Posted in Blog

Friday Fav: Wow in the World Podcast

Perhaps I should have titled this post as my sons’ Friday Fav because this is actually one of their favorites.

Wow in the World is a podcast provided by NPR. It is pitched as “The #1 podcast for kids and their grown-ups. Hosts Mindy Thomas and Guy Raz share stories about the latest news in science, technology, and innovation. Stories that give kids hope, agency and make us all say ‘WOW’!”

Mindy and Guy Raz are wacky characters who keep the show interesting and end up teaching our kids a bunch of interesting facts. From what I’ve heard, Mindy is the comic relief and constant goofball, while Guy Raz is more practical.

We’ve started using the podcast as an incentive to get to bed. If the boys are ready for bed on time, they can listen to a podcast while tucked in their beds. If they go to bed early, they can have two podcasts. They decide who gets to pick the podcast for the evening based on whether it’s an odd or even day.

The next morning, we get a rundown of all of the new information they’ve learned. I got a full debrief on bees the other day after they listened to The Buzz on Bee Barf! Over the holidays, there was even some contest where the children were asked to submit a design for a gingerbread mansion in hopes of win a prize. Mr. 7-Year-Old is never into these activities, but he jumped at the chance to participate in this one.

I’ve found that kid centric podcasts are not only a great option at bedtime. They are helpful during long car rides (when we actually went places) or when you want the kids to stay engaged in a boring task like cleaning. It’s a win for them because they are entertained and a win for me because it’s educational. Love it!

Happy Friday!

Posted in Blog

My Podcast Recs

I often enjoy a good podcast. For me, it’s a way to learn something new while I’m multitasking, whether that’s driving, exercising, or cleaning. My podcast consumption has decreased significantly now that I’m never commuting anywhere, but when I can sneak them in, here’s what I like to listen to most often:

Best of Both Worlds is hosted by Laura Vanderkam and Sarah Hart-Unger who are two working moms who discuss career-related and family topics. My caveat is they and their husbands all have well paying jobs, so many strategies discussed involve utilizing financial resources. I like their dynamic and the topics covered. I recently added to my “to read” list after episode 147: Summer Reading with KJ Dell’Antonia.

Freakonomics is hosted by Stephen Dubner, co-author of the Freakonomics books that I devoured ages ago. I enjoy how topics are explored in depth during each show with one or more interviews. Most often, the psychology of human decision making and the effect of unintended consequences is covered in a thoughtful and engaging way.

No Stupid Questions is a new podcast that’s a partnership between Stephen Dubner from Freakonomics and Angela Duckworth, university professor and author of Grit. These two co-host friends informally discuss a number of questions about human behavior. I feel like I’m sitting at a bar listening to friends chat. It’s a great mix of the banter I love from Best of Both Worlds and the intellectual simulation I enjoy from Freakonomics.

This American Life is hosted by Ira Glass. It is an extremely popular public radio show that covers a topic a week in good depth, typically featuring multiple stories centered around a theme. I recently listened to episode 709: The Reprieve, which explored how medical staff at one hospital in Detroit have been impacted by COVID-19, and episode 706: A Mess to Be Reckoned With about Lissa Yellow Bird, a woman who searches for missing people.

Reply All, hosted by PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman, has been a favorite in the past, but I haven’t loved some of their newer episodes. Too often I’m been on this hour-long journey in the podcast to have an unsatisfying and rather incomplete ending, which I find beyond frustrating. However, check out the archives. I really like their Yes Yes No episodes where their producer brings PJ and Alex a tweet he doesn’t understand and PJ and Alex give the background and explain it. Super tech support episodes are also good, like episode 147: The Woman in the Air Conditioner.

I’ve even introduced Mr. 7 year old to podcasts, and now the kids have a list of favorites I’ll have to cover in a future post. Let me know if you have any podcasts recommendations for either kids or adults. I’d love to explore more of them.

Photo by Juja Han on Unsplash