Smart Kidz Media has created a new, kid-friendly radio station. With materials that build character and teach values, Smart Kidz Radio is a neat option for those with young children.
This is a free, online streaming radio station with content for a variety of children. It is simple to sign-up for and access. The first thing you hear when you sign in is songs with spoken introductions to help the youngsters know what the song is about. Life-skills and character building are found in each and every song. Sometimes it is about eating well or being kind. The next song might be about friendship or how to deal with trouble at school. There is quite a variety of content.
Once you are logged in, there is also a small menu button in the left hand corner. That menu button gives you access to free podcasts. Most of these podcasts are retellings of different fairy tales and folk tales, such as Rapunzel or Rumpelstiltskin or Cinderella or The Three Bears. Some are fun songs, such as Itsy Bitsy Spider. We found these worked well for sign language practice! With the simplistic words and well known stories (even with the changes), sign language practice was great!
It is worth noting that these folk tales and fairy tales may not be the story you are familiar with. If you are doing a story unit on one of these, this would provide some fun comparison.
A couple of simple changes would make this even better. It would be fantastic to see how much longer each song or podcast is going to last. I know we are kind of spoiled about this but there were a couple of songs that we did not want to hear (about bodily functions). It would have been nice to be able to turn off the sound until that song was over and then be able to turn it back on.
On the menu, there are a couple of buttons that do not need to be there. I would love to see the buttons for maps and weather, as well as the social media buttons, disappear. I would not like my young kiddos having easy access to getting to other websites and these buttons allow that. For the ages my kids are, it isn’t an issue but it would be if they were the ages these songs are aimed at.
I feel like this is aimed at the wrong age level. Our girls currently range from 9 -14. At age 9 or 10 is where kids get into wanting to listen to music with earbuds on their own. Yet this is an online thing and so they are not allowed to just take the computer to their room to use. Also, the songs are really aimed at preschool through maybe 1st grade. So the content is really not for the age level at which students are interested in listening. At the preschool level, I would not want my children listening to music all the time. Especially since the material is so clearly for young kids. It is not what I want to listen to so I wouldn’t want to have this going on in the background all day and the kids cannot listen to it without me around.
COMING SOON –
There are even more changes that are being made to Smart Kidz Radio that will make it even better. New content is being added and the content loops are being rotated in and out. But soon, they will add an option to purchase On Demand content. This content will be only available through the purchase option and will include some special podcasts and additional materials. The FAQ on the Smart Kids Radio website indicates that there will be Peter Rabbit tales, Best Loved Bible Stories, and lots more stories. There will also be several categories of music, such as Bedtime Songs Radio Program, Relaxation from Stress Radio Program and Christmas songs. These are just a few of the categories that will be available through On Demand.
Final Thoughts –
This is a neat new option for parents of young children. Definitely check it out. I expect we will see quite a bit from this company in the future.
If you have more questions, please check out the FAQ page on their website.
This is definitely worth checking out if you are looking for a safe radio-style option for your young children. The materials will not contain foul language or inappropriate content (such as drinking or teenage attractions). Even with my girls being quite a bit above the age for the content, we enjoyed spending a few minutes listening to it once in a while and got a good laugh or two about the way some of the topics (such as eating well) were handled. Lots of fun!
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