My children love to listen to music and stories as they go about their day and so I was excited to review Smart Kidz Radio by Smart Kidz Media. Smart Kidz classifies themselves as edutainment (educational entertainment). They have a combination of live streaming radio and podcast programs that are available free of charge.
The live stream was upbeat and the four year old enjoyed listening. I loved that I did not have to worry about inappropriate content or ads. I have found that many radio stations have ad content that we find inappropriate for our young children. The children enjoyed listening and wanted to listen while they worked. As an adult the songs felt a bit repetitive as children’s songs often do and so I would not choose to personally spend much time listening to it, but I have no problem with allowing my children to listen to it during their free time. It is great to help keep them entertained while they clean up their rooms, work on crafts, color a picture, or even build with Legos.
While my children appreciated both, as an adult I found the podcast offerings to be more enjoyable listening. The podcast offerings were mostly stories instead of songs which fit well in our family. They were classic fairy tales like Jack and the Bean Stalk, Cinderella, and Hansel and Gretel. There are currently 22 different podcast offerings. Most of these stories are about 15 to 20 minutes long which works well for keeping the attention of my preschooler. I can play the story for him to listen to while I get a few things done. I did learn that I have to be a bit careful with which fairy tales as he decided that Jack and the Bean Stalk was a bit too scary with the giant so we turned that one off. My older children have also enjoyed listening along while they work on other projects and wanted to finish Jack and the Bean Stalk after the four year old went to bed.
In addition to these free resources they will be offering an upgrade to an On Demand Membership that includes hundreds of other stories and songs. There are different song programs for various ages (ranging from 2-10) and different stories including fairy tales, Peter Rabbit, Bible Stories, and more. I have not had a chance to review all of these offerings but they sound like a great resource. They also are planning to have it available as an app soon which may make it easier to listen to on the go.
If you are looking for some edutainment or want a way to get in more stories than you have the time to read aloud, Smart Kidz Radio may be a good fit. I highly suggest trying the free programming to get a good feel for what they have to offer and check out their on demand offerings as they become available.
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