It's been maybe 6 weeks since the last time I looked at ranking podcasts for kids, and it feels like things are continuing to change for the better. (For those of you interested, here is May's list of top-ranked kids and family podcasts.) If you're looking for a podcast for kids, you could of course look at my list of podcasts for kids (now above 100!), but if that's a bit overwhelming, try the podcasts listed below. Popularity isn't always synonymous with quality, but you could do much worse than dipping into the shows ranked below to start out.
In terms of big developments on the content side, I'm going to go with the debut of Circle Round, the new storytelling podcast from public radio's WBUR in Boston. With just one episode (a pilot with Jason Alexander), the show already cracked this list. When the show fully debuts in the fall, I'm sure it's going to move considerably higher.
The bigger development is really the overall health of the ecosystem. May's list set or tied records regarding the number of shows in these lists, but June's list blew way by those records. There are 19 ranked shows below -- meaning 16 shows that appeared in the top 100 of both the iTunes and Stitcher "kids and family" charts -- just 2-3 months ago we usually only saw 10 or 11. The total number of podcasts listed below is 35, by far a record high. A total of 4 podcasts below hit the overall iTunes Top 200, while in the Top 200 Kids & Family chart on iTunes, the total there (42) exceeded last month's record by 9 shows. (The Stitcher total of 25 tied the record.) It's not clear if it's summer vacation, road trips, smart home speakers, or something else, but way more people know about kids podcasts now than did just a few months ago.
As always: this is a blunt instrument, combining pure rankings from two fairly opaque charts, and for a variety of reasons has only marginal value as a measure of quality. (Results compiled from Top 100 podcasts on United States iTunes and Stitcher "kids and family" charts on Monday, June 26, 2017. Podcasts that appear on both charts are listed with numbers; remaining podcasts only appeared on one list.) So: grain of salt noted.
Two other reminders:
1. If you're looking for a list that has most (or all) of these podcasts, check out my comprehensive list of podcasts for kids.
2. If you're interested in the future of podcasts for kids, you might be interested in Kids Listen, a grassroots organization of podcasters and folks like me interested in helping high-quality audio for children thrive. We're looking for other interested folks -- producers or otherwise -- to join in!
With that out of the way, let's get to the chart.
1. Brains On!
2. Wow in the World
3. Stories Podcast
5. The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel
7. Eleanor Amplified
8. Story Pirates
9. The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian
10. Story Time
11. But Why
12. Peace Out
13. The Cramazingly Incredifun Sugarcrash Kids
14. Ear Snacks
15. Short and Curly
16. Children Stories and Joyful Podcasts
17. Circle Round
18. Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child
19. The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd
Others (listed alphabetically): 1001 Classic Short Stories and Tales, Activated Stories, Bedtime History, The Children's Corner, Children's Fun Storytime Podcast, Disney Story Central, Dream Big, Family Folk Tales, Little Stories for Tiny People, Official Adventures in Odyssey, Podcast Kid, Saturday Morning Theatre, Sparkle Stories, The Story Home, That Story Show, What If World