am

    Thanks for sharing! I’ll definitely check it out 🙂

  • Reply MARIANA GREEN October 17, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    OMG, the Circle Round Podcast is amazing. Thanks for all your advice!

  • Reply My Four Favorite Sources for Audiobooks - Everyday Reading February 12, 2018 at 1:39 am

    […] are in the car, we turn it on and listen. If we’re missing a girl, we’ll listen to Circle Round episodes or music. The girls also listen to their own audiobooks on the CD players they have in their room […]

  • Reply Diana B. February 28, 2018 at 8:50 am

    Thanks for this, I am new to the Podcast world (true story) but this seems like a great way to start! We have had the same problems you mentioned with longer audiobooks on shorter trips. We homeschool, but we’re out and about a lot. I have taken my kids on a few road trips where we didn’t have reception or internet for spots of time, so I guess I’ll have to stick to books on CD or something for those times.

    • Reply Janssen Bradshaw March 1, 2018 at 2:39 pm

      Once you download the podcast episode, you don’t have to have reception to listen to them!

      • Reply Diana B. March 17, 2018 at 2:07 am

        Hooray, even better! 🙂

  • Reply Teandra April 17, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    Thanks! We’ve been loving the Disney story central podcast too. Short tellings of Disney movies.

  • Reply Gretchen April 20, 2018 at 12:56 am

    Just added this podcast to our line up! My kids LOVE Stories Podcast so I can almost guarantee Circle Round will be a winner too. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply Janssen Bradshaw April 20, 2018 at 9:44 am

      We just got into Stories Podcast in the last few weeks and we’ve been loving it!

  • Reply The Best Story Podcasts for Children: Stories Podcast and Why Our Whole Family Loves This Kids Story Podcast May 14, 2018 at 1:45 am

    […] fall, I wrote a post about the Circle Round podcast as part of their launch, and since then, our family has been rabid […]

  • Reply Activity Books for Kids: These are the best things to do on a long car ride! June 22, 2018 at 1:58 am

    […] even happier if I turn on a podcast for them to listen to while they draw – our favorites are this one and this […]

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