Streaming guide: TV Series, Audiobooks and Podcasts to keep the children occupied

From online TV shows, to audiobooks and podcasts, Marjorie Brennan offers some quality suggestions for younger who may be cooped-up

Streaming guide: TV Series, Audiobooks and Podcasts to keep the children occupied

Available to stream:

Studio Ghibli

Netflix.

Netflix recently made a large selection of Studio Ghibli's animations available
Netflix recently made a large selection of Studio Ghibli's animations available

The streaming platform scored a real coup in securing a licensing deal with the renowned Japanese production company, whose anime masterpieces are largely hand-drawn by Hayao Miyazaki.

There are countless gems to be found here, including the wonderful 'My Neighbour Totoro' and the lesser-known 'Kiki’s Delivery Service' (featuring the voice talents of a young Kristen Dunst).

Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events

Netflix

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

If you haven’t seen this sublime production already, you’re in for a treat.

If you have, it is worth revisiting the three seasons to revel in the top-notch production, design, costumes and acting.

Neil Patrick Harris was born to play the evil Count Olaf, tormentor of the beleaguered Baudelaires.

Horrible Histories

Netflix

The BBC's horrible histories series has become hugely popular with kids and adults alike
The BBC's horrible histories series has become hugely popular with kids and adults alike

Arguably one of the best series ever produced by the BBC, you will never grow tired of this smart and irreverent take on history, which uses parody, song and silliness to entertain and educate kids and adults alike.

Brainchild

Netflix

Netfilx's BrainChild
Netfilx's BrainChild

This educational science series produced by Pharrell Williams, features plenty of interactive games, challenges and experiments to hold the attention of older kids, who will learn a lot about topics such as the psychology of social media.

The Worst Witch

Netflix

The Wost Witch, based on Jill Murphy's book series
The Wost Witch, based on Jill Murphy's book series

This series, originally screened on BBC, based on the hugely popular series of books by Jill Murphy follows the entertaining adventures of trainee witch, Mildred Hubble. With a second season coming on March 26.

Little House on the Prairie

Amazon Prime

A timeless classic, Little House on the Prarie was ahead of its time
A timeless classic, Little House on the Prarie was ahead of its time

Take a trip down memory lane with this American show which was a staple of Irish childhoods in the mid 1970s and early 80s.

The series, which tackled some groundbreaking topics (racism, alcoholism and poverty) for its time, still holds up. The opening theme alone is guaranteed to have you misty-eyed.

Adventure Time

TG4 Player

Adventure Time follows the adventures of Jake the dog and Finn the human
Adventure Time follows the adventures of Jake the dog and Finn the human

Plenty to keep the kids amused with over 170 episodes of this hallucinatory voyage through what may or may not be a post-apocalyptic universe with Jake the dog and Finn the human.

Also features Irish comedian and actress Sharon Horgan as the voice of Minerva.

Is Eolaí Mé

TG4 Player

Peadar Ó Goill explains all things scientific
Peadar Ó Goill explains all things scientific

Peadar Ó Goill presents this fun and accessible science show from his attic lab, where he and his young guests explore topics ranging from gravity to forensics.

Audiobooks

* All available on Audible.co.uk

How to Train Your Dragon, The Twits
How to Train Your Dragon, The Twits

The Twits by Roald Dahl, narrated by Richard Ayoade

We all need a dose of the giggles right now and Roald Dahl’s hilarious tale of the disgusting Twits delivers them in spades, perfectly captured by comedian and presenter Ayoade.

How to Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowell narrated by David Tennant

The Scottish actor brings his immense voice talents to bear in his retelling of the much-loved fantasy series following the efforts of young Viking Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III to bring the fire-breathing creature of the title to heel.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Artemis Fowl
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Artemis Fowl

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, narrated by Sheridan Smith

This unabridged audiobook edition of the classic uses sound effects and music to great effect, while the narration from the award-winning Smith does not disappoint.

Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer, narrated by Gerry O’Brien and Nathaniel Parker

Follow the evergreen exploits of criminal genius Artemis Fowl in this lively and extremely funny rendition of the books written by Wexford author Eoin Colfer.

Swallows and Amazons series by Arthur Ransome, narrated by Gareth Armstrong

A golden oldie for all ages, this classic series of 12 books originally published more than 50 years ago will transport you to a sepia-tinged childhood of adventure and derring-do.

  • Note: If you are a member of a public library, you can borrow a selection of free eBooks and eAudiobooks, with the https://www.borrowbox.com/

Podcasts:

Podcasts can be a great way of engaging children without having them stare at a screen for too long
Podcasts can be a great way of engaging children without having them stare at a screen for too long

But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids

Available here

National Public Radio in the US leads the way when it comes to engaging and educational content for kids. This show is steered by questions from young listeners and recent episodes include the timely Science of Soap and Why Do People Have Nightmares?

The Dastardly Deeds Of Professor Nasty

Available here

Spanning six episodes, this scripted comedy podcast is the brainchild of Irish writer/director Karl Harpur and centres on Clarissa Sparrow’s efforts to foil the titular evil professor’s efforts to turn all the good kids of the city bad.

Ear Snacks

Available here

This podcast, presented by musicians Andrew and Polly, uses music and song to teach children about a range of topics.

The Radio Adventures of Eleanor Amplified

Available here

An imaginative scripted series centring on Eleanor Amplified a radio reporter and Nancy Drew for our times who traverses jungles, oceans and even space in her quest to solve crime and thwart villains.

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