Smash Boom Best
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this podcast.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Smash Boom Best teaches and models debate skills on kid-friendly topics like fairies and giants, spaceships and submarines, and Pikachu and Mario. With entertaining music, sound effects, and interludes, adult debaters present their sides, always emphasizing humor, creativity, and quality of information, as they try to convince a kid judge which side is best. Arguments usually include some interesting information about science or history, and some topics lend themselves to more suspense and mystery. Connections to managing disagreement in real life or debating on social issues are not explicitly discussed. Content is largely kept light, positive, and fun. A great go-to for debate techniques and fun facts that both kids and adults will find fun and engaging.
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What’s It About?
SMASH BOOM BEST pits two things against one another for the sake of debate, on a range of topics like sports, fantasy, food, animals, or history. In weekly episodes, host Molly Bloom guides an older kid guest judge through listening to two adult debaters present their entertaining, creative, well-researched, and persuasive arguments of why their side is the best. Some discussions and interludes teach about the art and vocabulary of debate. As debaters compete, they model using humor, production, style, and facts rather than meanness or insults. Listeners are encouraged to cast their votes for winners and interact in various ways on the show's website.
Is It Any Good?
This podcast is the next best thing from the American Public Media team that created Brains On!. Smash Boom Best is a well-produced, well-researched and entertaining way of teaching debate skills. Even if younger listeners don't quite grasp the debate concepts, they may enjoy hearing funny people talk about topics accessible to them, like apples vs. bananas or horses vs. dolphins. Between interesting older kids acting as guest judges and good information about debate ideas, this podcast might inspire older listeners to pursue new interests in science, history, or debate. Smash Boom Best brings out the friendly and fun sides of argumentation.
While high on entertainment and educational value, the podcast does not explicitly relate debate settings to real life disagreements, larger social-emotional lessons, or debating as activism to improve our world. Visit the website to find topics that might interest the family, and steer clear of spooky topics for more sensitive listeners. The site has good opportunities for kids to feel involved, whether by voting for their winners or proposing other debate topics, as well as resources for educators teaching students how to debate.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about what they find persuasive about one side of a Smash Boom Best debate. Was it the debater's creativity, information, consistency, style, humor, or something else that convinced you their side was best? What makes a good all-around argument?
How can you use the elements of this show to turn heated arguments into constructive debates?
When do you think you might use debate strategies in your life? When might these ideas help you understand the world better, or help convince others of your opinion?
When you disagree with someone else's opinion, how do you feel, and what are the types of comments you feel like making? What types of comments might be the most useful to make?
- Release date: May 15, 2018
- Genre: Games & Trivia
- Average Run Time: 30 minutes
- Website: https://www.smashboom.org/
- Host: Molly Bloom
- Publisher: American Public Media
- Pricing structure: Free
- Topics: History, Science and Nature
- Last updated: May 6, 2022
Our Editors Recommend
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Room for Debate
Variety of experts debate topics, but depth, info limited.
Brains On! Science Podcast for Kids
Science-based pod invites kids' curiosity; science jargon.
Color Versus Shapes
Good-natured contest teaches kids about colors and shapes.
For kids who love debating
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