Car rides with young children are…enjoyable. Not exactly! Car rides with little kids are… quiet. Nope, not if they are awake! However, car rides can be both of these with some quality podcasts for kids. Huge bonus is they are entertaining for adults too!
We are back in school and enrichment activities are starting: sports, lessons, birthday parties, playdates, you name it. With multiple kids in multiple activities, I am a mama taxi. I drive about 100 miles a week, easily. That is a lot of time in a small space listening to arguments, whining, and responding to questions like “how big is the sun?” and “what’s inside my foot?” While I appreciate focused time spent interacting with my daughters, sometimes we all need a quiet break. I recently discovered when my three are listening intently any podcasts for kids, it is peaceful. Oh, and that extra bonus – starting a routine that doesn’t include screen time.
Like audiobooks, podcasts engage children in the neurological skills necessary for auditory processing.
They help children practice sustaining attention and memory. They also increase imagination and critical thinking skills. When listening to a podcast for kids, you can easily support your child’s active listening skills in a few simple ways. In the same way you might pause when reading a book, do not hesitate to check in with your child during a podcast. Reasons may include:
- Clarifying new or complex vocabulary
- Asking your child to retell/rephrase a story to gage comprehension
- Discussing characters, particularly when a show has several in a story
- Sharing questions or opinions as you listen – this models active listening
Three favorite podcasts, approved by my three, five, and seven year old kids are on rotation in our car and at home.
Occasionally, all three kids will fall asleep while listening to one, and then I recommend listening to some podcasts for your own entertainment!
This is our number one go-to in the car. The short episodes by seven year old Olivia and her Dad are engaging and funny. They answer questions submitted by other children who are curious about everything from color blindness to elephants to earthquakes. My three year old listens and learns, while my older two often begin asking more questions. They make for wonderful dinner table topics later in the day! More science based podcasts to check out:Wow in the World, Brains On, and But Why
Get ready to laugh! A brilliant team of comedians, songwriters, and celebrity guests take original short stories written and submitted by kids and make magic happen. The sketch comedy often includes interviews with the child authors and songs. Peals of laughter can be heard from our backseat when we listen to this one! Other story based podcasts to try: Little Stories for Tiny People and Circle Round
Another well-crafted podcast, this show is for animal enthusiasts. Earth Ranger Emma travels the world to discover wild animal facts, and solves mysteries related to nature. The podcast engages a listener with the storyline, along with all kinds of factual, fascinating information related to animals. This has become such a hit at home that my daughters will listen to episodes on repeat, often while drawing and coloring.