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Best Podcasts for Middle Schoolers!

I hate running. But I love having gone running! One way I fix my motivation hiccup (it's just so much nicer on the couch with tea and books) is with podcasts. When I run, I get to listen to an episode, and that's enough to make me want to lace up my sneakers and head out.

Old photograph of several young people gathered around a table and microphone

There's a plethora of podcasts out there that are smart, funny, interesting, and that make my brain feel as exercised as my leg muscles. And while some of these are not ones that I would share with my middle schooler (I'm looking at you, beloved S-Town) most of them are right up his alley in terms of weird-but-true content.

So the next time your middle schooler complains of boredom, the next long car ride, or the next house-cleaning blitz, load up a podcast for the whole family and make some new wrinkles in your brain. Try these!

Serialized Fiction:

The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel
From the website: The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel is a scripted podcast for middle grade kids, performed by middle grade kids. It is a fun, high-quality, serial mystery that can be described as Goonies meets Spy Kids meets Stranger Things for 8-12 year olds.

Eleanor Amplified
From the website: Buckle up! Your car is headed for... adventure! Eleanor Amplified is a radio adventure series for the whole family. Listen together as world-famous radio reporter Eleanor foils devious plots, outwits crafty villains, and goes after The Big Story. Eleanor's pursuit of truth takes her into orbit, out to sea, through a scary jungle and even to the halls of Congress!

Science and Technology Discovery

Tumble
From the website: Exploring stories of science discovery. Tumble is a science podcast created to be enjoyed by the entire family.

Wow in the World
From the website: Wow in the World is a podcast and a new way for families to connect, look up and discover the wonders in the world around them. Every episode, hosts Mindy and Guy guide curious kids and their grown-ups away from their screens and on a journey. Through a combination of careful scientific research and fun, we'll go inside our brains, out into space, and deep into the coolest new stories in science and technology.

But Why
From the website: But Why is a show led by you, kids! You ask the questions and we find the answers. It’s a big interesting world out there. On But Why, we tackle topics large and small, about nature, words, even the end of the world.

Brain's On!
From the website: Brains On! is a podcast featuring science and kids produced by American Public Media. We ask questions and go wherever the answers take us. Sometimes that means talking to a food scientist or a snake handler, other times that means putting on a play about sound waves or writing songs about sleep. A different kid co-hosts each episode.

Answering Big Questions

Youth Radio
From the website: Youth Radio’s mission is to revolutionize how youth tell stories and the ways people connect with next-generation journalists and artists. We deliver honest, vital, top-quality news and culture you won’t find anywhere else. 

Being 12
From the website: It's no secret that being 12 years old can be tough. At 12, kids shed layers, test new roles and transform before our eyes as they explore what kind of adult they want to be.

Short and Curly
From the website: Short and Curly is 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 like about animals, technology, school, pop culture and the future.

What podcasts do your kids love?

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