Let's just start with this; I love podcasts. Over the past few years, podcasts have become my main source entertainment/learning. I used to read . . . a lot, but since having kids I find that I have neither the time nor energy to get into a book. This is usually how it goes:
1.) Begin to read, fall asleep 5 minutes in.
2.) Get really excited to start a new book, read the first chapter, repeat every three months.
3.) Misplace all of your precious books as a result of shelf space being dedicated to Dr. Seuss and about 20 board books all covering the same material.
So, podcasts are a great solution because I can put the headphones on and do dishes/laundry/yard-work/etc. They are also great for driving to work because episodes are usually short and you only need to have the attention span of a 14 year old.
It's intricate dance between boring them to death and scarring them for life.
There is however, one small problem (for me actually four small problems, but I won't name them here). For some reason kids don't seem to be interested in Beau Bergdahl's reasons for deserting the army or what it's like to start a media company or why we started paying attention to political official's sex lives. If you've ever tried to listen to NPR with the kids in the car you know what I mean. It's intricate dance between boring them to death and scarring them for life.
Here is the compromise.
There are actually podcasts out there made for kids, that won't make you feel like you're trapped in an endless Disney Jr. replay. Here are two of my favorites:
1.) Brains On - produced by Minnesota Public Radio, Brains On is sort of a Radiolab for kids. I mean, who doesn't want to learn everything there is to know about spiders and the science behind boogers. This is one podcast that even adults can learn something from.
2.) Storynory - Storynory is everything you would want bedtime stories to be. It's a mix of traditional folk and fairy tales, as well as new original stories. There are over 100 stories to choose from, so you'll never run out of options. Let's face it, half the fun of reading your kids stories is hearing them again yourself.
As podcasts become more and more popular why not introduce your kids to this new way of enrichment that combines the best of learning and storytelling in a way that encourages imagination. If you ever doubted the power of sound to make you feel something, take a look (or a listen rather) to this: