The Creation of Kinderling

Radio is a remarkable medium. It is as powerful in big bustling cities, as it is in war torn desolate corners of the world. Radio has the unique ability to connect people living remotely with no other form of technology. It is what we rely upon for news updates during bush fires, conflict and natural disasters. We also rely on it for light entertainment; for reprieve. It buoys us and breaks up the monotony of early mornings, chores and traffic.

Music has the most wonderful way of singing our stories, composing a symphony for our heartache, and bringing us, no matter the portion of happiness, melancholy or frustration we feel, joy. In a trendy warehouse in downtown Sydney, the joy is blooming out of the windows and along the front path. Kinderling Kids Radio Station sowed their seeds in 2015 with hopes of a healthy future in radioland. What they have created is flourishing and continues to grow, all the seasons through. The radio station is as popular as ever.   

Kinderling is a radio program that is child friendly, while also appealing to adults. Are you ever driving along in the car with your kids and you hear a questionable lyric, only to be further horrified to hear your child singing along like it was the most natural thing in the world? That is one problematic thing about the radio world, even worse if the song is an ear worm and it gets caught in your head. Kinderling has solved that problem. You will no longer run the risk of stumbling upon any inappropriate advertising or lyrical innuendo. Well, there is still some innuendo. Kinderling is suited to both children and adults, afterall. 

The clever part about Kinderling is that it is tailored to a child’s day, if you would like it to be. When they are getting ready for the day, when they are active, when they are winding down, having a nap and readying themselves for bed- and in addition, there is fun, informative stuff for the parentals. You can choose. Bit by bit the programming is becoming even more interesting, with guests such as Benjamin Law, Mem Fox and Mia Freedman and beloved comedian Frank Woodley.

We spoke with Kinderling DJ and music journalist, Lorna Clarkson about working at Kinderling. Turns out, she enjoys it as much as the listeners do.

For someone who is unfamiliar with Kinderling, what is it all about?

Kinderling is the FIRST national radio station for kids AND their families! Not only is there a great mix of music – 24/7 - ranging from traditional nursery rhymes, through to contemporary kids songs and awesome grown-up songs; the mood and energy of the music changes through the day and night. It is designed to complement the routine of a young child. There are also LOTS of great audio stories and audio games to spark big imaginations in little people. Parents can also access the best and most up-to-date parenting information weekdays at 12pm on Kinderling Conversation and we have a free App where families can download our Mixtapes, stories and interviews to their phones so they can listen to our shows when it suits them (and without using their data).

 What do you love about being part of Kinderling?

“What’s not to love?! Kinderling is fun, entertaining, informative, smart, safe, funny, trusted, and diverse.  We have a dedicated team who are experts in children’s entertainment, parenting and how to make fun and imaginative radio.”

What do you hope families gain from the Kinderling experience?

We hope families embrace Kinderling as a trusted companion to their daily routine. We want kids and their grown-ups to experience and enjoy music together; sharing in their love of old favourites, as well as discovering new songs from around the world that can become new classics. Kinderling also offers an off-screen entertainment alternative for kids so that they can use their imaginations; sparking more creativity and fun.

The modern world is so fast paced and there is increasing pressure on kids to be academic and tech savvy from a young age. Do you hope that Kinderling allows kids to just ‘be kids’ and enjoy themselves?

“While, on the surface, Kinderling can be used for pure entertainment and enjoyment, every song and activity selected is also designed to support kids in reaching their key developmental milestones in a fun, entertaining way.”

The music and activities on Kinderling encourage development of literacy, numeracy and coordination and we have specific programmes like Play & Learn and Together Time that are designed to meet the key outcomes of the Early Years Learning Framework. Kids can have fun AND learn along the way.

How do you choose the music that gets played? Is it tricky to juggle the balance- selecting music that appeals to both little kids and adults?

This is much easier than it sounds! For me, I continually tap into what I loved about music as a child, and let that guide me. Whether it is a classic pop song from the ‘50’s or a brand-new kids song from 2017, both I and Dave Stevens, our amazing Music Coordinator, listen for a catchy melody, good production, and clever and fun lyrics.

What songs have you found children return to? Are there new favourite songs now on your radar? Are the Wiggles still timeless with kids?

The Wiggles will always have a valued place on Kinderling as they have some brilliant songs and they now span generations of fans - kids AND parents! But we have also had a lot of fun finding and playing music from artists from all over the world that are not as well-known but that kids and parents now absolutely love.

“The classics are always great though – Twinkle Twinkle will never go out of style.”

What songs did you love as a child? Have those songs withstood time?

I loved ABBA!!! Still do – not embarrassed to admit that. And yes, I absolutely think they stand the test of time when it comes to kids.

What did you dream of being as a young girl?

I wanted to be a pop star or a hairdresser. Neither really worked out.

What are the nicest things about working with children?

“Kids are open-minded, curious and non-judgemental but they have strong likes and dislikes. I love helping to create a world for kids that is magical, fun, and musical; that will help them see the world – and other people – with curiosity, wonder, and with an open heart.”

What is your average day like at Kinderling radio station?

Busy!!! It is a very energetic, creative office and everyone has a say in what we do. We are lucky to have some of the best creative minds in radio working here so it is non-stop ideas (with a good dose of chocolate).

Kinderling continues to progress and blossom. Did you foresee it being such a success?

Of course! Ha ha. We always hoped families would love Kinderling as much as we do and we are glad that people have come to love it so much, so quickly. That said, there are still so many families that do not know about Kinderling so we hope we can reach them and become part of their world sometime soon.

What messages do you try and convey through your particle medium?

Trust, safety, acceptance, diversity, creativity, imagination, fun, non-judgement, learning, togetherness, connection.

How did you come up with the idea for Together Time and what do you hope this program achieves?

Together Time is an action-packed ‘music and movement’ radio show hosted by the amazing Groovy Ruby. The show is designed for children and their grown-ups to enjoy together, as they dance along with Ruby as she sets out on different adventures with dinosaurs, space aliens, underwater creatures and more. You can tune in live weekdays at 9am or download it and listen on demand via our free app.

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Groovy Ruby is very popular. What is Groovy Ruby’s background?

Groovy Ruby is Kinderling’s supersonic boogie-guide through the moves n grooves of a kids imagination! She magically hatched one day from a disco ball, that appeared on the Kinderling doorstep. She had a single mission – to get kids and their grown-ups to dance-along with her on a series of magical, musical adventures. Animal disco, underwater boogie, space funk, insect wiggle, robot rockin’, pirate poppin’ ‘n’ lockin’, princess twirling, dinosaur stomping; get ready to get up, get down and move it and groove it with Groovy Ruby on Together Time!!

How much effort goes on behind the scenes? Do you rehearse often?

Phew! Groovy Ruby is always planning new adventures and new dance moves for the kids and grown-ups to enjoy so it never stops!


What exciting things have you got planned for the near future? 

Kinderling is about to launch in some pretty exciting places! We have just launched three new channels on Qantas to help entertain and help kids chill out on short and long flights.