Has your family discovered podcasts yet?
What is a podcast? Think talk radio — like a free broadcast delivered right to your tablet or device on just about any topic you can imagine.
My husband is listening to podcasts specific to planning Disney World vacations as we get ready for our family trip. My sister in law listens to podcasts that rehash episodes of her favorite television shows. I love Sorta Awesome, a podcast about culture and lifestyle, and This American Life, published by National Public Radio. There are podcasts focused on just about any topic you can imagine: Parenting? Feminism? Babysitters Club? Richard Simmons? There’s a podcast for that. True crime lover? Yes, there’s a podcast for you. Looking for local stories? Many area churches and new stations publish regular podcast episodes, and Fort Worth ISD produces a regular podcast for the community.
Listening to a podcast offers many of the same benefits as listening to an audiobook. When I asked my seven year old what he loved about listening podcasts, he said that they are fun, that you learn stuff, and they are funny. What I love is that podcasts are engaging, hands free, and screen free. Listening keeps his curious little mind stimulated, and they buy me a little bit of a breather in the car for those moments when I just need five minutes without one more question. We listen in the car, during quiet play, before bed, and, occasionally, at bath time.
Here are some of our favorite, kid friendly, podcasts:
Bedtime History: These short stories (each under 10 minutes) are meant to teach and inspire. They are quiet and mellow and perfect for settling little minds down at bedtime. We like to listen to this one snuggled up under the blankets with the lights out and the lamp on.
Brains On: This science podcast answers children’s questions about how our world works. There are episodes on everything from musical instruments, slime, planets, and our national parks. It is well produced, and every episode features a silly mystery sound and a kid co-host.
Disney Story Central: We first discovered this one when we started planning our upcoming summer vacation. Story Central retells classic Disney stories in short formats. Most are 10-20 minutes in length. These are fun bedtimes stories or fillers when we are waiting in a carline or a parking lot.
Ear Snacks: This musical podcast could not be more entertaining for the whole family. It features great music and each episode focuses on a different theme. We especially loved the episodes on letters. The content is whimsical, novel, and fun.
Tumble: Like Brains On, Tumble follows children’s natural curiosity into the world of science. It covers all the things that my son has endless questions about — and for which I have exactly zero answers. Three cheers for scientists!