Seven Fun-Filled Podcasts to Beat the Summer Slide | Kidcasts

Lighthearted poetry, wordplay, and grammar tips make for entertaining listening and learning in the heat of summer.

Looking for new ways to beat the summer slide? These seven shows for children and families will help young people strengthen their literacy skills. Music, poetry, wordplay, book clubs, and grammar tips abound in the hundreds of episodes available across these established shows. Practitioners can create their own playlists by creating a Listen Notes account and selecting episodes.

Kidcasts: Slaying Summer Slide Playlist

Noodle Loaf  Music Education Podcast for Kids
Music educator Dan Saks created this lively musical show with literacy-supporting call-and-response, rhyming, and echo songs, and listeners of all ages will enjoy the clever puns. Each episode features show notes with information about how interacting with several types of music and musical games can foster skills. Saks has also written a board book series celebrating diverse families: Families Belong, Families Can, and Families Grow, published by Rise x Penguin Workshop.

READ: Podcasts to Complement the Collaborative Summer Library Program Theme, “Oceans of Possibilities”  

Kids' Poetry Club
Kids’ Poetry Club
has released more than 150 whimsical episodes featuring more than 500 poems read by kids from all around the world. A joyous cast of characters share poetry and encourage children to read and submit their own in short episodes hosted by poet “Little Dazzy Donuts.” 

Buttons & Figs
Librarian Pamela Rogers collaborates with teachers, librarians, parents, and kids to inspire young people to think critically and express themselves creatively through wordplay. Buttons & Figs introduces kids to nonsense literature, poetry, songs, and sounds to encourage them to have fun with words. Children contribute to the show, and Rogers also interviews authors such as Julia Hengst, author of Venus Underwater: Songs from Mermaidia. and Phoenix (AZ) Youth Poet Laureate Annika Clark. The Buttons & Figs team has also created workshops and activities available on their website.

Book Club for Kids
Upper elementary+
Book Club for Kids is all about middle grade books and readers. In each episode, former NPR correspondent Kitty Felde and a group of middle grade students discuss age-appropriate books. As in all good book clubs, the discussion veers from the book to real-life experiences. Typically, a celebrity reads a passage of the book, and there is also an author interview. Books discussed include Spy School by Stuart Gibbs, The Crossover by Kwame Alexander, and Stef Soto, Taco Queen by Jennifer Torres. Curriculum is included with each episode.

The Good Words Podcast
There are some very good words out there just waiting to be discovered. With help from musician and host Miss Lynn, listeners will come across many of them, such as quagmire, antediluvian, and comestible. Miss Lynn makes learning fun with jokes, songs, discussion, history, book and poetry readings, and special guests.

Book Power For Kids!
What started as a homeschooling project for three children turned into a trusted source of entertainment and book reviews. The podcast begins with a brief description of a book and an overview of the characters, then moves into the reader’s opinion of the title. Finally, the talented Power children act out a favorite scene (stick around to the end for hilarious outtakes). The show is now in its sixth season, and the complexity of the books has grown, along with the kids. You’ll find reviews of books from The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale and Third Grade Mermaid by Peter Raymundo to Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia and Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chakshi.

Grammar Girl
Middle School+
Mignon Fogerty, better known as “Grammar Girl,” provides grammar tips as well as interesting tidbits on language more generally. In her podcast, listeners will learn about the ever debated Oxford comma, when to use parentheses versus brackets, and starting sentencing with “and.” And young listeners also learn about aphasia, new words, and how to talk like a pirate. There is a surprising amount of learning to be had in each 15-minute episode.

Accessing and Sharing Playlists Using Listen Notes
Listen Notes allows keyword searching to build podcast playlists you can save using the Listen Later website tool. Librarians can share public playlist links with colleagues, students, and families. Listen Later allows others to tune in from their desktops by sharing, or they can export their playlists for on-the-go listening

Simple steps to export a playlist from Listen Later:

1. Click on the playlist link on the web in your smartphone browser.

2. Click on “subscribe.”

3. Select a mobile app.

4. The list will appear under your list of podcasts (troubleshooting tips here).

Subscribers do not have to download episodes to listen to the playlists.

Phoebe Owens is a freelance librarian, writer, and co-creator of the podcast The Adventures of Power Dog in Dogland. Ali Wilkinson is a nonprofit attorney, writer, and co-creator of the podcast Cool Facts About Animals.


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