Ever since we started sheltering in place, my daughter just has not been tired at bedtime. We have added “audio-time” to her daily routine to address this, and I just learned about a new product called Storypod that will be perfect for this.
We are one of those couples who believe in early, set bedtimes for children so at first, it was a little bit of a challenge when our preschooler’s sleep needs decreased. My husband and I cherish our alone time in the evenings. Additionally, I use that time to work from home so I can be fully present as a stay at home during the day.
Listening time after the bedtime routine is over has worked so well. We knew we needed to give her something to do other than just sit and play with books toys, but screen time was not an option. We are strict about screen time limits (yes, even during the pandemic), and anyway, watching media too close to bedtime makes it even harder to sleep — we didn’t want to backtrack.
Listening time has not only avoided the downsides of excessive screen time, it comes with its own benefits too. We have noticed our child’s vocabulary and sentence complexity improving as well.
Storypod is designed exactly for the problem we had at bedtime. Its creator, Daniel Buelhoff, faced the same issue. His daughters always wanted more stories at bedtime. So he created a new-age storytelling device that his daughters could fall asleep to even when he was away or short on time to read many stories.
Storypod is a magical figurine-activated speaker that aims to give busy parents an alternative to screen time while providing a healthy, screen-free audio experience that kids will love.
An Unexpected Beginning
Daniel is a serial entrepreneur from Berlin, Germany, now living in Miami, who came up with the idea for Storypod as a new-age version of his beloved childhood audio cassettes that he re-discovered with his daughter during his cancer treatment back in 2018.
“So here I was finally hitting my stride as a foreign entrepreneur in the US, processing new-parent concerns about screen time, when life throws me a major curveball in the form of lymphoma. While back in Berlin for treatment, I discover my 2-year-old daughter’s obsession with my old audio tapes of amazing German stories — and I have the classic aha moment; I’d create a digital, interactive version of this screen-less medium and bring the characters to life with these wonderful yarn figurines my daughter loves to play with,” explained Daniel.
How Storypod Works
Storypod is easy to use: kids simply grab a Craftie (an adorable yarn figurine with a special chip in it), place it on the Storypod speaker, and they are transported to a fantastic audio world of stories, music, and learning topics in both English and Spanish.
Daniel likes to think of Storypod as an interactive podcast player for kids because it isn’t just for passive listening; Storypod actively stimulates children’s cognition with mini-quizzes and guided prompts on what they hear. Storypod also features read-along books that allow children to develop their literacy skills by following along to immersive narrations.
The Perfect Bedtime Routine
Storypod is the ideal bedtime buddy. Parents can set a sleep timer and night light dimmer so their little ones can fall asleep listening to their favorite bedtime stories, lullabies, or white noise soundscapes.
Storypod even lets distant family members get involved in storytime from far away. Through the Storypod app, family and friends can record your own messages to a special figurine called myCraftie. Kids can receive greetings, jokes, and have their loved ones read them their favorite stories from afar.
Kids can also personalize their Storypod with interchangeable sleeves and lanyards, as well as a wide range of compatible accessories like magnetic Crafties holders, travel cases, headphones, and more.
Storypod launches with a bilingual audio library of 30+ characters full of original stories, music, and learning topics created by a team of children’s media experts and Grammy award-winning producers. Characters and titles range from original adaptations of public-domain classics like Cinderella to stories of historical role models like Amelia Earhart to popular children’s media brands, with whom Storypod has already begun licensing discussions ahead of its launch.
Think your kids will love this new interactive storyteller? Be the first to get it — Storypod goes on pre-sale on Kickstarter starting June 30, 2020. A variety of Storypod sets will be available with launch-day discounts of up to 50% off retail.