Kids learn in so many different ways. While some may do just well with reading a textbook, others, like my own kiddos, do better with having a less traditional method of learning. Garrett especially learns better with learning when it comes wrapped up in a fun package such as games, songs or cute graphics.
For the last few weeks, the kids have been having fun listening to Smart Kidz Radio from Smart Kidz Media.
About Smart Kidz Media
With a wide selection of various digital media resources, Smart Kidz Media has spent more than 30 years developing unique educational products for kids. With a vast library containing more than 2,000 products, Smart Kidz Media offers hundreds of children’s books, educational videos, flash animated eBooks, interactive games and learning programs, sing-a-long songs, parenting resources and digital media products.
By appealing to the students desire for entertainment, the Smart Kidz library helps to teach, reinforce and support a wide variety of subjects as phonics, math, language arts, health, history and science. Using songs, games and videos, Smart Kidz Media products cater towards both visual and auditory learners.
About Smart Kidz Radio
Dubbing itself as a "edutainment radio station for kids", Smart Kidz Radio is a browser based streaming music service that provides fun, educational music designed to teach children valuable life lessons, promote positive character traits and develop strong moral values through song. Accessed with an internet browser, children can listen to the (relatively) ad-free music free of charge once parents set up a free account at the website.
These songs cover a large variety of topics, such as eating healthy, brushing your teeth, controlling feels, and being a member of the community to just name a few.
The programming seems like it follows a set pattern, so songs in regards to feelings tend to play together, hygiene songs are played together, ect. Lyrics are kid friendly without questionable content or language.
Here's a sample of lyrics from a song about feelings:
"Why do i feel like laughing
and whistling a song?
Why do i feel like nothing could go wrong?
Yesterday had its problems,
tomorrow may have some more,
but this is my day for feeling okay,
for dancing all over the floor. "
The music is catchy and are reminiscent of various genres of music, such as country, pop, children's classics, jazz and even Broadway style. Some songs feature adult entertainers while other songs might feature groups of children performing, giving a wide variety of vocal talent.
Programming is also relatively ad free, with exception for the occasion advertisement for other Smart Kidz Media products, such as the Smart Kidz Bookstore. These advertisements are not pushy and only last for a few moments - less than 10 seconds for every 5 minutes of programming. The content is strictly streaming music - there are no announcers speaking to the listener in regards to any topics.
Without a doubt, my kids enjoyed the songs with "Big Jim" the most. Big Jim has a gravelly voice that Garrett found to be very entertaining and he cracked up every time Jim would come on the station. The song "All Fed Up" was hands down the favorite (although Jim is featured in a number of songs).
In addition to the streaming radio station, the free account to Smart Kidz Media allows for access to an On-Demand podcast channel that contains many classic fairy tales. These fairy tales are roughly 18-22 minutes in length and are very well done, reminiscent of the radio programs of old when voice actors would preform theater for listening audiences.
The kids and I listened to a number of these fairy tale podcasts and enjoyed them so much. They are sanitized for a younger audience - for example, in the podcast of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the evil queen stepmother tells the Huntsman to take a young Snow White deep into the forest and let her get lost so that she cannot return rather than demanding her death and her heart in a box as proof in the original story. Each story also has some added elements that will definitely elicit giggles from younger listeners - the three pigs in the story of the Three Little Pigs have been given names in the Smart Kidz Radio version that had Ashleigh laughing while Garrett enjoyed the beginning of Treasure Island the most. Even Alyssa, my 19 year old, enjoyed the various Podcast stories and said she liked the radio theater style format and said it reminded her of the old cartoons that had narrators.
The On-Demand Podcast seems as if it is maybe a sample of the soon-to-be-released On-Demand
Also in the future is the ability to listen to the Smart Kidz Radio on mobile devices. Apps are in the development for both Android and Apple Store that will allow for listeners to stream programming to their phones for on-the-go listening.