Tuesday, May 16, 2017

WOW in the World: NPR's New Podcast for Kids

This morning, we started our homeschool lessons off doing something totally different; We spent the first half hour listening to stories of mysterious planets, seaweed, and gratitude - and then discussing everything we just heard. We had the BEST time!

The podcast we listened to was the first episode of "WOW in the World," NPR's first weekly podcast for kids. It's hosted by Guy Raz and Mindy Thomas, who are certainly the most animated, child-friendly radio hosts I've heard. (Don't worry, they don't go so overboard that parents want to throw up.) They are engaging and full of informative trivia that fascinated my kids.

WOW's intended audience is children ages 5 to 12. My kids are on the older end of this spectrum. Actually, my youngest is 11 and my oldest is 13. (Yes, my 13 year old enjoyed this podcast.) So in this first episode, my kids learned about three things: an opportunity in which they could join the search for the mysterious ninth planet, about the cerebral cortex and how seaweed affects our brain, and how showing gratitude is a form of mental exercise (loved this!!).

Mindy also interviews kids on the show, which I think is fun for young listeners, too. She challenged one to make up a story on the spot about a grandma and a panda bear and seaweed. And she asked others what they thought of some of the information they just learned on the podcast. The answers were hilarious!

At the end, I went to their website and clicked on the link above their podcast to see their conversation starters and we used them to talk about what we heard. They also included links on their site to an article or website that allows you (the parent) or your older children to learn more about each subject.

I love how interactive it was for us to listen and then discuss what we heard on the show as part of our morning routine. I'm thinking that this would be a great way to kick off our homeschool lessons every week: just start off listening to the previous week's episode!

What's especially great about this show is that if you're a parent with kids obsessed with tech, and limiting screen time is a constant challenge, here's a great way to give them a tech fix while still teaching them something without their staring at a screen. They can listen to the podcast anywhere: in the car, on the couch, at the grocery store, in a hammock...

But you don't have to take my word for it! Listen to their first podcast yourself here, or by clicking on the play arrow below...


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