Today on the blog, I am sharing my full review of the Storypod. You may have seen this screen-free audio learning toy pop up in your advertisements, or perhaps you’ve never heard of it. Either way, I’ll be sharing all the details on what it is, the included features, additional add-ons and all of the pros/cons of the audio toy. I’ll also walk you through all the details on how it works and frequently asked questions about the Storypod. Keep reading below to see if this toy lives up to the hype.
Disclosure: Some links below are affiliate links. This means at no additional cost to you, I earn a small commission if you decide to click through and make a purchase
Full Storypod Review
So what exactly is the Storypod? It’s an interactive speaker that will tell stories, sing songs, and provide lessons (or allow you to record your own) as you follow along or listen. No screens are necessary. After setting up your Storypod, to get started, all you have to do is tap a book, trivia card, or a craftie (what they call the knit stuffed animals that Storypod makes) to the device. The storypod will then activate its audio and the speaker will get started.
There are a variety of audio experiences available, which I have outlined in more detail below. Additionally, there is an app you can download on your phone to go along with the Storypod and to provide an alternate method to adjust settings or provide input to the Storypod. On Top of all of that, the Storypod can be used as a nightlight or a white noise machine
How does the Storypod work technically behind the scenes? According to Storypod, each Craftie and Book has a special chip inside that streams the content contained within to play on the Storypod. After you put them on the Storypod for the first time, the content downloads directly onto the Storypod. This means that after the first play you’ll be able to play them anywhere (even without Wi-Fi).
Storypod Base Model detail
The base model of the Storypod costs $99.99. It includes the Storypod device, a charging cable, a carrying strap, an iCraftie Recoradble Owl and an interchangeable blue sleeve. The sleeve allows you to change to appearance of the device, and you can purchase additional in various colors and patterns. You can purchase all sorts of additional audio experiences for your Storypod: Crafties, books, and trivia cards. More on those below.
To get started with the Storypod, the first thing you will want to do is use the included USB charger to ensure that the device is fully charged. To turn on, you’ll press down on the Play/Pause button for a few seconds. The Storypod will play a few song notes to indicate it is turned on. The Fox craftie content included with your device will be preloaded on the device, so you can simply tap and get started with that Craftie. However to use additional audio experiences, you’ll need to connect the device to the internet.
Connecting your Device
First, you’ll need your phone and the Storypod app. Go to the App store on your phone and download the Storypod app. After that’s downloaded, open up the app and sign up for an account clicking on ‘Sign-up here’. Follow the steps and verify your email address. Once verified, sign in with the credentials that you just created. After logging in, you will see a Wi-Fi setup screen. At this point, you’ll want to make sure that your Storypod is turned on, that your phone is connected to the Wi-Fi and that your Bluetooth is on. Once you make sure you are ready, click ‘Ready to connect’, then you will press the ‘Previous’ and ‘Back’ buttons on your storypod. Press done and continue after doing that.
Next you should see the name of your Storpod pop in the window on the next screen. Once it appears, click on it. Then a screen will pop-up prompting for your Wi-Fi network information and password (if applicable). The Storypod will then attempt to connect to the internet. When successful the Storypod will let you know and a voice will state that it is now connected to the internet. Now that you’re connected, you can use additional audio experiences (audiobooks, iCrafties and other Crafties).
Audio Experiences Available for the Storypod
Crafties are cute little knitted plush characters that include unique content designed by educators to support developing minds. Depending on the Craftie it provide different content, but they usually include some flavor of interactive songs, stories or lessons. To use a Craftie, all you need to do is tap it on The Storypod and it will get started. Currently the Storypod offers a number of fun Crafties, such as Daniel Tiger, Elinor Wonder Whys, The Tortoise and the Hare, and even Santa Claus. They are always adding more and popular Crafties often sell out initially, so keep your eye on the store for restocks and new additions. They usually cost around $19.99 a peice, although you may see some variance for special characters.
The iCrafties are a bit different than the Crafties. They are still a cute little plush creature, but instead of being preloaded with content, they allow you to make your own. With your iCrafties you can record and playback your very own audio. The recordings can be up to 100 minutes long. Note that you will need to use the Storypod app in order to record. Simply connect your device to Wi-Fi as described in the setup steps above. You can then tap your iCraftie to the device. You should see it show up in the app Menu. Select it from there and then choose the big red start recording button.
Another audio experience available with the Storypod are read-along picture books. These books that help early readers develop literacy skills by following along. The audio includes dramatic narrations and a special sound lets readers know when it is time to turn the page. Additionally, when the stories complete, they are followed up with a short question & answer session at the end. These provide children and parents with an opportunity to test out their comprehension of the story. Books are priced around $12.99 a book, although there are a number of bundles you can buy which bring down the cost per book.
The trivia cards are pretty much exactly what they sound like. They are interactive flash cards that include 100 age (or grade) appropriate question-and-answer trivia questions. They provide a fun, brain-boosting challenge for young minds. These are usually priced around $11.99 per deck.
- Engaging for kids
- Easy to Use
- Can play with craftie while story is going
- Speaker is soft and durable
- Night light and white noise settings included
- No easy way to skip Q&A session at end of story
- Some stories can be very long for young children (may lose interest with the read along)
Our Personal Experience with the Storypod
So how did our children like playing with the Storypod? Overall, it was a bit hit! I have a 3 year old and a 6 year old, so I purchased a few things within the appropriate age range to give it a whirl. I love that it’s so simple to use because they can get things started on their own.
The only challenge this presents with two kids is that they often argue over what to do next. Since it’s so easy to change activities, they’re often both tapping the Storypod with something at the same time. But, I guess it’s a good problem to have since they both love using the Storypod.
What Storypod accessories did we purchase and test?
I purchased the base model of the storypod, which included an iCraftie, a carrying strap, a charging cable and an interchangeable blue sleeve (in addition to the default gray one). I also added on the Craftie classic fairytale bundle and a number of read-along audio books. My kids favorite by far are the crafties and the iCraftie. We didn’t initially buy a sing-along craftie, but when I realized they had them I just had to get one for my son. He loves singing and dancing along with it.
Both of my kids love playing with the plush, listening to stories and recording themselves. The books are a bit more hit and miss, depending on the book itself.
I’ve also seen some parents asking something to the effect of “why would I replace reading aloud to my kids with a device?”. It was a frequent question, so I wanted to clarify that this is meant to be a replacement for screen time or toys, not a replacement for reading to your kids. Continue to do that, and you can add this in as a supplement. Not a replacement! I’d you’re interested, you can purchase the Storypod here.
Frequently Asked Questions
The age range really depends on the additional content you purchase to go along with the Storypod. Currently there are options ranging from ages 0-9. I would say most children will really begin to engage closer to age 3.
Currently the Storypod features content in both English and Spanish. Before purchasing an audio experience, you can check and see which languages are available for it. To change the language on your device, you’ll need to use the Storypod app and go into settings.
Yes, the Storypod features a 3.5mm headphone jack so that you can plug in a set of headphones.
We’ve found the Storypod to be very durable even with two kids playing with it. I also appreciate that the sleeve can be changed out. This clmes in handy with dirty little kids fingers constantly touching it. Since it is an electronic device, you should keep it away from water.
Both the TonieBox and the Sotrypod have a very similar premise. They’re both Bluetooth speakers that provide audio experiences for children. The TonieBox has hard figurines that snap on (and need to stay in place). It can be hard for little children to leave the figurines alone. Also the TonieBox is rubbery, while the Storypod is soft and a bit padded. I personally belive the Storypod offers a bit more for a similar price point.
A WiFi internet connection is required for the initial download of content onto the device. After that initial download, internet is no longer required.
Thanks for stopping by! I hope that my Storypod Review was helpful and answered all the questions that you had. If it didn’t, please let me know in a comment down below what else you are curious about. If you enjoyed this post you may also want to check out my review of the KiwiCo Activity Crate. It’s an educational subscription box for children that includes fun activities and lots of variety through the years.