Storypod Delightful Review

17
May 2022

Starting from a room on the far side of the house and growing louder by the second:
“Mom
MOM
MOOOOOM!!
MomomomomomomoMOOOOOM!”
At which point you stop working, take a deep breath, smile at that currently annoying, but adorable face and hopefully say something along the lines of “Please don’t yell at me from across the house. How can I help you?”

(But if we are being honest, it comes out more like, “WHAT!?”)

Anyway, the answer is probably that your cherub children are stealing things from each other or they are bored. Rather than hand them a device or let them Netflix-and-chill, what if you could suggest a story, music, or game time that wasn’t on a device?

Say what??

Yeah, so most of the time, if you want to entertain your children with a story, song, or game, you have to do it yourself or pull out a device and open an app (unless there is an Alexa in your house. She’s cool too.)

Enter Storypod. This ingenious bit of magic is completely screenless but still allows your child to be in control of their experience. What you have is a speaker which can be protected with a padded sleeve and a bunch of small plushie-like storybook characters. And as a quick personal share, ours have been dropped quite a few times from about 4-5ft onto the carpet and they’re 100% fine. Kids can be whisked away by their imagination into a story, game, or song by simply placing a character (Craftie) on top of the speaker. Buttons allow you to navigate the chapters, stories, and songs without the aid of a screen. It’s super child-friendly.

Image by Torre Capistran

Our absolute favorite character is the iCrafty.
These audio characters allow you (or loved ones) to record 100 minutes of stories, songs, or whatever else you can dream up via the free Storypod app. You can invite others to record with a link which allows direct access to you iCrafties. The app is so easy to do that your 90-year-old grandfather in Florida can record stories for their Great Grands that will be cherished for years to come.

Our second favorite is the Memory Monster: Interactive Color Memory Game. The kids have so much fun playing this game and it has been a great alternative to screen time.

Features We LOVE: One of the features we found super helpful is the ability to preview the audio before ordering. We recommend using this feature to avoid our fairytale dilemma.

Screenshot from Story Pod

 The second feature we love is the user-friendly app interface. It is so easy to set up an account, add Crafties and record songs or stories to your iCrafties, or even to invite others to contribute. From what we can tell, the links don’t time out which is great for those people in your life who might sit on good intentions for months before recording their story.

Finally, did you know that you can switch the StoryPod language TO SPANISH? Yeah, we’ve been trying to get our kids more hours of exposure to other languages, and this was such a pleasant surprise.

Cons: There are really only 2 cons from our experience. The first is minor and technical, in that every time you turn on the StoryPod, there is a loud ‘announcement’ that it’s not connected to the internet, and then shortly afterward another loud ‘announcement’ that it is. This is unavoidable, and it’s quite annoying.

The second con is not so minor, and has to do with the stories/content on the Crafties. While many of the stories are adorable and fun, they are read in a very animated way which makes it hard for bedtime. Lots of energy for screen-free entertainment, but not quite so helpful when we are trying to encourage little bodies to wind down.

Many of these stories are public domain. Meaning, the fairy tales are more along the line of Grimms Fairy Tales and not Disney. If your children are familiar with a fairy tale, they’re going to be confused and maybe even a little disappointed with the version they’re going to get from these Crafties. Let us illustrate: Rapunzel and the prince don’t live happily ever after. Instead, it goes something like this: Boy meets girl. Boy is tricked by the witch. Boy throws himself from the tower and lands on thorns. Boy is now blind and wanders the woods alone. And then there is the part where the boy dies in the girl’s arms. Yeah, not what many are expecting from that adorable Rapunzel Crafty.

The Craftie that comes with all StoryPods is a cute little fox, and while this story is original and fun, there are SO MANY characters and voices, we found it impossible to follow what we going on, even as adults. Obviously, our only complaint is about some of the stories themselves, which is great given it’s something that can be fixed/improved by the company over time. The idea and product themselves are, pretty much, flawless.

“I LOVE that my children are in control of what they listen to. These little crafties characters are so durable and the kids love them! My favorite piece is that I now have priceless memories of my family and friends reading stories to my babies. Especially those stories read by family members who live so far away.”

Screenshot from Story Pod

Product Tip:

Initial Investment: Investing in something like a Storypod can be pricey. Here is a tip from Torre: “I actually told my family and friends that we were going to be investing in this system for my son’s birthday and invited them to contribute if they saw something they wanted him to have. We had such a great response. We had a spreadsheet so we would know who was ordering what. Some families sent cash and ask me to add their favorites to our bundle order while others gave me a heads up and then had it shipped so I could wrap it for them. Our collection has grown to two-story pods and 10 of the characters. We also have 2 iCrafties. 1 is full of songs including a Lullaby with Nana. The second is our designated story owl which is almost completely full of books read by family and friends including a sweet narration of The Night Before Christmas by Papa (our family Santa). We really do love our Stoypods“

Visual Children: If your child is visual and had a hard time simply listening to a story, there is the option of buying the book form to accompany the audios. If you are asking family and friends to record a story, our recommendation is to ask them to read a book your child already owns. Record grandma reading to your child during your next family get-together, or ask your daughter’s favorite uncle to borrow the book from his local library so he can read it from 5 states away. I’m sure you will come up with even more creative ways to get the most out of your Storypod.

Storage: It can be hard to keep Crafties separate from the mountain of plushies in your child’s room. We’ve seen really creative ways to store them including designated box or space on a bookshelf, those knick-knack shelves with all the tiny dividers, and magnet boards. Each Craftie uses a magnet to keep it firmly attached to the Storypod so Pinterest “magnet board” search could solve your Crafties storage dilemma.

Recommendation: Well, this is the Delight Awards… We found so many aspects of this product to be absolutely delightful. We would recommend this product. Just keep in mind the bit about fairy tales and a warning that you might not find the energy level in many of these stories suitable for bedtime.

I’m looking forward to seeing how this company grows and the stories that become available. I hear Winnie the Pooh is now public domain so here’s to hoping we see that little tub of honey in our collection soon.

For more information check out the links below:

Visit Storypod

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Torre Capistran

Owner of Hooked on Code

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