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This post is also available on Medium.

Podcasting has been around for a while now, and there are some great options for entertaining kids whether it be on a long car ride or background noise while playing with blocks. This post is the first in a series that features podcasts for kids and their grown-ups.

In the event you want to make listening to the podcast a more formal learning experience or extend the content of the podcasts, I’ve also included a few simple activities to accompany the episode featured here.

Using Podcasts with Kids

When using podcasts with kids, it can be useful to keep things simple and quick. With younger kids, you may not even refer directly to the content of the podcast. Simply listening to it while playing or doing another activity may be enough. With older kids, you might have a discussion about the topics or explore some of the information a bit more deeply.

In short, you should use the podcasts in a way that works best for you and your kids. Keeping patience and flexibility in mind while listening will help everyone see the activity as a fun learning opportunity rather than a forced learning experience. You don’t have to approach this as an assignment. Think of it as an opportunity to learn and connect with your tiny humans.

News Time

The first podcast I want to feature is News Time with Ruby Cornish. The podcast is produced on ABC Kids Listen out of Australia, a radio station and app dedicated to programming for children. This podcast has short, playful episodes about a variety of topics. Each episode showcases five short stories related to current events around the world. The podcast is made for children, so the information is presented simply and clearly with kids and the host interacting.

News Time is one podcast for kids.

Feature Episode

In the recent episode called Neptune balls and dinosaur bottoms, the host explores five different topics that kids and their grown-ups will likely find interesting. According to the summary, “Today, we’re celebrating World Wildlife Day, visiting some worried goats, and learning about some special seagrass that’s cleaning up our oceans. We’ll also hear about a dino derriere and how wombats are making a come-back in Western Australia!”

For the focused materials, I wanted to dive into the Neptune Balls story from the episode. This topic is a great way to explore science, nature, pollution, environmental issues, and even art. The materials linked here are free to download and use as you’d like according to the Creative Commons license. The ages listed are merely suggestions, so please feel free to use any of the materials with your child no matter what their age may be.

How do you use podcasts with your kids? I would love to hear about how you use these materials and this episode. Please feel free to connect here in the comments or on Medium!