FunKids radio have kindly asked Mum’s The Law to review their station, but as you can expect the opinions in the review are ours and ours only.
FunKids is an online radio station that is mainly aimed at kids between the ages of 7 and 12, with programming for younger kids between the hours of 9am and 3pm.
The website is as bright and colourful as you would expect from one aimed at children. It’s packed with games, educational features and a bunch of ways your kids can listen to the radio show and the full schedule of what you can expect on weekdays and weekends.
Amy caught an hour from between 3pm and 4pm, getting a taste of the FunKids Junior Show with Alex for the pre-school kids and “The Club” with Bex which is more aimed for 7-12 year olds. Wes managed to fit in short sections throughout his working day but doesn’t remember what times (useless!) and is having another bash right now.
I caught FunKids radio at the very end of FunKids Junior with Alex for the littler ones – just in time for his ‘Corny Corner’ joke reel. The fact that he threw jokes in there that could have come straight from my Dad made me smile. So if it got me, chances are your kids will be repeating the jokes at the dinner table for the next couple of days at least!
Alex was clearly engaging for the little ones, but it was also presented in a way that wouldn’t be awful for the parents to listen to as well, with the odd bit of ‘banter’ to keep the adults on board.
The Club with Bex was clearly aimed at an older crowd than the previous show, but still had all the charm and engagement to fixate even the most demanding of kids, with a great variety of features. This included a reading of Horrid Henry, which would have quietened any child of that age range that I know, and interesting facts based on present events and media (the one today was all about dinosaurs, thanks Jurassic World). Bex held it all together, without rambling on in between each segment like a lot of radio presenters on mainstream radio can’t seem to avoid!
FunKids radio happily mixes up popular music from today (I heard Katy Perry, Meghan Trainor, 5 Seconds of Summer, all the classics) with traditional “kids” songs and TV themes so that every child who listens to it will recognise a good chunk of them. Me? I was a bit clueless – it’s not my kind of music mostly and I’m not up to date with the latest in kids’ TV. That will change, but I am of course not the clientele this station is looking for. Honestly, there was more music featured than I had anticipated – which is a great thing and definitely what you want from a radio station. Your children will want to sing along though, you have been warned.
In all, I can definitely see the appeal of this radio station for the target audience. Everything is tailored for the kids that are listening, even down to the jingles. There were enough alternative features to keep it interesting and mixed up enough, and neither presenter I heard did anything even remotely cringe-worthy. Bonus. I didn’t hear an inappropriate song in the hour or so I listened, and was surprised to find that I didn’t just find it “bearable” like I expected for a station aimed at someone 20 years younger than me; I actually enjoyed it and wouldn’t have a problem if my kids wanted to listen to this in the car.
I’d knock the Radio 1 Breakfast Show on the head if this was the alternative my son wanted, sorry Grimmy.
Radio for kids? This is a thing?
I have a lot to learn as a new dad but I’m glad this is something I’ve now scratched off that long list. I’m not going to profess that Mason will be understanding music composition, or even words, in his early months but I do think it’s important for him to be exposed to both from day 1. Most singing will probably come from me and Mum (my voice is angelic, check out Drives Dad Mad for proof! lol) but for those times we’re off doing something else? Radio seems like a quick win to keep up the human voice interaction. And when he’s a bit older and wants to boogie and sing along himself? Kid’s radio! (I’m actually REALLY impressed it exists).
So what were my thoughts on FunKidsLive.com? Well, I loaded it up in work (the middle of a corporate Telecoms Managed Service office – the ideal location for it, right?) and first impressions were meh. I’ve not been a kid in a long time and I’m clearly out of touch with age appropriate content and, I’ll be honest, because I didn’t recognise the first song I wasn’t hooked. It was of the ilk of the ‘party’ songs they play at the clubhouse on a family caravan site – I bet the kids would LOVE it, but it was alien to me.
Well that feeling passed quickly because the next song up was Bare Necessities. GET IN! I was literally singing along with my headphones in and didn’t care one bit about the sly looks being shot in my direction – they clearly weren’t having the fun I was. I also learnt at this point, slight tangent here, thanks to the live updating ‘ticker’ (think RDS, like on your car radio) that the song isn’t called Bear Necessities. Frankly, I think they missed a trick there… puns are always a good idea. I enjoyed that segment even more than my usual rock-filled Spotify playlists, I felt young and energetic but, somehow, not at all immature 🙂
Enough about my feelings though (despite this review being by me), how would this work for kids? I’m confident when I say “really well”. There’s some adverts interspersed for things like their LEGO Friends unboxing videos (I’m sure they said funkidslive.com/legofriends but that doesn’t work for me – those kiddies’ll have to be speedy and attentive in noting down URLs unlike ageing dad here), and after speaking to Amy it’s clear there’s a few different shows available that I never made it to (she got a Horrid Henry reading, jealous!).
Overall, the site’s easy to navigate and appealing for the young’uns, daytime music and presenters are as their name suggests and the best thing? It’s free! I know, it’s radio, it’s always free but considering I didn’t know this existed last week I’m chuffed, natch (that means naturally, I’m down with the kids now).
I have one issue though – I’ve listened to it this evening whilst writing this and my ears have been assaulted with 5 Seconds of Summer and the Glee Cast. Nothing’s perfect though, eh?
You can connect with FunKids radio on Facebook and Twitter as well as the website, where your kids can enter the competitions run by the station (and there’s a lot of them) and request shoutouts live on air from the presenters. You can tune in on DAB digital radio (in London and the South East), online and on your smartphone from all over the UK.
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