We spend so much time in the car, the girls have learned to listen to podcasts.
Podcasts for kids were first mentioned by our dearest friends from Chapel Hill when they came to visit. It became a fun thing for them to enjoy together while we were in the car.
The concept of listening and comprehending was further reinforced in school. Apparently our school tests auditory comprehension and retention by having the kids listen to podcasts in class, and then have them write down what they remember, what struck them, and the like.
See I don’t think I ever remember having this as a tool when I was growing up. Everything was visual. Or, it was the spelling words that I had to get right. It is great to see how these schools have kept up with the times.
Since then I’ve come to learn and appreciate the value of podcasts, especially during long car rides. The girls are quiet and they listen. They don’t fight over what station to listen to. And that’s a good 30 minutes of peace (at least!).
Here are a few of our favorites:
SMASH BOOM BEST. This is our most recent favorite and we’ve been listening to it constantly. So far they only have one season in. Smash Boom Best came from the makers of Brains On (another favorite as you’ll see), that focuses on debates. Bats vs Owls, Superspeed vs Superstrength, Lava vs Quicksand, Books vs Movies! The girls go through four rounds of debates and learn fun facts in the process. I personally love that they can see how both arguments are good, and how both arguments could be improved. We’ve actually gone into their website and the girls have given their ideas for what debates they think the producers should make.
BRAINS ON! The sister program of Smash Boom Best, Brains On is one of the science podcasts for kids. Brains on takes a topic and dives into the many different facts surrounding it. It’s how things work, where things come from, and what makes things go. All pretty cool topics from booger to dinosaurs and the girls are amused. We haven’t listened to all of it, but picked through the ones that we like.
WOW IN THE WORLD. This is another favorite science podcast but formatted differently. There are two characters, Mindy Thomas and Guy Raz that get entangled in specific situations that lead them to talk about certain facts. Sometimes they have this time machine (of sorts) that takes them inside people’s brains, takes them back in time, or even out of this world! I think the girls enjoy the silly parts more than the facts, but really, it’s whatever I can get them to to learn in a fun way, right?
ELEANOR AMPLIFIED. This is an adventure series featuring Eleanor, a reporter and the sticky situations she gets herself in and out of. It reminds me of the Nancy Drew mystery books I used to read, but this one is the kid-friendly podcast version. It is funny and witty, and there are villains and heroes in the story too. I love how the girls can imagine the actual scene that’s being described by the characters.
THE ALIEN ADVENTURES OF FINN CASPIAN. This was one of the earlier podcasts the girls have listened to (about a boy that goes into space and beyond — A little bit like Star Trek!). I don’t think we went past some episodes in the first season, because we had downloaded everything almost all at once.
I just discovered it now has 4 seasons! Maybe this is something we need to revert back to this summer!
I’ve to admit, even I enjoy some of these podcasts. The debates for instance, sometimes even the girls and I get into it. I am learning some fun facts too. When Eleanor Amplified leaves us hanging, even I can’t wait to get to the next episode to find out what’s happened. It’s all a lot of fun.
If you have any podcasts you’d like to let us know about, we’d love to hear it!