Do your children enjoy listening to podcasts? I love to play a podcast on those days when we are home all day, on days when things are a little quiet. Podcasts can be a great option for quiet time or even just for a little a break. I want to keep this discussion real, my three-year-old doesn't always sit through an entire episode. Sometimes he will sit perfectly still, other times he will move around and play while listening and other times he will walk right out the room. All of these podcasts are fun, light-hearted, educational, and really enjoyable.
I likw Kinderling podcasts, they have many different options for children including music, bilingual, relaxation/calming and art (check out the QAGOMA podcast for kids). We also use ABC Kids Listen. For my three-year-old our top Australian podcasts include:
- The Fact Detectives - Otto will ask for this and often requests previously listened to episodes "I want to listen to the Rainbow story!".The Fact Detectives is made in partnership with Museums Victoria. I always learn something new and interesting! The topics are engaging for three-year-olds, recent topics include rainbows, ants, snakes and lizards, and bees. I appreciate that the scientists use real scientific language, it's fantastic how they manage to be preschooler friendly but still use big words. Each episode is around 10 minutes.
- Busy Bodies with Mr Snot Bottom - fantastic for learning about body awareness, definitely for 3-4yrs+ (not younger). Mr Snot Bottom explores a different body part or bodily function in each episode including teeth, digestion, breathing, brain, ears. Is mildly gross, ok for this age group. Won Silver in the 2020 Australian Podcast Awards for Best Family Podcast and the Healthy Heroes Episodes won Silver for the Best Lockdown Podcast.
- Noisy by Nature - Listen and identify nature sounds and be a sound detective, the wonderful part is this is based on everyday sounds including outdoor sounds in the city. Lovely environmental focus in an urban environment. Recent episodes include Green Tree Frog, Bush-tailed Possums, Ibis. Episodes around 7 minutes long. I love that this encourages children to listen and identify sounds in their own environments/outdoor spaces. Children will be able to relate to many of the sounds.
- Little Yarns -Each episode takes you on a journey to a different (Australian) nation to learn a first word on Country. Around 7 minutes an episode. Won Bronze in the 2020 Australian Podcast Awards for the Best Family Podcast. It is fantastic to introduce first peoples language, voices and stories to children at a young age.
- Music Time with Mel-o-dee - Mel-o-dee is a professional trumpet player and a music teacher. Each episode covers a different classical instrument such as the flute, bassoon, clarinet, and cello. Each episode is around 6 minutes. I can only view this on the Kinderlings App, it may be part of their premium service. This is wonderfully educational especially for children who aren't familiar with classical instruments.
- Soundwalks - A soothing, calming, nature-based podcast. Episodes are around 6 minutes. I could not love this more, each episode is in a different setting for example Ocean, Wetlands, Waterfall. Encourages listening and identifying natural sounds, also focuses on breathing and identifying emotions. Has different narrators. This is perfect for bedtime or quiet time.
- Dirtgirl's Nature Detective Academy - lots of nature and gardening content. Each episode is around 5 minutes long. Recent topics include Flowers, Mud, Seeds, and Chickens. Based on the Dirtgirl ABC tv show, children may recognise Dirtgirl's voice, her voice can feel a bit much but the episodes are short.
Above Otto is comfortably listening to Kinderling Kids. We listen to many international podcasts but it is important that children are exposed to local content.
How do you listen to podcasts with your young children? I use my phone/sometimes laptop but play through a bluetooth speaker. If you are looking for other child-friendly audio options you can read about a few mp3 and music box options here.
If you have an older child 5yrs+ you might enjoy a previous HWM article Great Podcasts for (Montessori) Children.