Best Free Podcasts for Kids

After a week of sickness and another week of catching up on work from said week of illness, I have been more lax than usual about Little Champ’s screen time. I can’t tell you how many times he’s replayed the ending of Rio or the prison break scene in Kung Fu Panda 2 or the entirety of Winnie the Pooh on my mobile phone.

It’s going to take a bit to break him of his new addiction, but today I took a few moments to find some kid-friendly video podcasts and story book podcasts to add to my phone, since I’ll be removing his entertaining, but not particularly educational, movies.

I found one blog post with a list of the blogger’s favorite audio podcasts to listen to while traveling. Click here for the post. All of the podcasts listed are also available on itunes, so while you could click through the links and search for their links to a specific itunes page, it’s easier to just do a search IN iTunes for those podcasts. I subscribed to all of those podcasts and downloaded a few extras. Note, when searching for Big Story Time, search for “bigstorytime” and you’ll find the podcast. I’m especially excited for Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child, which is indie music for kids. Champ isn’t used to audio podcasts, so I’ll start playing these in the mornings while getting his breakfast ready. We have some of the books read in BigStoryTime, so we’ll flip through the books while listening to those ones.

Sesame Street has FREE VIDEO PODCASTS. This is what I’m hoping will satisfy Little Champ’s desire for visual stimulation while also stimulating that brain of his.

Nick Jr. has free video podcasts, too, but when browsing through, it looked like half of the videos were trailers for television shows (Please.) I did download a few Blue’s Clues shorts and the Clean Up Song, with a couple others, but I didn’t subscribe.

iTunes also has a series of Winnie the Pooh shorts! Pooh’s Game and Pooh Meets Tigger are both free. Others are $2. Each short is about 2:30 long, some longer. Eeyore’s house is $10 and also two and a half minutes, so I’d suggest downloading the free ones while you can and wait to see if the others lower in price!

I’ll test out the podcasts and get back with a review. I also downloaded a few more free apps for the kiddo, so once we test those out, I’ll post my favorite toddler apps as well!

Wish me luck as I wean this kid from extended screen time back to a decent amount.

What are your favorite apps or podcasts for kids? Or have you been more successful in shielding your child from entertainment than I?

America the Beautiful

Pike's Peak in Colorado

“America the Beautiful” was written by Katherine Lee Bates in the 1890s (not the lady that was in Titanic. That’s Kathy Bates.)

She wrote it in Colorado, and if you grow up in Colorado, your fourth grade teacher will not let you forget it.

It’s one of my absolute favorite Patriotic Hymns, and I wish I could have designated a bit more time to recording it, but alas, nap time lasts only so long. Here’s my “live” recording. I’ll try to cut down the artificial reverb on the next song. I thought I’d turned it off…

The Library of Congress has free MP3s of patriotic songs, and has copyright-free sheet music.

For the Library of Congress’ files of “America the Beautiful,” go here.

I’ll give the direct links below, but the original source is above, in case you’d like to visit the enormous resource that is our Library of Congress. Links on the LOC site are on the left sidebar. You’ll find printable sheet music here.

(Right click on the link and select “Save page as” to save as an MP3)

The first is US Marine Band playing the first verse and chorus with their brass section. (0:54)

The second is the US Navy Band‘s version, with choir. First verse and chorus, repeated twice and ending with a goosebumps-inducing “America! America! America!” (3:33)

The third is by the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Band and is purely instrumental. (2:33)

For the Wikipedia page about America the Beautiful and it’s creation, go here.