Top Kids and Family Podcasts (November 2017)

Squeaking this in juuuuust under the wire, it's my November list of the top-ranked podcasts for kids and families.  (For those of you interested, here is October's list of top-ranked kids and family podcasts.)

If you're looking for a podcast for kids, you could -- and should! -- of course look at my list of podcasts for kids (now above 125!), but if that's a bit overwhelming, try the podcasts listed below, or the official Kids Listen app, featuring shows from Kids Listen members.  Popularity isn't always synonymous with quality, but you could do much worse than dipping into the shows ranked below -- many of which are Kids Listen members -- to start out.

At 18 ranked shows, November continues to be just shy of June's all-time high of 19 ranked shows.  (That means 18 shows that appeared in the top 100 of both the iTunes and Stitcher "kids and family" charts when I checked it.)  The total number of podcasts listed below is 37, just 1 shy of October's new record.  While only one podcast hit the overall iTunes Top 200 (down from 4 in July and August), and the Top 200 Kids & Family chart featured 43 shows, down from August's 45-show record, the Stitcher total of 30 was 3 higher than the previous record.

As always: this is a blunt instrument, combining pure rankings from two fairly opaque charts, and for a variety of reasons has only marginal value as a measure of quality.  (Results compiled from Top 100 podcasts on United States iTunes and Stitcher "kids and family" charts on Thursday, November 30, 2017.  Podcasts that appear on both charts are ranked below; remaining podcasts only appeared on one list.  Of special note: Dream Big appeared on iTunes' overall Top 200 and is #1 on the Kids and Family chart, but not at all on Stitcher's family list, so for that podcast at least, this list certainly underplays its popularity.)  Anyway: grain of salt noted.

Two other reminders:

1.  If you're looking for a list that has most (or all) of these podcasts, check out my comprehensive list of podcasts for kids.

2. If you're interested in the future of podcasts for kids, you might be interested in Kids Listen, a grassroots organization of podcasters and folks like me interested in helping high-quality audio for children thrive.  We're looking for other interested folks -- producers or otherwise -- to join in!

With that out of the way, let's get to the chart.

1. Wow in the World

2. Stories Podcast

3. Brains On!

4. Story Pirates

5. Storynory

6. Circle Round

7. Story Time

8.  Tumble

9. The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian

10. The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel

11. Eleanor Amplified

12. The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd

13. Little Stories for Tiny People

14. Peace Out

15. What If World

16. Ear Snacks

17.  Short and Curly

18. Bedtime Stories Cozy Corner Podcast

Others (listed alphabetically): 1001 Classic Short Stories & Tales, Activated Stories, Bedtime History, Book Club for Kids, But Why, By Kids For Kids Story Time, Children Stories and Joyful Podcast, The Cramazingly Incredifun Sugarcrash Kids, Disney Story Central, Dream Big, Family Folk Tales, Mick Munster Monster Hunter, Official Adventures in Odyssey, Podcast Kid, Spare the Rock Spoil the Child, Sparkle Stories, Summer Reading, That Story Show, This Podcast Has Fleas

Monday Morning Smile: "Obsession" - OK Go

Time once again for the Official Band of Zooglobble's Monday Morning Smile, OK Go!  Over the Thanksgiving holiday, the band released their latest video off their album, Hungry Ghosts, for the song "Obsession."  This one stars the band and 567 printers.  I don't think it quite reaches the giddy, hit-the-repeat-button-immediately heights of, say, "The One Moment," or "This Too Shall Pass," but it's a lot of fun regardless.

OK Go - "Obsession" [YouTube]

Video: "The Quest for the Missing Polka-Dotted Pink Sock" - Mista Cookie Jar (World Premiere!)

 Mista Cookie Jar on bed

Mista Cookie Jar on bed

It's a new video for Black Friday from Mista Cookie Jar!  Now, I can hear you thinking, "Why would a song about a missing sock be the basis for a Black Friday-themed video?"  Well, that's because the song got its first life as a premiere on K. Bell Socks.  And not that I'm going to shill for socks, but socks are both stocking stuffers and stockings, so there is a certain seasonal appropriateness to the subject.

More importantly, like most of MCJ's work, it's great fun to listen to and dance to.  And, in the case of this World Premiere, watch... to.  Or something like that.  Enjoy!

Mista Cookie Jar - "The Quest for the Missing Polka-Dotted Pink Sock" [YouTube]

Radio Playlist: New Music November 2017

Squished between the end of the Grammy eligibility period, Halloween, and Christmas, I sometimes feel like a November new-music playlist is a bit of an afterthought.  But there are actually some pretty good songs that have crossed my desk in the last few weeks, not to mention some that for time considerations are just going to have to wait until January.  A total of 24 minutes of music, great for a short little errand or pecan pie prep.  (Feel free to check out the October list here if you missed it.)

As always, these Spotify playlists are limited in that if an artist hasn't chosen to post a song on Spotify, I can't put it on the list, nor can I feature songs from as-yet-unreleased albums.  But I'm always keeping stuff in reserve for the next Spotify playlist.

Check out the list here (or right here in you're in Spotify).

**** New Music November 2017 (November 2017 Kindie Playlist) ****

"I Play Music" - Johnny Bregar

"Mama (Live from Austin)" - SaulPaul

"Don't Put Me Down, Or My Dog" - Kid Pan Alley

"One of Those Days" - Kim Schneiderman

"Little Friends" - Smilin' Rylan

"Jane Goodall" - Michael Hearst, Tanya Donnelly

"My Creature" - Micah and Me

"Despacito" - Lullapop Lullabies

Story Pirates Set for World Domination!

 Story Pirates logo from Gimlet

Story Pirates logo from Gimlet

Let's get it out of the way: I think the Story Pirates are great.  Just as we all have our kids' music artists we listen to without the kids around -- don't front, you know you do it -- there are some podcasts whose primary audience is kids but adults can (and do) listen to it unreservedly, regardless of whether their kids are in earshot.

The Story Pirates podcast, for me, is definitely in that camp.  The concept of the podcast is fairly simple -- kids write stories and send them into the group.  The group creates a play/musical out of the story, filled with a lot enthusiasm, no small amount of heart, and a good week's worth of humor.  I reviewed the show about 18 months ago, and my appreciation of the weekly podcast has only grown since then.

And I'm not the only one whose appreciation of the Story Pirates has grown, because Season 2 of the podcast started yesterday, and it's being presented by Gimlet Media, the podcasting powerhouse home to a variety of shows for adults including one of my faves, Reply All, another one of my faves, Heavyweight, along with The Nod, the late great Mystery Show (pours one out), and many more.  The fact that Story Pirates, the show, which got its recorded audio start on Sirius-XM's Kids Place Live, is now the first kids show on a major podcasting network, says a lot about both the Story Pirates and Gimlet.  (Though, yo, Gimlet, get the Story Pirates up on your Shows drop-down menu!)

Anyway, I encourage you to subscribe to Story Pirates on your favorite podcatcher and head over to their podcast page, where you can also sign up to receive cool stuff (like coloring pages tied to the episodes).

 The Story Pirates in studio

The Story Pirates in studio

A Loog Guitar For Every Hand

We've been fans of Loog Guitars here at Zooglobble HQ from the beginning.  I interviewed Rafael Atijas, the founder of the company, in 2011 as he was in the midst of his first (eventually successful) Kickstarter to manufacture his very first set of acoustic 3-string guitars.  I dug that first guitar, and so in 2013 when Atijas had his second Kickstarter to manufacture his first set of electric (again, 3-string) guitars, I interviewed him once more.  That project succeeded, too -- raising $70,000, just a bit more than his first go-round.

And really, if you can do an acoustic and an electric guitar well, why bother creating something new?  Which is why you shouldn't listen to me for business advice, because something happened with his third Kickstarter.  As successful as his first two were, that didn't come close to this one, as he raised almost $360,000 to manufacture 3 new guitars: the Loog Pro Acoustic and Loog Pro Electric, along with a new Loog Mini.

While the Loog Pro models looked nice, I basically already had those two guitars, albeit earlier versions of them.  (Also, I'm not really a guitar player, so the Loog Pro would be wasted on me.)   But the Loog Mini -- a 3-string guitar the basic size of a soprano ukulele -- that was definitely the most intriguing one to me.  So I plunked down my $59 (they're $79 post-Kickstarter) and earlier this year it arrived at the home.