Across Aotearoa parents have been tearing out their hair during multiple lockdowns, looking for ways to keeping their little ones entertained.
If you're staring down the barrel of another COVID-19 alert level 2 weekend and you think you might lose your mind if you hear the Peppa Pig theme song one more time - it might be time to go old-school.
Kinderling Kids Radio is a radio and podcast app for kids that has apparently long been loved in Australia and has finally made it over the ditch.
After spending years organising festival stages and DJing an award-winning radio show, Lorna Clarkson now spends the majority of time curating the perfect day-to-night listening experience for young children - and their grown-ups - on Kinderling.
Clarkson says she hopes the show, available online or via an app, is especially great for those finding parenting during the pandemic "far from a walk in the park".
"While we might not be able to be there with you physically to help with the cooking, cleaning and childcare, we wanted to help parents regain some sanity in this trying time," she says.
The app offers audiobooks and educational podcasts like Busy Bodies with Mr Snot Bottom, which helps explain the COVID-19 virus in a kid-friendly manner. There are also plenty of other educational activities and resources to help the parents moonlighting as teachers from the kitchen table.
Clarkson also says there is also plenty of "child-friendly music that the kids can enjoy but that wouldn't drive parents up the wall". This means some Play School and Wiggles, but also grown-up favourites like Sia, The Strokes and Daft Punk.
Example of day-to-day Kinderling schedule:
- From waking up, morning programming is focused around upbeat and happy tunes
- Lunchtimes are a mix of playful and educational songs and activities
- In the afternoons, music shifts again starting softer and slower to align to nap-times, before becoming rising in energy for the school or daycare 'run'
- 4pm onwards is sometimes called the 'Witching Hour' by parents as kids are often tired, bored and hungry. It's too early for bed, so Kinderling programming focuses on engaging kids, helping to distract and calm them as they wind down for the day
- In the evenings the energy slows down again, with gentler tunes, stories and lullabies helping to ease the family through the bedtime routine.