Mellow Mummy: Listen with Kids : Taking life as it comes...

Monday 1 October 2012

Listen with Kids

This is a sponsored post but that doesn't stop it being fun to read

In today’s visually stimulating world, it’s hard to imagine that children used to listen intently to the radio for their entertainment, writes my John Lewis guest blogger.

Before the days of cBeebies and YouTube, children had to wait patiently for the likes of Children’s Hour and Listen with Mother to be played on a crackly little brown box in the corner of the room. Thankfully, with the advent of DAB radio and cutting-edge technology on which to play it with the likes of brands like Bose and Pure, the crackle has long-since stopped. And along with crystal clear audio, things have also moved on in terms of the content of children’s radio programmes, too.

Snuggling down and listening to the spoken word together is not only a great bonding experience, experts believe it can help develop vital concentration and communication skills. In fact Sure Start campaigners were so convinced of the importance of children’s speech radio as part of their development it formed part of a debate in the House of Lords. But what are the best things to listen to with your little one? Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin…

Children’s radio

Although children’s audio programmes fell out of favour and suffered setbacks such as the BBC cutting its children’s radio output, they are now making a massive comeback, according to the Guardian. Take the dedicated radio station Fun Kids which won Sony’s radio station of the year in 2010. Available in London and the South East on DAB Digital Radio from 6am to 7pm and online at, it’s packed with programmes for pre-schoolers. There are games, stories and even a programme called Naptime, full of relaxing music and soothing lullabies.

Then there’s CBeebies Radio which you can listen to online via the site’s radio player, or download via a podcast to play in your car, on your Apple iPod or MP3 player. It’s full of your child’s favourite CBeebies characters and you can play games, quizzes or listen to sing-songs.


If you can’t get internet radio in your car, why not download a podcast? There are loads of free downloads for children available from iTunes from favourite TV shows such as Sesame Street and channels like Nickelodeon. Apart from songs and stories, many have games that can help your little one with their spelling and numbers.

Audio books

When it comes to good old-fashioned audio books, older children are well catered for with the likes of Harry Potter and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. But there are also many preschool books available on audio, such as Goodnight Moon, Where the Wild Things Are and Julia Donaldson classics like Tiddler and the Gruffalo.

You could also try a bilingual preschool CD to get them learning their first words of French or Spanish (or Mandarin if you’re feeling really adventurous). This is a great idea if you fancy learning a new language too.
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