Podcasts in Your Pocket

How to Listen Up!

The greatest things about podcasts are that you can listen anytime, and you can choose your topic and length. I've listed a few ideas to get you started (addicted?) for you and your Grands. Podcasts can be heard on your computer, but most listen on smartphones, tablets, or other mobile devices. Unlike traditional broadcast radio, podcasts are available anytime, anywhere by downloading or streaming. Voice-activated speakers, like Amazon Echo, Echo Dot,* Google Home and the upcoming Apple HomePod, are letting people listen together at home, much like old radio shows. Some of you have Sirius abilities in your newer cars, but most download Podcasts through the podcast app on a phone. Podcasts are different than audiobooks in that they are usually free, and short – timed for a 10, 30, or an hour car trip. Some are so good you'll sit in your car at your front door to finish it! The subjects are endless, from storytelling, history, instructional, philosophical, even meditation. I’ve learned a ton about writing strategies, online business, and successful social media tools 30 minutes at a time.

Smart Stuff for You

Unless you have wifi in your car, I would recommend downloading choices to your phone, perhaps for your week of driving, and playing them from your phone in the car (hopefully with CarPlay capabilities). Your favorite magazine, newspaper, blog, radio or TV show probably has a podcast too. Subscribe to automatically get new episodes. You can follow podcast you like that will instantly download and start making a list (the ones appearing on your playlist with a cloud icon have not been downloaded yet). Downloading ahead will save you data.

There are more than 400,000 free podcasts available on itunes! Here is a link to the “Best Podcasts of 2016” rated by The Atlantic based on innovation, consistent high quality, excellence within their genre, and of course, entertainment value. https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2016/12/the-50-best-podcasts-of-2016/510698/ I am enjoying working my way though Malcom Gladwell’s Revisionist History (#30) at the moment. 

LeVar Burton, of Reading Rainbow fame, just announced a new series called LeVar Burton Reads. Ok, I'm biased - he once featured my Kate Shelley and the Midnight Express for RR, but you KNOW it will be good!

Smart Kid Stuff

FamilyFun Magazine picked three fab podcasts for entertaining the youngsters and YOU! So much fun to listen to media together, laugh together, and talk about it. Getting there is as much fun as the adventure itself. Again, don’t forget to download ahead!

Ear Snacks – 20 minute episodes blend quirky music and storytelling into hilarious, cartoon-like content for kids. So far they've interviewed “60 kids, 35 experts, and 2 giraffes to create over 7 hours of listening-thinking-doing experiences for young children and families around the world. Whether we're talking about shadows in your bedroom or those on Mars, Ear Snacks is fun and smart food for thought for our audience (of mostly 2-7 year-olds) and their incredible growing brains.”

Five Minutes With Dad – a 5-yr-old boy talks family, superheroes, and other fun stuff with his dad and 3-yr-old sister in episodes ranging from five to 15 minutes.

StoryNory – New full-length audiobooks released a few times per month, so over 100 options, from original content to fairytales.

www.messymama.com has her her kids addicted to these five favorites -

Wow in the World:  Just launched and presented by NPR, the hosts, spunky Mindy and her sidekick Guy Raz, explain the wonders of the world around them.  With scientific evidence and silly antics, this podcast teaches some super interesting things.  Her boys recommended the episode about Brain Freezes, and her personal favorite was all about why giggles are contagious.

Tumble:  For more sciency-fun, check out Tumble.  The topics on this podcast are thought-provoking and engaging for all ages like, “The Science of Poop” episode!

Stories Podcast: This podcast is committed to telling children interesting, engaging stories.  They share everything from fairy tales like “Rapunzel,” to very timely stories like “The Moringa Groove” to open the conversation about issues like racism.  

Brains On:  This podcast for kids boasts that it’s “a science lesson for your ears”.  They are always discussing interesting topics, like why we sunburn and explains things like the Phantom Traffic Jam.  I personally love their debates.  They recently did one debating if deep sea darkness was darker than the darkness in outer space.  They used scientific studies to find a clear winner, but you’ll have to listen to find out!

The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel:  The creators describe it as, “a fun, high-quality, serial mystery that can be described as Goonies meets Spy Kids meets Stranger Things for 8-12 year olds.”  The story is a serial mystery performed by kids about missing children. It’s highly engaging and will keep kids guessing “who did it?” until the very last episode. It’s won numerous awards and she said she personally loved listening to its first season, but thought her kids were too young for it.  So if you have an older Grand, this might be perfect for them, and you’ll love it too.

Random Notes

I googled Grandparent podcasts and was less impressed at the offerings but you can see if anything strikes you https://player.fm/podcasts/grandparenting Let us know if you find or already have some favorites!

*note: Amazon products are affiliate links that might bring a small amount of money back to GrandyCamp with your purchase at no extra cost to you. Did you know you can pair Eco Dot to a Bluetooth speaker you might already have? The Echo Dot is small and efficient, but sounds more like listening to your laptop than the original Amazon Echo. (A friend's 1st grade daughter has been "caught" trying to ask Alexa her "word-a-day" homework!)