Summer break is here and so are the plethora of opportunities for family-friendly fun and entertainment. The weather is warmer, the sun is out longer, and students are soaking up their freedom before school starts again in just a few months.

However, just because school is no longer in session doesn’t mean the learning has to stop. There are an increasing number of fun and educational opportunities for children that keep their minds engaged and sherp. Experts recommend that students participate in educational activities during the summer so that they better retain the skills and information gained during the school year. One study found that students may lose between 17 and 34 percent of the prior year’s learning during summer break, so it is important to keep the mind active, even during vacation.

One easy and accessible activity for children is listening to podcasts. Podcasts are educational, entertaining, and provide an alternative to television or screen time when children are stuck indoors. Podcasts can be paused and listened to at any time, and the audio medium allows children to draw, clean, move, or engage in other activities while listening.

Here are five of the best children’s podcasts available this summer:

  • Brains On! An award-winning science podcast for kids and curious adults, Brains On! covers wide-ranging topics such as sound, viruses, feelings, cuteness and the weather.
  • But Why. From National Public Radio comes the podcast for children that answers questions about topics like nature, words and even the end of the world. Children can send in a voice recording with their question to have it answered on the show.
  • The Past and the Curious. A history podcast for children, The Past and The Curious shares stories of inspiration, humor and achievement.
  • Eleanor Amplified. This adventure series follows the story of fictional radio reporter Eleanor Amplified who outwits villains and foils plots in pursuit of “the big story.”
  • Noodle Loaf. Geared toward children aged 3-9 years old, Noodle Loaf is an interactive, musical podcast created by a music education specialist father and his children. The 10-minute episodes invite the whole family to get creative together.

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