FREE PODCASTS

FREE PODCASTS

In light of the current coronavirus situation where we will all be spending more time at home with our children, I have made five podcasts available for everyone to listen to. For your convenience, the links are all in one place – right here on this page. These are in addition to the three free sample podcasts ( DINOSAURS, SOUP, and RABBITS).

Listen Together Podcasts are designed to listen to over and over again. I hope you and your family will enjoy them.

Gillian

HERDWICK LAMBS

COLORS

MICE

TIME

WEATHER

MR ROGERS

Did you grow up with Mr. Rogers? I didn’t – it wasn’t on TV in England. I discovered it when my two boys were little. We loved the program, and would watch it together. There was something about it that was so appealing. It was slow, it was gentle, it was entertaining and educational. It was also meaningful. Fast forward a bunch of years, and I find myself creating a podcast for young children and, shockingly, begin comparing my work to that of Mr. Rogers. Gulp!

Now in no way is my podcast anything like Mr. Rogers’ TV show. My podcasts are purely auditory. BUT, I feel the same sense of simplicity, of purity and of honesty in my podcasts that is evident in everything about Mr. Rogers.  The podcasts are serious, but still fun without being ridiculous, just like Mr. Rogers. Each podcast is 14-19 minutes long and contains three songs and a short story. We always begin with a “hello” song as I want the podcasts to be inviting, asking children to come listen and participate. Kind of like Mr. Rogers changing his shoes and putting his cardigan on every day. The other two songs sandwich the story and mostly are connected to the story in some way.

The songs are short and repetitive. We sing lots of verses with minimal change in the lyrics so they are easy to sing; and children even get to contribute lyrics to the songs. So empowering and validating for children. Just like Mr. Rogers, we spend time doing something. No zipping through one activity in a rush to get to the next. Everything is thoughtful and important.

When I began developing the podcasts, I met with a friend, Sue, who is a web designer. We knew each other quite well, as her children had been part of my preschool community. I explained what I wanted with a website and she immediately understood as it reflected my philosophy of working with young children. She listened to the podcasts. “Oh,” she said. “You’re like the Mr. Rogers of the podcast world.” What a compliment!

If you look around the website you will see it is simple and it is honest. What’s missing? Gimmicky stuff, cutesy stuff and distracting ads. I wanted the website to reflect the content of the podcasts – and I believe it does. I hope this has given you a little insight into my world of LISTEN TOGETHER PODCASTS. I am incredibly proud of what I have achieved, and strive continually to improve and create content that I believe is worthy of your time and a little investment. I invite you to listen to any or all of the three free sample podcasts and see what you think. I hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoy creating the songs and stories.

SHARING

YOU DON’T HAVE TO SHARE!

Have you found yourself saying to your child “be nice; share your toys.” We’ve heard other parents say it, so it must be the right thing to say. If children are squabbling, it’s so easy to say “Jack, you have to share, remember!” However, sharing is not always appropriate, and we shouldn’t expect our children to always be ready to comply. An example I would offer is this.

Jack is sitting at the table working on a puzzle. It is quite a hard puzzle and he’s been working on it for quite a while. This particular puzzle has far more pieces in it than any he has finished before. Finally he is down to just three pieces left to fit in the puzzle, when along comes Sally saying “I want to help.” Sally picks up a puzzle piece and is about to insert it when Jack yells ‘No!” and grabs it back.

A parent or teacher seeing this might well say, “Jack, you have to share.” But this is not an appropriate sharing opportunity. Jack is on the brink of a major achievement and wants the completion of the puzzle to be his own work.

So what is the right adult reaction?  Gather facts. Let Jack explain. That’s all it takes for an adult to realize this is important to Jack. Explain the situation to Sally. Once the puzzle is done, Jack may well be ready to do it again with Sally’s help, or turn the puzzle over to Sally entirely.

In my preschool, rather than telling children they have to share, we would encourage Sally to ask if she can help, and respect Jack’s answer if he says no. If Sally really wants to work on the puzzle, then her next question should be, “can I do it when you’re finished?” And the problem is usually solved.

So often adults are ready to jump and fix things without giving young children an opportunity to work things out. But children need the tools first. They need to know it’s OK to say no. They need to practice using the right vocabulary to resolve the problem. Our job as parents and teachers is to help and guide children to become problem-solvers, and resist the temptation to do everything for them.

CAT FACTS

All this information is on this mp3 file. Give your child a chance to listen carefully, without distractions, then talk about it. Simple! But he is practicing focused listening – an important skill to learn.

 

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT CATS AND KITTENS

  • Kittens are pretty helpless when they are born. They can’t see or hear.
  • A kitten’s eyes will open at about eight days old, but he won’t be able to see well for a few weeks.
  • All kittens start off with blue eyes, though the color changes later.
  • A cat can make about one hundred different sounds.
  • A group of cats is called a clowder. A clowder of cats!
  • A well-looked after, healthy cat can live for about fifteen years. Though some pet cats can live much longer, cats that live in the wild usually have much shorter lives. Why do you think that is?
  • Cats can hear, see and smell very well. They can see very well when it’s dark. Much better than we can.
  • Cats sleep a lot.
  • When they are awake, cats spend a lot of time grooming – licking their coats to keep clean.
  • Cats make great pets.

THE APPLE

THE APPLE

Here’s an apple rhyme for everyone to enjoy.

Walking under the apple tree,

I looked up,

And what did I see?

It wasn’t apple blossom.

It wasn’t a bee.

It was a juicy red apple

Just for me!

When your child knows the rhyme, you can talk about the rhyming words, as I do on the audio clip. And of course the apple can be any color!

Enjoy!

FIVE RED APPLES

AN APPLE RHYME

Way up high in the apple tree

Five* red apples looked down at me.

I shook that tree as hard as I could,

Down came an apple,

Mmm, it was good!

 

  • Substitute four, then three etc

Of course you can always change the color of the apple in the rhyme too. Think up actions you can do with your child to illustrate each line of the rhyme. You can also count the apples of your fingers before each verse. This will help your child with counting practice and one to one correspondence. Younger children may need help getting the right number of fingers ready to count.

Enjoy!

THE COCOON

Here is a poem I found about a caterpillar metamorphosing into a butterfly. I like it as it seems quite accurate as to what we can observe. I hope you will like it too, and say it with and for your children. When children have heard it several times they will begin to join in the recitation and even supply words if you pause on the rhyming words.

Click here to listen:

The Cocoon

I found a cocoon
That a caterpillar made,
Fastened to a leaf
Hanging in the shade.

He barely had room
To wiggle or wag,
Like me zipped up
In my sleeping bag.

I looked every day
That I passed his way,
But he never budged
Until just today.

Something happened!
He waggled and he wiggled
And then climbed out
And slowly, carefully jiggled.

Small wet wings
That grew as they dried.
He’d turned to a butterfly
While inside!

 

Enjoy!

MOTHS

MOTHS

The information below is recorded on the mp3 audio file right here:

Giving children the opportunity to listen – focused listening – without distractions is excellent practice. Listen ing is a skill children need to learn!!

MOTHS

Did you know that not all caterpillars become butterflies? Some become moths. Here are some interesting facts about moths.

  • There are about ten times more moths in the world than butterflies, yet we are much more likely to see a butterfly. Do you know why? The answer has something to do with night and day and when we are awake and asleep. Can you guess?

 

  • Some moths are tiny, and some are huge. Put your hands flat on the table with your thumbs touching. From pinkie to pinkie shows how the big the wingspan of the Atlas moth is – about ten inches.

 

  • Some moths such as the Luna moth and Atlas moth do not have mouths and do not ever eat. They only live for about a week.

 

  • The Sphinx Hawk moth is the fastest moth in the world, and can reach speeds over 30 miles per hour. This might be faster than cars are allowed to go on the street where you live!

 

  • When a moth is resting, its wings lie flat. This is an easy way to tell the difference between a moth and a butterfly.

 

Perhaps you can see moths and butterflies where you live. Do you know which ones you are most likely to see at night time?