Circle Round: A Podcast + A Party!

Just yesterday I talked on Facebook Live about how having a second chance at parenting (with a 6.5 year age gap between kids) has helped me realize that I'm no longer willing to torture myself when it comes to kids’ entertainment. Yesterday I was talking about this in the context of birthday parties, and today I'm super excited to talk about this in the context of digital entertainment. Because hey, digital entertainment is a reality but most parents stress about finding screen time alternatives.

The parent + podcaster + WBUR/NPR nerd in me is majorly excited that WBUR has launched a new storytelling podcast called Circle Round. New episodes air Tuesdays at 3pm starting today, and the episodes are so thoughtfully crafted; they share tales from cultures around the world, encompass positive messaging and lessons, offer conversational prompts for families, and are narrated by actors that parents will like identify with (hello, Jon Cryer and Jason Alexander!). Also, I love the pretty illustrations!

Image credit: Circle Round

Image credit: Circle Round

This summer when we were gearing up for a long road trip to Vermont I downloaded a bunch of kids’ science podcast episodes and honestly could not believe I hadn’t thought of podcasts for car rides before. Books or digital games don’t work for us because both girls have inherited my car sickness patterns, and the podcast episodes ended up being the perfect way to pass the time while still engaging all of us in something fun. So the other day when Violet asked me, “Hey, have you downloaded any new podcasts?” I was like, “Girl, I have just the thing for you!

Violet (who is 6 years old) listened to the pilot episode with Jason Alexander while she was working on a craft project and afterwards our conversation went something like this:

Me: “So what did you think of that podcast?

Violet: “Ohhh, it was nice. Really nice.

Me: “What do you mean? Like what was nice about it?

Violet: “Well, you know when you’re working on a project and it’s maybe not too interesting because you don't have to use your’re just putting it together? It’s nice to have something to listen to.” [Violet was taping pictures onto a collage.]

Me: “You know, I totally know what you mean. Just today I had some busy work to do and to make it more fun I listened to Alicia Keys. So, um, what about the story? What happened?

Violet: [insert shockingly detailed recap of the entire episode]

Me: “Wow, OK, so you were really listening! Well that’s cool. Do you think you want to listen to more? Because there will be a new story every week.

Violet: “Oh, yeah! That sounds good!

Me: “Also, you know how you heard a lady’s voice before the story part started? Her name is Rebecca and she’s going to be at a party on Sunday at the Children's Museum. So maybe you could say hi to the lady who you heard before the story. Do you want to do that?

Violet: [insert image of Violet bouncing up and down]

So there you have it, direct from Violet. Go on and subscribe to Circle Round via iTunes, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast app and download episodes! It’s free and it’s awesome which basically means it’s a no brainer! And also, if you’re in town on Sunday, September 24, WBUR is hosting a free, interactive launch party for Circle Round at the Boston Children’s Museum! I will be there and would love to meet you!

Image credit: Circle Round

Image credit: Circle Round

Disclosure: This post reflects a compensated editorial partnership with Circle Round. All opinions and commentary about the awesomeness of this podcast and the fact that I am totally turning my kids into podcast nerds are, of course, my own.