LOCKDOWN LISTENING: A guide to family friendly audio plays, podcasts, storytelling and songs

If you’re anything like us, lockdown has seen a massive increase in the whole family’s screen usage. For those looking to give little eyes a rest, here are our top tips for engaging their ears instead.

The Quest (What’s Coming Out of the Box Productions): Suitable for ages 5-10

‘The quest’ is a story about adventure. After receiving a mysterious call during lockdown, a librarian and her housemates set out on a quest to discover the meaning of adventure. Ever wanted to go to the moon, become a spy or an inventor? Then join the screen-free fun. Using everyday props, this imaginative audio play offers you a chance to join in with activities to become part of the story. (Top tip – You will need to gather the props first and small people should be accompanied during the adventure!)

The Quest Poster

Each 10 minute episode looks at the life of a real character and their adventure. It is a great way to become immersed in a story and experience a sense of travel from home. Find out more and listen here.

*ACCESSIBILITY* There is a video version available, with subtitles and signing

The Mystery of the Raddlesham Mumps: Suitable for ages 7+

The Mystery of the Raddlesham Mumps is a family show that will appeal to lovers of Harry Potter, Tim Burton, Lemony Snicket and The Brothers Grimm. With the tour curtailed, an audio recording has been made available on their website and there are some accompanying lesson plans which were designed for school workshops. The story is also available as a book and those with Oculus headsets can try out a VR prequel.

Raddlesham Mumps Trailer

The Goblin Podcast – Musical Stories for Kids (Goblin Theatre): Suitable for all ages

The Goblin Podcast is a kids podcast featuring original musical stories, from acclaimed children’s theatre makers Goblin Theatre. Each episode they’ll be bringing you new musical stories for the whole family to enjoy wherever you like. The stories are full of catchy new songs and a lot of fun that will inspire the imagination of all ages. Listen here.

Storytime at the Barn Theatre: Suitable for all ages

In the heart of lockdown, The Barn Theatre teamed up with bestselling author, Michael Morpurgo to bring families daily readings of some of his best loved children’s books. (Ok, so technically this isn’t just audio – There are also some lovely accompanying illustrations from the books that you can watch if you want to!) You can access the full playlist below. We also recommend subscribing to The Barn’s YouTube channel for more great content, including isolation antics from Tweedy the Clown plus plenty more for all ages (including the adults!)

*COMING UP* Songs Across The Pond (David Gibb and Brady Rymer): Suitable for all ages

Ever since the Beatles took the USA by storm in 1964, a healthy tradition of musical collaboration and exchange of ideas between American and British artists has been a part of popular music. For the very first time, the world of family music is about follow suit. Three-time Grammy nominee Brady Rymer teams up with acclaimed UK-based artist David Gibb to offer a joyful new album for all ages: Songs Across the Pond. The first single, “Two Towns” is already available. You can order the album, which will be available on all music platforms from July 31, 2020.

Music video for “Two Towns” by David Gibb & Brady Rymer