I think its safe to say that excessive screen time is an issue in many a household. As soon as television time ends, the request to use the iPad comes forward. It seems like kids constantly need to be entertained now. Reading time is extremely important and usually an enjoyable pass time for kids. But what about if you are going on a road trip or are just not in the mood for a book? This is where podcasts for kids become a great alternative!
Podcasts, previously known as ‘audioblogging’ (I don’t know why this is a fascinating fact to a blogger!) became popular starting around 2004. There are so many different genres available to listen to now, even for kids.
Below is our commentary on a few different podcasts that we have been enjoying listening to with our kids lately.
Who said that a history lesson has to be boring? History was actually one of my least favorite subjects in school. I really didn’t want my kids to feel the same way as I did when my teacher asked us to pull out our history books! So I thought this podcast was worth a try.
The episodes are 30 minutes or less which is the perfect time to keep a child interested. I love how they are able to teach my kids important historical events in entertaining bite size snippets. This podcast has done an amazing job in combining great history with great humor.
Each episode has a funny themed song and a quiz at the end to see how much you have learned (my kids always do much better than me on these quizzes LOL). This is one of my kid’s favorite podcasts. In fact I don’t mind listening to it even on my own. I wish that this was available when I was a kid in school! You can check it out here: The Past the Curious
Often times it will be late at night and I have a ton of things on my mind that need to get done. I feel guilty saying no to a bedtime story as I tuck my kids into bed, but I just don’t always have the time or energy for it! Then along came a podcast for kids called Story Time. Ever since I found this podcast, I never felt bad about skipping out on story time again! My kids get to hear a wonderful bedtime story and I get some time to finish what I need to get done before the day ends. Personally I think the podcast does a much better job at the whole story telling thing than I do! I highly recommend the Story time podcast. The stories are perfect for bedtime for kids ages 4 and up. They are only 10 – 15 minutes long so they are short and sweet. They are also read in a soothing voice which will relax them and get the little ones ready for sleep.
We live in a small town but my kids go to school in the neighboring city. It takes about a half an hour to drive there each way. We chat about their schedule for the day on the way there and what they did at school on the way back. We do that for 10 to 15 minutes and then they want to listen to the radio. So we end up listening to a LOT of songs on the Kidz Bop station. LOL.
I don’t mind it, but then the same songs seem to come on over and over. We also visit my mom regularly, who lives about an hour drive out of town. They just get bored and restless without something to entertain them. This also usually results in more, fighting, whining and complaining!
I knew we needed a change but it still had to be relaxing and entertaining. Then my friend told me about Brains On. Its an award-winning science podcast for kids.
There are a lot of different subjects that the podcast covers; from space to animals to poo! So I decided to try it out. I downloaded a few and had them ready on my phone. The first one we listened to was about Narwhals. My kids are really into the show Wild Kratts these days so I knew that anything to do with animals was going to peak their interest.
I really didn’t know how it was going to be presented. My younger one has a pretty short attention span so I wasn’t confident it was going to be accepted over Kidz Bop! The good thing was that it wasn’t just a host or two going on and on about a subject. Brains On podcasts involve children who ask questions and actively engage with the host. They tell stories and incorporate music and sound effects.
One of the kids’ favorite parts of the podcast is guessing the mystery sound. A random sound effect is played and we are given time to think about it while they continue on with the segment. It can be tricky and isn’t necessarily related to the subject of the podcast. We all have to make our guesses and then we wait until the answer is revealed. The kids love it.
The Brains On podcast was a hit and now it is requested regularly. Though these podcasts are supposed to be for children, I can tell you I am also entertained and I learn a lot of facts!
My eldest has had chronic headaches for years. The headaches seem to always get worse at bedtime, likely because there are no longer any distractions so he focuses on the discomfort. My husband and I have gone up and down the stairs many a night, trying to find solutions to help him fall asleep. We were looking for something to help him relax, which is why I decided to try this podcast called Peace Out.
The first one we listened to was called Time In T-Rex! The host Chanel has a very soft and soothing voice. My daughter was so enchanted by it. She asked me, ‘Do you think she ever yells’? Clearly nobody in our household is capable of speaking softly. LOL.
The host begins the podcast with guided meditation – essentially deep breathing and imagery. She incorporated facts about dinosaurs and the T-Rex to help keep it interesting. Then the kids were told to do different yoga like movements to mimic a dinosaur. My 6 year old really enjoyed it. Neither child passed out in bed after listening, but I did find it was a nice way to wind down for the evening.
What I love most about this podcast is that its teaching them mindfulness and relaxation, in a fun way. If they can start learning this at an early age and carry on with it as a regular exercise, I’m confident it will benefit them throughout life.
These are the 4 children’s podcasts we have been listening to with our families. They are from 4 different genres and each podcast provides our children with some exciting entertainment and educational value.
What podcasts do your kids love listening to?
If you are looking for more kids activities, check out this post on designing your own t-shirts.