I’m always looking for new options to have in my back pocket to provide some entertainment for my kids. Bonus points if it doesn’t require screen time and packs an educational punch.
Recently, I discovered that National Children’s Museum produces their own children’s podcast called STEAM Daydream with National Children’s Museum, and it checks all the right boxes. Luckily, they just launched their second season in September and are releasing more audio adventures on the third Wednesday of each month through December.
Whether we’re in the car, cooking dinner, or just want something playing in the background while we’re going about our daily routine, STEAM Daydream has quickly become our go-to. Here are 5 reasons why we love STEAM Daydream with National Children’s Museum.
1. Equal parts educational and fun.
The STEAM Daydream with National Children’s Museum podcast captures the magic of the Museum’s interactive exhibits and translates it into bite-sized audio adventures. If you haven’t been yet (you definitely should), National Children’s Museum is all about learning science, technology, engineering, arts, and math—or STEAM—through playful experiences. It is one of my kids very favorite places to visit downtown. Their podcast uses the same strategy. Each episode in Season 2 follows a quirky cast as they investigate everyday mysteries—like why water collects on the outside of a cold glass and the shocking truth behind static electricity—in 20 minutes or less. Even I learn a thing or two when we tune in, and there are plenty of laughs along the way.
2. Developed by educators.
In my mind, this is what sets STEAM Daydream with National Children’s Museum apart from other children’s podcasts we’ve tried. Each episode is developed by Museum educators—and you can tell. The episodes draw on the natural curiosity of the young kids who are featured. You can hear them modeling the scientific process of inquiry as they work their way to an answer. They start by asking questions and then they test possibilities and conduct research to find the answer. Really cool, diverse, and inspirational guests help them along the way, providing background knowledge. Plus, they serve as a reminder that they can grow up to become a STEAM leader themselves.
3. Entertainment without screen time.
We all know how much of a struggle it is to limit screen time these days, especially after all the time we’ve spent in online classrooms over the past two years (thanks, COVID). Queuing up STEAM Daydream with National Children’s Museum at the end of a long school/work day feels like a breath of fresh air. Plus, the kids are practicing a different way of learning. Without a provided visual, they’re using their own imaginations to picture what’s happening in the episode.
4. Accessible from anywhere.
Seriously, anywhere. As long as you have a device (phone, tablet, computer, etc.) with some battery life, you can download episodes on your favorite listening platform to enjoy later, even when you’re out of reach of WiFi. Download the full STEAM Daydream with National Children’s Museum catalog—19 episodes and counting—now. The next time you’re stuck in the car with no service or radio reception you’ll have something to keep the “Are we there yet?” complaints to a minimum.
5. Empowers my kids to ask questions and think outside the box.
I love that each episode of STEAM Daydream with National Children’s Museum features a kid’s voice as one of the main characters. I think it sets the stage for my own kids to ask questions. The idea behind their second season—that everyday life is full of exciting mystery—has inspired our family to find the magic of STEAM in the least expected places. It has challenged us to look at the world in a new way and to wonder “why” and “how.”
You can listen to STEAM Daydream with National Children’s Museum on any major listening platform (Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Pandora, Audible, and Amazon Music to name a few). Keep a look out for two new episodes in their feed on the third Wednesday of every month through December 2022, or subscribe so you don’t miss them!