Listen up

I’m not much of a ‘recreational listener’, unless it’s eighties pop. Talk-back radio drives me crazy and I’ve never been one for having the television on for ‘background noise’. Give me Culture Club or silence. That was until I discovered podcasts.

I started with Serial (totally inappropriate for this audience but grown-ups, it’s addictive listening) and then found all sorts of other things to listen to.

Walkmans, iPods and now our phones made listening a solitary experience,  but podcasts are bringing ‘communal listening’ back.

Podcasts are conversation starters and capture niche interests (my own list of  subscriptions reflects the particular things I like to hear people talk about – books, genetics, pop culture and psychology). Testament to the fact that podcasts are the new thing is the suggestion that book groups are so 1997, now we get together to discuss what we’re listening to‘.

While we might not ever ‘gather around the wireless’, communal listening to a podcast in the car on a long trip is far preferable to the tug-of-war between Cyndi Lauper and So Fresh Hits of Summer 2017 that we usually have.

In preparation for the upcoming holidays, here’s a few podcasts that I’ve found interesting and entertaining for the whole family (if I mention they’re educational I may lose my junior audience) –

  • Science podcasts for kids that cover everything from poo and how elevators work to dinosaurs and whale sharks – Tumble and Brains On!.
  • Gastropod combines food with science, geography and history – go straight to the episode on fried chicken and the birth of KFC. It’s a fascinating history lesson.
  • Kid Friday – a technology information show for kids. Because they need to know about more apps, podcasts, websites and gadgets, obviously.
  • Short & Curly – ethical and philosophical questions for kids, ranging from whether lollies should be banned to whether kids should get the vote.
  • And for an addictive serialised story, try The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel.

Have you found any podcasts that your kids really enjoy?

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