This post is sponsored by Circle Round. Thanks, Circle Round!
One of the things I love about Annabel’s teacher is how much she wants her class to enjoy reading. Every night, the kids are encouraged to spend 15 minutes reading anything they like. This can be a book, a cereal box, a comic strip…anything that your kid will enjoy. She believes (as do I) that reading should be a pleasure and not a chore. Gone are the reading charts and calendars, which is so lovely.
Her teacher also reminded the parents that, just because our kids can read, doesn’t mean they can’t benefit from being read to. This is something I’ve been guilty of slacking on when it comes to Annie. Since she loves to read, I often have her do the reading aloud in our house. James loves listening to her, and I love hearing her reading progress. Plus, it has the added benefit of making her feel pride in her abilities. Still, I felt bad about not reading to her as much as I should have been.
But then! A friend told me about WBUR’s new storytelling podcast called Circle Round. It’s so perfect for us! The stories are aimed at kids ages 4 to 10, and come from the same producing team behind the Modern Love podcast (which I am obsessed with). Each episode is narrated by Rebecca Sheir, who has been a public radio host for ages, and feature theater, film and TV actors performing carefully selected folktales from around the world. The first episode we listened to had Jason Alexander (you know, George from Seinfeld!) doing a voice, and his inflection cracked us all up.
It was nice to see the kids listen so attentively to the stories, and we could listen in the car, which was an added bonus. Without pictures to look at, I wasn’t sure how it would go! But Annabel absolutely loved the two episodes of the show we’ve heard so far. She even sat down to draw a picture of the second story we listened to (“Stella and the Dragon,” with voice acting by Kathryn Hahn from Bad Moms)!
Circle Round stories represent cultures from around the world, and episodes are designed to spark conversations on everything from kindness to persistence to generosity. We had some really great conversations with Annie about appreciating what you have, and using your head to solve problems. It still blows my mind that I can have deep discussions with my child! Future episodes will go live every Tuesday, and will include familiar voices like Jon Cryer, Lou Diamond Phillips, Dayo Okeniyi, and Sela Ward.
Peeps, I hiiiiighly recommend this podcast. You can subscribe via iTunes, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast app, or go directly to the Circle Round website to listen. Circle Round is our new Tuesday ritual!
(PS For those of you in the Boston area, there’s going to be a launch party Saturday, September 24 at the Boston Children’s Museum (jealous!). For more information and to register, visit this link.)