StoryBox iPad magazine for kids review
Feature writer Mags reviews Storybox, a magazine style iPad app for kids.
StoryBox is a magazine style iPad app which aims to offer a choice of fun, facts and fiction all in one place. It is based on the popular, award winning kids magazine StoryBox by publishers Bayard UK, which is aimed at kids aged 3-6 years. Due to the adaptation from print version, there is a definite magazine feel to the app which makes it great for parents to sit and go through it with their child. This does however mean that it may seem less whizzy than other kids apps which, for me, was a welcome change as it provides a whole new set of challenges for my son.
When you load the app you are presented a table of contents and you can choose from the following options:
Storytime – a sweet animated story called ‘How about a Mooh?’ which tells the tale of a little calf and the other farmyard animals who are concerned she hadn’t moo’ed upon waking. There are a number of reading modes available which include switching on and off narration by clicking the speaker icon. You also have the option to record and playback your own voice.
Science with Whizkid – is packed full of science facts explaining ‘Why do aeroplanes leave trails in the Sky?’ The facts are presented in a kid friendly manner with cute little characters whizzing in with pieces of information, which are explained in a simple manner. There are also additional “Funfacts” along the bottom of the screen which include suggestions on how to make a trail in the air yourself. This is great way to bring science to a child’s level.
Animal World – provides a whole host of information on the Humpback whale across five pages which you swipe to navigate through. There are three options along the bottom of the screen which you touch to reveal and again to hide. These include facts on ‘Where do they live?’, ‘What do they eat?’ and ‘How big are they?’
Fun and Games – this section called ‘Fly your Kite’ includes a number of fun kite-themed activities including join the numbers drawings, colouring-in pictures, a pair matching game and a picture ordering game where you have to complete a sentence by ordering the pictures in the correct sequence. The activities feel like they have been directly adapted from the print version. This keeps it true to a magazine experience for kids.
Enter the world of dreams with Polo – is a picture story with no words. There are three options along the top which include switching on or off the soft bed time music, record your voice and playback. This story makes a perfect bed time story.
A Parent and Child’s Experience
My son, Ben, and I have been using this app for a few days now and he seems to get something different out of it every time we play it. I have found that during the day he loves playing the games and hearing about the Humpback Whale and Aeroplane Trails whereas in the evenings or when he is tired he wants to hear How about a Mooh? or help me make up a story to match the pictures in Polo. This has the added bonus that the music in Polo is very soothing and perfect for sending him off to sleep. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the facts about aeroplane trails have definitely sunk in as when we spotted a trail in the sky earlier and I asked him what they were made of he said “ice crystals’.
The graphics throughout the app are bright and colourful and the user interface is kid friendly and easy to navigate. I like the fact that you can personalise the stories which is not only fun for your child but you too. The educational content is presented in a fun manner which captures a child’s imagination while the activities are challenging which helps to keep it engaging and an app that your child will want to return and play with time and time again.
StoryBox is available to download from the App Store for £2.49 and is compatible with iPad.
Author Disclosure: I was provided with this app for the purposes of this review. All opinions are my own.
Mindful Mum Disclaimer: This content had been paid for or otherwise remunerated, through our Media & Ad Network partnership with MDBG.