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But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids
But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids

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. Have a question? Send it to us! Adults, use your smartphone's memo function or an audio app to record your kid's question (get up nice and close so we can hear). Be sure to include your child's first name, age, and town. And then email the audio file to questions@butwhykids.org

But Why is here to help with your education goals! We've created learning guides and coloring pages to complement our recent episodes. Our learning guides were designed to meet Common Core standards.

Teachers, check out our list of learning guides by category.

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Latest Episodes
  • Kala wants to know why we say soccer in the United States, when the rest of the world calls the game "football." In this episode we hear from people who make their living in the game, including coaches and commentators and former pros Alexi Lalas and Alejandro Moreno.
  • In this episode of But Why we visit a credit union to learn what money is all about. And Felix Salmon, Anna Szymanski and Jordan Weissman from Slate Money answer questions about why money plays such a big role in modern society. How was money invented? Why can't everything be free? How do you earn money? How was the penny invented? Why are dimes so small?
  • Five-year-old Odin in Wyoming is about to start school and he sent us this question: If I’m terrified about kindergarten do I have to go? What should I do if I’m scared? What if kids are mean to me? In this episode, tips and suggestions from our listeners for kids returning to school, along with answers from guidance counselor Tosha Todd and National Teacher of the Year Juliana Urtubey.
  • Have you ever been threading one leg through a pair of pants in the morning and wondered…why do we wear pants anyway? Or wondered why pockets in clothing designed for girls are sometimes smaller than the pockets in clothing designed for boys? In this episode we’ll tackle your questions about clothes with fashion historian and writer Amber Butchart.
  • What is the cleverest thing hippos can do? This week we’re answering seven quirky questions about animals! Why do elephants like peanuts? Why do cows put their tongues up their noses? Has anyone ever ridden a tiger? How do woodpeckers cling to trees? Why is some bird poop black and some is white? Why do people make animals like sharks and bears sound way scarier than they are? Answers from Keenan Stears of the University of California Santa Barbara. Christine Scales of Billings Farm & Museum, shark researcher Kady Lyons, and the Bird Diva Bridget Butler.
  • How are fireworks made? What are fireworks made of? How do they set off? Why are fireworks bright? Why are they loud? And why do we celebrate with fireworks on the fourth of July? We learn about pyrotechnics with Dr. John Steinberg, a physician and licensed fireworks professional. And we’ll hear from David Chavez, an explosives expert at Los Alamos National Laboratory about how changes to the materials used in fireworks can make them better for the environment and unleash new, more vibrant colors in the night sky.
  • This week, we're revisiting one of our favorite older episodes from the past. We’re going to learn a little bit about the history of noodles--and how to…
  • Are seeds alive? What are they made of? Here in Vermont it's planting time, and we've been getting a lot of questions about seeds from kids around the…
  • Our show just turned 5 and we've seen a lot of growth year over year in the number of listeners and questions you've been sending us. But we'd like to…
  • Our guest this week is a lexicographer. That's someone who studies words and, in this case, edits dictionaries. Emily Brewster is a senior editor at…