BBC School Radio is the division of the BBC that provides audio resources for primary schools.
There’s so much material here that I haven’t had time to explore the entire site! So far just the Early Learning section has kept my two little ones busy. Specifically, the Listen and Play podcast, which includes songs, stories, nursery rhymes, and is perfect for preschoolers.
And there’s more stuff, including animated video clips, that teach English literature, history, and other subjects, available for older children too.
Under the English section, you can find audio adaptations of works by William Shakespeare, Beatrix Potter, Hans Christian Anderson, Aesop, and many others. Even Greek mythology!
Narrators include well-known British actors such as David Tennant, Jonathan Pryce, Derek Jacobi, Jim Broadbent, Miranda Richardson, and Penelope Wilton – to name a few.
And of course, being North American, I just love those droll British accents.
Please check this free resource out. I promise it’s a great find!
Another terrific podcast for younger listeners!
Ear Snacks comes from music makers Andrew and Polly, and combines songs and science, filled with interviews with both kids and experts, for a well-produced, fun experience.
Add it to your listening rotation.
If you love fairy tales (like my daughter), but are looking for something different from the usual princess fare, then check out April Eight, a lovely new podcast that features thoughtful, original fairy tales.
Each episode starts with a folksy song, and April’s tales are gentle and full of imagination. Great for bed or quiet time.
Another throwback to my childhood!
These are not your typical audiobooks. But if you want a great way to introduce your kids to classical music, look no further than Classical Kids.
These stand-alone stories weave together storytelling with musical excerpts by famous classical composers. The result is kids discovering the beauty of classical music and a fun history lesson to boot.
My favourite is Mozart’s Magic Fantasy though that Queen of the Night role is not an easy one to sing! The rest are:
Ah, the one that started us on this journey! Stories Podcast is pretty beloved in our house. At this point, I have listened to some of the episodes a hundred times. They are that good! The main narrator, Amanda Weldin, is one of the best. She’s funny, does multiple voices, plays musical instruments, sings, and even harmonizes with herself. If you’re looking for a place to start, I would definitely recommend this podcast. It’s free! There are new stories almost every week. You can download from or listen on the website, or use a podcast app.
Here are a few of my daughter M’s favourite episodes:
Being a free podcast, I will tell you now that there are ads. And I do feel like they have gotten longer in some of the newer episodes. We enjoy this podcast so much though that we subscribe to it through Patreon. You can donate as little as USD $1 per month, and access the same stories ad-free.
And of course, we don’t love all the episodes. Some of the different guest narrators aren’t quite as entertaining. But we do enjoy the majority of them. And I hope you do too!