Pods for the (young) People: Summer Podcasts!

It’s the middle of summer. The kids are off schedule. Routines are different, and every week presents a different time-management challenge. You need to get your own work done, and keep the kids busy, and perhaps keep them off the screens? Podcasts are a great summer activity that can keep those little ears listening and the young minds churning as your kids tune into some great podcasts made especially for the youth! And because they know their audience so well, many of these serial-style podcasts have “road trip editions” where you can listen to all the episodes in one go! Here are a few of our favorites, each of which is well-produced, thoughtful, and most importantly, a lot of fun to listen to:

Eleanor Amplified

The Radio Adventures of Eleanor Amplified chronicles the comic exploits of an intrepid reporter on a mission to expose and bring down the CEO of the Megablurg corporation, Angela Brant. Each 15 minute episode gives listeners a chapter in Eleanor’s tireless pursuit of the truth in the face of a cunning foe who is trying to take over the world, because, really, isn’t that the ultimate goal of all evil-doers? This podcast is not short on altruism, shameless puns, and lots of multi-tiered humor that gives listeners of all ages something to appreciate. It has an all too familiar political thread, yet turns it on its ear in a very satisfying, self-conscious way. Eleanor Amplified will give kids an appreciation of well-crafted independent journalism, will entertain them, and will give them an edge in making savvy media choices in the future. It’s a comically cautionary tale that is a favorite in our household! Recommended for ages 8-12.


Highlights Hangout

From the creators of the hit podcast Wow in the World and long-standing periodical favorite Highlights Magazine comes a new monthly podcast that will definitely appeal to the younger set. Instead of presenting the podcast in a serial narrative format, this podcast follows a variety show type format with many vignettes presenting different types of content. Tim Kubert and Juanita Andersen host and set the tone for the show, which is friendly, enthusiastic, and more than a little silly. The first 30 minute episode, released in June, called Hang Ten, features songs about camp in the segment from Goofus and Gallant, plenty of listener submitted jokes during the Hangmail section of Ask Arizona (a kid audio version of an advise column, Dear Abby style) , tongue twisters, easy recipes, a mini science Q & A (also episode themed) with Guy Raz and Mindy Thomas, and episode-themed hidden sound effect to listen for peppered throughout the episode. The first episode concludes with a riddle to keep little listeners’ gears turning while they wait for the release of the following month’s episode. Recommended for ages 6-9.


Six Minutes

For older grade-school kids that like mystery adventures, Six Minutes is your go-to summertime and beyond podcast. The podcast opens with a near drowning accident where a girl is saved from the icy waters off the coast of Alaska. The girl has no memory of who she is, nor of her life with her family, so when she begins to discover that she has some special abilities, the premise of her entire existence is called into question. Before her accident, who was she really? This serial podcast which releases episodes twice a week will keep you and your kids hooked, sitting at the edge of your seats. The podcast has an X Files edge that touches on many aspects of tried and true kid adventures: All adults are suspect– including parents, the kids are the cunning, self-reliant heroes that unravel the mystery layer by layer, risking life and limb doing so, and there are lots of cool supernatural sci-fi toys to which only the kids have access (case in point, the main character “Holiday” has a hoverboard). This podcast will have you biting your nails, six minutes at a time! Recommended for ages 9-12.

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