Offering a respite from kids’ ever-increasing hours of screen time, the “Work It Out Wombats! Podcast” opens the doors for an auditory playdate that preschool children can enjoy with the adults in their lives. While many podcasts are designed for quiet, reflective listening, GBH Kids’ newest podcast upends that dynamic with an eight-episode series based on the hugely popular television program. With lively banter and auditory prompts, the podcast draws 3-6 year-old “Wombuddies” into imaginative games to play along with their parents, siblings and caretakers.
“It's a more active kind of listening experience than your typical podcast,” said Anthony Bostler, GBH Kids producer. “The characters break convention by talking to the listener, encouraging them to answer questions like, what’s your favorite snack, or prompting them to play a game of pirates or practice tiptoeing.”
“With podcasts, we're able to create an intimate, imaginative experience without the use of a screen,” said Bostler. “It is reminiscent of those radio dramas back in the day when families listened together. Instead of all looking at one fixed screen, they’re able to talk among themselves, as well as with the Wombats.”
Launching in January, with new episodes every week through February, the podcast, the fourth from GBH Kids, is designed to be engaging for adults as well. “We encourage grown-ups to participate, and we hope that some of the questions we ask encourage after-listening discussions,” said Bostler.
The television program debuted in February of this year and achieved 23 million streams on PBS KIDS video platforms within its first two weeks, as well as over 1.7 million views on YouTube. It introduces kids to computational thinking concepts to help them solve problems, develop flexible thinking and learn how to express themselves. As kids listen to the podcast and join activities, they will get better acquainted with the Treeborhood, where Work It Out Wombats! leading characters Zadie, Zeke and Malik live.
“In this new podcast, kids are transported into the Wombats' world, and they will recognize the character voices, sound effects and dynamics, reminding them of what they love about the television series,” said Bostler.
“We are thrilled to expand the Work It Out Wombats! universe of TV programs, games, printables, hands-on activities and resources for parents and educators to now include a podcast,” said Executive Producers Marcy Gunther and Marisa Wolsky.
Bostler has worked on the podcasts associated with the GBH programs Molly of Denali, Arthur and Pinkalicious & Peteriffic. He also worked on “Keyshawn Solves It,” which was named Common Sense's #1 Kids Podcast of 2023. “The Arthur Podcast” also made Common Sense Media’s list and Work It Out Wombats! was named one of their top kids television shows of the year.