A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this podcast.
Each episode teaches young learners about a specific social-emotional skill or topic. Todd Loyd is an early childhood educator; he engages children on the show and listeners at home with thoughtful questions and discussions. Main point of each lesson -- whether it's understanding what empathy is or what it means to be an "upstander" -- is very clear for young children. Teaches kids actionable steps to communicate feelings, handle tough situations, and be a good friend to others. Website includes activities and episode guides to go with each episode, plus guides for teachers to help them incorporate episodes in the classroom.
Discusses and models empathy and ways kids and adults can help others who are experiencing "big feelings." Listeners learn about importance of standing up for themselves and others, being a good global citizen, solving problems together. Episodes help kids explore their feelings in a fun and imaginative way. Because kids are free to give their perspectives and opinions and oftentimes lead the discussion, this show empowers kids to have a voice, lets them know their feelings matter.
Positive Role Models
Host Todd Loyd and young guests on each episode model positive behaviors, often describing times when they helped a friend or stood up for someone else. They show how discussing feelings -- even when it's difficult -- is healthy and can lead to positive outcomes. Todd listens attentively to kid guests, often gives words of support and compliments them.
Kids of different backgrounds, ages, and genders are featured as guests. A two-episode special on being a global citizen features children from around the world as well as a Hebrew-speaking puppet. Episode guides as well as activities to go along with episodes are featured on the website in both English and Spanish.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Little Kids, Big Hearts is a thoughtful and educational podcast that helps kids develop social-emotional skills and manage "big feelings." Young listeners can enjoy hearing other kids talk about their emotions and how they've handled familiar situations like a classmate being mean, or returning to school after remote learning. The host, Todd Loyd, takes a gentle and conversational approach with the kids, encouraging them to share their thoughts and feelings. He also voices some lively puppet characters on the show, and leads the kids on mindfulness journeys to a make-believe world. These elements are sure to appeal to the youngest listeners. Episode guides and activities are available for free on the website in both English and Spanish.
Is It Any Good?
This is a great choice if you're looking for a podcast focused on social-emotional skills that's empowering for young children. Kids listening to Little Kids, Big Hearts will enjoy hearing about topics that are relatable to them through the voices of other children. You can tell that the host is an experienced educator as he guides the children through questions and conversation but still lets them take center stage. Some of the more fantastical elements, like the puppet characters and the land of the Qook-a-Lakas, will probably appeal most to the preschool/kindergarten audience, but there is a lot for older children to get out of this as well.
Little Kids, Big Hearts is designed to help kids express their feelings, engage in honest conversation, and learn about empathy and friendship. At the same time, it's still entertaining and enjoyable to listen to. This podcast can serve as a valuable resource for opening up a dialogue between caregivers and kids, and there are discussion guides for educators and families available on the website.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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