Podcasts 101 (and 5 Faves to Get You Started!)

Everything you need to know about podcasts, and more.

By Amy Mascott
Mar 28, 2016



Podcasts 101 (and 5 Faves to Get You Started!)

Mar 28, 2016


Are you into them or not?

I’ll admit, it took me a long time to jump on the podcast boat, but now I’m hooked. Obsessed, even. I love a good podcast. And friends, there are many.

But before I share my top five podcasts for kids and family, I’ll give you the lowdown, the skinny, the podcast 101.

What is a ‘podcast’?
A podcast is a program consisting of music or talk that is made available via digital format and ready for automatic download.

Podcasts are kept on a server and are often shared with listeners via a feed system so that new files are downloaded and pushed to devices automatically. Files are then stored on an individual’s computer or mobile device so they are available for offline use.

How do I find a podcast?
You can actually do a search for any topic you’d like along with the word ‘podcast’ to see if it exists. Or, you can search for podcasts on iTunes, even if you don’t have an Apple product because most podcasts are shared across multiple platforms, like iTunes, SoundCloud, TuneIn, or PodBean.

How do I listen to a podcast?
You can listen to podcasts on your iPhone, iPod, Android device, tablet, or your computer. You can download individual podcast episodes, or you can subscribe to a podcast so that each episode is sent to your device as it is updated.

When should I listen to a podcast?
You can listen to a podcast any time you’d like, the same way you’d listen to music or audiobooks! Listen while you are in the car, on the bus, on the treadmill, wherever!

Who makes podcasts?
Anyone can make a podcast!

Are podcasts free?
Most podcasts are free, but some may have a subscription fee.

Are there podcasts for kids?
There are indeed podcasts for kids and families. There are podcasts on just about every topic, every length, every idea.

Definitely take time to listen for yourself before you listen as a family, but here are five of our favorite podcasts to get you started:

  • Story Pirates: Kids write stories. And the Story Pirates guys act them out. On air.
  • brains on!: Science and kids. Kids co-host each episode, and together they cover a ton of cool-for-kids topics. By MPR News and Southern California Public Radio.
  • The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd, by Grant Baciocco and Doug Price: Follow the adventures and exploits of the World's Most Brilliant Scientist, Dr. Floyd in this “family friendly new twist on ‘old time radio’!”.
  • MuggleCast: the Harry Potter podcast: The most listened to Harry Potter podcast online, with close to 300 monthly episodes, discusses everything from the latest Harry Potter news, to the Potter books, and more.
  • Scholastic Reads: A podcast about children’s books and the joy of reading, featuring interviews with fantastic authors by host Suzanne McCabe.

What are your favorite podcasts? We’d love to hear about them! Share your ideas on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page, or find Amy on Twitter @teachmama, and let’s continue the conversation!

Read all posts by Amy Mascott.

Featured Photo Credit: © BraunS/iStockphoto


Check out bloggers Amy Mascott and Allie McDonald's book, Raising a Rock-Star Reader: 75 Quick Tips for Helping Your Child Develop a Lifelong Love for Reading. Get expert advice and learn new strategies for your young readers.

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