Podcast Corner: When kids ditch the screens, and pick up the earphones

Podcast Corner: When kids ditch the screens, and pick up the earphones

While there’s no great way to guage a podcast’s popularity — the Apple Podcasts charts are the be all and end all for a show’s success — it’s even harder to know how many people are listening to the growing genre of children’s audio; most would presumably be listening on their parents’ phones.

‘Kids & Family’ is a category on iTunes (though that’s a pretty loose categorisation since on the homepage when we look is Jessie Ware’s foul-mouthed Table Manners with her mum). One big selling point for children’s audio though, is the fact it can be screen-free.

Fun Kids is a children’s radio station available digitally and run out of London — it’s just launched a podcast network with “brand-safe” shows for youths.

Science Weekly, hosted by Dan Simpson, looks to answer questions like why slugs dissolve when salt touches them (because they’re full of water) and how solar panels work. It’s a fun, informative 20-30-minute listen for children and parents alike.

The Fun Kids Download is a roundup of the week’s highlights from its suite of shows and promises not one boring second. It’s a quarter-of-an-hour rush that features the entertaining yes/no game — where youngsters and some stars try to avoid answering with those words. Very funny and reminiscent of The Den’s call-ins.

Book Club is a fortnightly show with recommendations and author readings and interviews where they’re asked, among traditional questions, to pick between chocolate and ice cream. There’s an Interviews show with episodes ranging from two minutes to 10 and featuring the likes of the cast of Dora and the Lost City of Gold.

All the Fun Kids shows play out over bouncy backing music, sugary ads, and coffee-addled presenters (we presume). There are plenty more shows to discover, and new ones being added regularly to the Fun Kids roster, the first such dedicated podcast network in the UK for children. And first is so important when it comes to podcasts.

YOU’VE GOT TO HEAR THIS: ESPN’s 30 for 30 TV series revolutionised the idea of sports documentaries and its podcast show of the same name has just released a five-episode series called The Sterling Affairs tracking the lurid downfall of NBA team owner Donald Sterling. This one’s most definitely not for kids.

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