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Kids and Radio

In our simpler past life (that is, before both our kids got old enough to have schedules of their own), we used to tune in religiously to the kids’ show on KUSP. It was called Castle Cottage and it was very wonderful. Except for the stretch where our local actress Billie Harris read a chapter of Harry Potter each week, it was geared toward preschool to early elementary. Our lives changed, we forgot to listen for a long time, and now that I consult KUSP’s schedule, I see that it’s no longer there.
I’m guessing our on-the-go lifestyle, like many others, is contributing to this demise of great live radio. KUSP still has a few shows that I like, but they, like almost everyone else, are going more and more for canned content. The bright side is that for every vacuum there is an entrepreneur, and those entrepreneurs are stepping in with Internet radio. It’s cool! It’s often free! It plays when you want it to! Not much to complain about, except that it’s in MP3 format, so if we make disks to play in the car, we have to drive my husband’s more recent edition, which has an MP3-enabled CD player. Details, details.
Anyway, here are some of the things we’ve been tuning into. If you have recommendations, please submit a comment below so we can all share. I access most of these through iTunes, but you can go straight to their websites too.
Crazy Dave’s Kid Show is free and purely silly. My 9-year-old loves it.
They Might Be Giants are probably familiar to lots of adults, but they do kid stuff now, too. They release a free weekly video for kids.
I just found Pulse of the Planet, so we haven’t listened to it yet. But they make their last 30 days of shows downloadable for free, and the podcast is accessible through iTunes. It looks great.
Boomerang only makes one episode free for download but their programs are extremely high quality. But now that I look at their website again, I see that they also have a free podcast. I think it’s just part of the broadcasts that you pay for, but it’s not clear.
Our daughter can be a hellion in the car…unless she’s tuned into something. And she just loves the free audio books from Librivox. The quality of the readers varies enormously, but their are lots of great classics for roadtrips, if you’re one of those parents, like me, who can’t read in the car.
I’d love to hear about more cool radio and video that’s available free online. If you have ideas, let me know!

Posted in Parenting.


2 Responses

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  1. Lily Rose says

    Do you know if any episodes of Castle Cottage have been archived online or in physical tapes? I’m trying to get in touch with my childhood and that show was a great memory, I’d dearly love to hear it again! If anyone has any info on this, please email me at fire7lily@gmail.com
    Thanks <3

    • Suki says

      Hi Lily, I couldn’t find anything in a web search – there’s still a page about it on KUSP’s site but no info about podcasts. Hopefully you’ll run into it one of these days. Thanks for commenting on this piece… I had completely forgotten about it, and completely forgotten about that period in our lives when we listened to radio together. Many things change when you have teenagers!



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