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With the summer holidays coming up, there are two words many parents fear: 'I’m bored!' One way to keep the little ones busy - especially in the car - is with podcasts, and there are many to choose from.
More than just a distraction, podcasts offer a few other benefits:
- It stimulates their imagination: Because your children will be listening and not watching something, their brain has to tap into the imagination to draw its own pictures to fit the audio feed. Researchers have repeatedly linked imagination to brain and cognitive development.
- They learn as they listen: Depending on the choice of podcast, your kids could add to their knowledge about the particular topic being explored in the podcast. There are many that cover science, philosophy, history and more.
- Quiet time: Children are easily overstimulated in a world that bombards all their senses. Allowing them to put time aside to listen to a podcast provides some peace and quiet for some of the senses.
- Improved listening: Many studies have found that our attention spans are getting shorter. Podcasts could however, make us better listeners by teaching us to remain engaged while someone else is talking so as not to miss out on any important bits of the story.
- Reduced screen time: While you’ll need a smartphone or tablet to play the podcast, your child won’t be staring at a screen while listening to the story.
Here are eight podcasts you should encourage your kids to subscribe to:
- Wow in the World: This one is great for parents and kids. It explores the latest developments in science and technology, focusing on a specific topic in each episode.
- Dream Big: Seven-year-old Eva Karpman and her mom interview a range of guests (from a historian to an entrepreneur and even a one-handed pianist) with the ultimate aim of encouraging listeners to follow their dreams.
- Peace Out: Ideal for bedtime, Peace Out features short stories that help your little ones relax through visualisation and breathing exercises.
- What If World: Crazy but fun, this podcast takes strange questions from kids, such as 'What if up was down and down was up?' and 'What if blankets could talk?' and turns them into stories using characters and silly voices.
- Ear Snacks: Hosted by award-winning music makers Andrew and Polly, Ear Snacks is a musical podcast that combines catchy tunes, storytelling and interviews with kids to teach listeners about the world around them.
- The Past & the Curious: Taking real-life stories from history, this podcast will teach your children about the lesser-known events of the past in a fun way with some great music and a quiz thrown in.
- Sesame Street Podcast: Fans of the legendary TV show will be thrilled to be able to take Elmo, Big Bird and the rest of the cast with them wherever they go.
- Five Minutes With Dad: Tune in for conversations between two youngsters and their dad. They discuss everything from going to school to losing a tooth, dealing with relatives and more.
How to listen
There are a number of platforms and apps you can download to listen to podcasts, but a great option is Kids Listen. The site (and iOS app) lists child-friendly podcasts your kids can explore in their own time.
Connect your kids
Find a selection of great-value tablets and smartphones perfect for every member of the family on Vodacom Online. You'll get free delivery, free SIM and free connection.