When I pick my girls up from preschool, I try to remember that as far as brain input goes, a day at preschool for a three-year-old must feel for them the way a day for an adult spent giving a big important speech to your boss, then taking a super important exam, then eating nothing but food from Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, and then trying to navigate the social dynamics of dinner with The Real Housewives without anyone ever telling you who’s mad at who beforehand would feel.
Learning how to be a small human who listens, shares, and learns mind-blowing things like where bats live or how to make applesauce or whatever is super hard when you’re three. And sometimes those few minutes in the car heading home from all that hard stuff can make for some pretty intense emotions as they decompress and start to process and make sense of all that input. There’s definitely a tendency for name calling, eardrum-busting whining, and ridiculous escalating demands for candy in my car at this time.
Enter Story Pirates, a kids’ story podcast that gets everyone into the zone, lets kids decompress, and gets us from point A to point B with less llama drama. It’s funny and smart enough that I genuinely enjoy it too. Would I rather be listening to Terry Gross talk about a Pulitzer winner’s childhood? Yes! But is this one of my favorite kids’ podcast and a nice way to spend twenty minutes? Also yes!
Here’s how Story Pirates goes:
- Kids write their own stories. They’re short and exactly the kind of weird kids’ stories that wouldn’t know a complex character or a denouement if it smacked them in the face. The kids get to read them aloud on the podcast before the Story Pirates do their thing and interpret it into a song and story. My kids love this part. The sillier the kid, the better.
- Story Pirates interpret them into a funny, sweet, catchy song and story. I have not dived deep into the bios of the actors, but I have a feeling they’re all badasses who do this by day but went to Julliard or are on at least the B team at Upright Citizens’ Brigade by night. The songs are ironic and sassy enough to make me laugh, high production value enough to make me think for half a second sometimes that we’re at a grown-up dance party or in some bar listening to a singer-songwriter. They’re good and not dumb! In a recent episode, All 8 Unicorns/Riding a Seagull Was Good, you get a rap song by some very millennial-sounding unicorns with hair extensions, and then a song about riding a seagull that ends with a “ride on a seagull” reference to “Fly Like an Eagle” by Steve Miller Band.
- The kids get to come back on and chat! In this episode, a pirate and a kid named Ethan talk about where seagulls live, what it’s like to ride one, because Ethan swears he did IRL. No interview with Ethan’s mom to confirm or deny this, but Ethan is adorbs.
- You arrive home, hum that catchy-ass tune about unicorns or seagulls, and everyone takes a nap, and then listen to that Fresh Air you’ve been saving up in peace. The end. Story Pirates FTW.