The Beanies Launch New Podcast on Kinderling Kids Radio
The 10-episode series will help answer the curly posers kids throw at parents, like ‘What are sneezes?’ and ‘Why can’t sharks play jazz music?’, and will feature such unique topics as Indy 500-themed snails; how to make pancakes for mum and dad; how to have a bowling competition when there’s a blackout; and, crucially, how to tie shoelaces.
Michael Beanie (also known as Professor Know-it-all) says, “We brainstorm each episode by talking about the things we were curious about as children. We want kids to know it’s OK to ask questions about things they don’t understand.”
Laura Beanie says, “We also want kids to imagine the story in their mind’s eye, that’s why we called it Imagination Station.”
The Beanies launched early in 2017 under the Mamamia Podcast Network banner. The trio had all been working in kids’ entertainment for some time, including hosting children’s parties. “You have probably seen one of the Beanies disguised as Princess Jasmine, Elsa or a Pirate playing pass the parcel,” says Michael.
With “a love of fun” and possessing “the high energy of kids”, the trio reasoned that their collective passions could be focussed into a creative project. Hence, The Beanies was born and their infectious melding of educational stories, games, songs and quirky humour ensured they were an instant hit with not only kids but adults.
“We think about the parents who have to hear kids’ entertainment too,” says Mim Beanie. “We change up the stories and songs so mum and dad don’t go crazy! There are also lots of jokes and funny puns in there that adults can enjoy too.”
We also want kids to imagine the story in their mind’s eye, that’s why we called it Imagination Station.
Mim believes podcasts make for a more resourceful experience for kids than other entertainment mediums. “While screens and visual entertainment are ‘ready-made’ and entertaining, podcasts are only audible – so you have to create that visual experience for yourself, in your imagination. You could even argue that [podcasts] make for a richer experience, especially for little minds trying to make sense of the world! When the visual is taken away, you are forced to fill the blanks in your mind and don’t we all want kids thinking creatively?”
Kinderling Kids Radio Managing Director Lorna Clarkson says The Beanies have a natural home at Kinderling. “The three of them still have a way of looking at the world with child-like wonder, combined with a cheeky sense of humour.”
This is evident in the trio’s approach to workshopping new stories. “One of the main things we try and think about it inspiring kids to use the imagination,” says Laura. “We always say, the question isn’t why, it’s why not?”
Michael agrees. “This statement often gets thrown around when we are coming up with new stories – ‘How about a cow that sings opera?’ – why not?”
Their podcasts have also helped parents in unexpected ways. “We’ve had feedback that kids are listening at bedtime – which we weren’t expecting!” Laura says. “But apparently, it serves as a great incentive to get them into bed with the lights off!”
You can listen to Imagination Station on the Kinderling website, via the Kinderling app, or subscribe via iTunes, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts.