(NPN) - The latest buzz in kids' entertainment has young tech junkies taking time away from their TVs and video games, so they can listen up!
Podcasts are becoming trendy with tikes and teens alike but not just any digital radio show, no these are designed specifically for young, inquiring minds. Are they good for your kids? How do you pick?
"Hello, Remy my man..."
Daru Oda is thrilled she's discovered a new way for her children to spend their time. "I just am so much happier now that there's podcasts, that option," she said.
And a guilt-free option, according to Oda. "I think it's better than them sitting spaced out watching TV with the podcast they're learning something."
In the past few years, the number of children's podcasts has exploded - with more than 125 mainstream shows for preschoolers to teens, focusing on everything from science to history, yoga and meditation, even original series or stories.
Although 5-year-old Mika Figgiani listens to different ones, she has her favorites.
""Remy's place is my favorite podcast because there's real people talking and there's lots of music," Figgiani said.
Andrew Barkan is producer of the popular podcast "Ear Snacks" and co-founder of the advocacy group "Kids Listen." He says podcasts are great for kids because they tap into the imagination.
"Audio only gives you part of the puzzle and it's your job as a listener to fill in the rest of the puzzle," Barkan said.
Research has long debated radio versus television when it comes to sparking imagination in children. But Barkan says a "Kids Listen" survey leaves little doubt that podcasts are engaging and social. But while kids love the content, Barkan's partner says adults play a role too.
"Find something that your child really likes. Their age bracket plays a huge role in what works for them," Polly Holl, who is a co-producer of "Ear Snacks" and a co-founder of "Kids Listen," says.
Figgiani still likes regular books but says podcasts at bedtime can do the trick too. "It sometimes makes me sleep," she said.
Keep in mind that some children's podcasts are free, some offer subscriptions and others have ads. The "Kids Listen" advocacy group says each parent must decide what works best for them.