I don’t know about anyone else, but in our house bedtime can be a struggle. The teeth brushing drama. The pajama and diaper change water works. Then, finally, the screaming because we actually have to settle down and GO. TO. SLEEP.
Nap time was the same. The worst. I dreaded naptime. My toddler eventually started biting me, because she didn’t want to take a nap. One time she bit my face.
Who does that?
So, needless to say, I hated nap and sleep time. I used to, until I found our magic weapon: The Podcast.
Podcasts are not necessarily the first thing I think of when I think of toddlers. But in our house it has created a calm, soothing transition, and eliminated nap time biting. As soon as we turn a podcast on, our toddler starts to listen, relax, and in a few minutes drifts off to sleep. And the best part: because she enjoys listening to the podcast, when it’s bed time, she puts herself in bed, because she’s ready to listen.
I can’t say this will work for everyone, but it worked for us. And podcasts can be a great way to help entertain on a roadtrip, sneak some learning into playtime, or just knock a little screen time out of the day.
Here are our favorites:
This is definitely a favorite, and Vale asks to listen to it daily. It is geared towards the big kid crowd, so they sometimes touch on deeper issues I don’t necessarily want my toddler exposed to (like divorce, for one example we ran across), so I listen in with her. However, it’s a family friendly show by Focus on the Family, so it’s pretty safe for little ears, and captures her attention.
This is another favorite. From the imagination of Chuck Swindoll, Paws and Tales is about woodland critters that go to school, have faith in God, and are learning just like regular kids. This is another of Vale’s favorites. And I wasn’t really sure how much she understood while listening to the stories. I mean she’s not even two yet. But the other night, while we were listening, they told a joke, and she just thought it was so funny. She laughed and laughed. So maybe she understands more than I thought? Either way we love this one.
This is a program we haven’t listened to as much, because we just found it. However its style is similar to Adventures in Oddessy. They start out in Miss Rory’s Book Shop, where there are stacks upon stacks of books. And then she tells a story. However, instead of her reading a story, they switch into an audio drama. This is another faith-based program geared towards kids, with the purpose of having families spend time with their kiddos, not around a screen.
This a podcast by everyone’s favorite kids magazine! This is fun and interactive. Great for those growing listening skills.
Okay, so this is not a podcast. However, this is a great audio resource for toddlers. Dan Betzer is a pastor who is also a vantriloquist. With his vantriloquist dummy, Louie, he created an audio Bible for kiddos. This isn’t a new resource (I listened to these growing up), but they’re great for little kids. Vale loves them and it’s great to know that she’s actually learning the Bible as she listens. Also, each story is only about 10 minutes long. So we can hear a whole story as we drive to the mall. You have to pay to get access to the stories (I think about $7/month for their streaming subscription, or $2.50 to download and own each story). However, there’s a free 7-day trial. So you can try it, and if your kid hates them, you’re not roped into anything. I think these could be a great option for kiddos that have a harder time sitting and reading books. They can listen, play, and still learn.
This is an Australian Podcast in partnership with the Sydney Opera House. It tells stories while exploring classical music.