Right now many families are getting ready to tackle some uninterrupted time at home for the foreseeable future. If childcare is becoming an unexpected roadblock to a productive conference call, we’d like to offer a solution that does not involve playing Frozen 2 for this fifteenth time this morning, though we are all collectively grateful that is an option. Kids' podcasts are a relatively new solution to the screen time dilemma that offer an engaging and educational distraction during our age of impromptu social distancing.
But first, what’s a podcast?
Podcasts are audio only programs, like a radio show. They are great because they are engaging and educational and do not involve any screen time. Some are nonfiction and educational, some are made up and fanciful, but all can be a way to keep your little one focused and entertained without staring at a screen.
If you aren’t already acquainted with the world of children’s audio, there’s a ton of information to sort through. This New York Times article would be a great place to start! But for kids and families who are already taking advantage of the awesome America's Test Kitchen Kids resources (which are now completely free to use) we’d like to recommend a few shows we think you’ll love.
America’s Test Kitchen Kids just launched their very own children’s podcast called Mystery Recipe. Hosted by our editor in chief Molly Birnbaum, and co-hosted by a fictional oven mitt named Mitsy, this show brings food, science, recipes and A LOT of puns straight to your phone or tablet three times a week.
Mystery RecipeGet excited about cooking (and eating) by digging into the deliciously silly and unexpectedly educational podcast with a fun, fantastical cast of characters.
Each week is dedicated to a different ingredient theme. We release episodes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday that are jam packed with science experiments, interactive games and LOTS of delicious foody content the whole family will enjoy.
But once you’ve gone back and listened to all the Mystery Recipe episodes we’ve released so far, here’s a few other shows we think you might love too!
- Brains On: Brains On is a science podcast for curious kids and adults. Each week, host Molly Bloom and kid co-hosts, share stories, try to guess the mystery sound in an episode, and answer questions like: How do airplanes fly? What happens when you dream? Or how do sewers work? You can listen to Brains On here, wherever you listen to podcasts.
- Ear Snacks: Ear Snacks is a podcast for kids about the world. Andrew & Polly and their friends consider music, science, art and culture in a fun-filled family-friendly podcast that parents enjoy and younger kids eat right up.
- Tumble: Tumble is a science podcast for kids, to be enjoyed by the entire family. They tell stories about science discoveries, with the help of scientists! Join Lindsay and Marshall as they ask questions, share mysteries, and share what science is all about.
- But Why?: But Why? from Vermont Public Radio is a show led by kids! They ask the questions and we find the answers. It’s a big interesting world out there. On But Why, they tackle topics large and small, about nature, words, even the end of the world.
- Circle Round: Created and produced by parents of young children, WBUR's Circle Round is a podcast that adapts carefully-selected folktales from around the world into sound- and music-rich radio plays for kids ages 4 to 10. Each 10- to 20-minute episode explores important issues like kindness, persistence and generosity. And each episode ends with an activity that inspires a deeper conversation between children and grown-ups.
- Molly of Denali: Meet Molly Mabray, an Alaska Native girl growing up with her parents, family and friends. Over eight episodes, Molly and her friend Tooey discover the identity of a mystery creature that has stolen Molly’s birthday cake. Join Molly and the gang and discover what life is like for a typical kid on big adventures in Alaska!
- Story Pirates: Story Pirates is a group of world-class actors, comedians, improvisers and musicians who adapt stories written by kids into sketch comedy and musical theater.
- Girl Tales: Girl Tales is a podcast featuring reimagined fairy tales. Damsels in distress? Princesses in need of protection? You won’t find those here. The girls in our stories take control of their own destinies, turning your favorite fairy tales into exciting new adventures.
We hope some good quality time with your family goes a long way during the upcoming time together at home. But for the moments when you just need a moment to get things done, we hope you turn to kids' podcasts to help occupy your family's time in a meaningful way.
For practical home-cooking information you can count on, including lots of tips for cooking with kids and kid-approved recipes, check out the following articles and this list of resources.