Looking for screen-free entertainment for your toddlers? I’ve got a Storypod review for you.
Storypod hit the market by storm by offering brain-building audio play for ages 0-6.
After almost three years of using this unique device, we have lots of thoughts and tips on how to get the most out of this toddler music player (though it’s so much more than that).
But long story short: We absolutely love Storypod for its high-quality, educational content that’s screen-free and a total lifesaver at bedtime and the witching hour.
Here’s a closer look at our thoughts and experiences with Storypod.
Disclaimer: This Storypod review is not sponsored, and I purchased everything mentioned with my own money.
What Is Storypod?
Storypod facilitates a screen-free audio experience for kids that’s both entertaining and educational.
You place little stuffed animals called “crafties” onto the base, and they stay there securely using magnets.
As soon as you place the craftie onto the base, it starts playing the audio associated with that craftie. It could be music, stories, interviews, or even interactive games and quizzes.
There are dozens of crafties to choose from, and there are options for ages 0-6.
There are also different ways to record your own audio in the Storypod app! You or family members can sing or read books that your child could then follow along with later.
Each craftie has a series of tracks on it, and you can always skip to the next track by pressing the fast-forward button on the Storypod base.
Storypod Reviews From Our Kids (at Every Age)
We have three kids, all within the 0-6 age range, and each one seems to interact with Storypod differently. Here’s a Storypod review from the perspective of our kids.
Our 1-year-old is mostly interested in putting the crafties on top of the Storypod and taking them off. The crafties “attach” to the base via magnets, so it’s fun for him to feel it connect to the base, lift it up, and take it off again.
When he was an infant, I would often put lullaby crafties on the Storypod and set it next to him during tummy time or when he was on the floor.
When our son was 2, going on 3, he didn’t seem very interested in the Storypod.
He did participate if his big sister was also listening, but on his own, he didn’t seem to care much.
I will say that when new crafties came in, he was super excited about it. But that excitement dwindled after a few days.
That said, now that he’s 3.5, he has suddenly become very interested in the Storypod! His new favorite thing is following along in books that I’ve recorded and put onto our story sticker.
Get some great book recs: 50+ Best Montessori Books for Babies and Toddlers (Ages 0-4)
It’s super sweet to watch, and it has been a huge help in getting him away from the TV.
He used to whine (still does) about wanting to watch his favorite shows. But when we get out the Storypod and use this sticker, he forgets about the TV. It’s awesome!
Our 4-year-old daughter could not live without the Storypod. Every single night, she listens to stories at bedtime and often falls asleep to them. It was actually a huge help in transitioning her away from her tablet.
In fact, we recently bought a new boat, and when she saw it, she ran inside to grab her Storypod and basket full of crafties. She climbed up onto the boat and said this is where she wants to sleep tonight.
When she gets home from school, she often goes to her room to play. She puts on different characters as she plays with Barbies or her other open-ended toys.
Her favorite story crafties are O the Owl from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, The Frog Prince, and her all-time favorite, Rapunzel.
The Many Ways to Use Storypod
There are so many different use cases for Storypod, especially since there are crafties for different age ranges.
I thought I’d go through a few of our favorite ways to listen to Storypod.
Bedtime Stories for Kids
Our 4-year-old daughter (almost 5) loves listening to the Storypod at bedtime. Most nights, she falls asleep while listening to its stories.
There are a lot of crafties to choose from, and the ones your child enjoys will likely match their interests. Her favorite craftie is Rapunzel, but that makes sense as she’s very interested in princesses.
You can filter the options on the Storypod website by choosing Craftie and Stories. You can further filter the options down by age, too.
If you want some awesome audiobooks for Kindergarteners (or really any age between 0-6), this audio device is an excellent choice.
Songs for Preschoolers
The Storypod also has lots of crafties with music. There are some great ones with songs for preschoolers that are not only entertaining but educational!
Here are some of our favorite crafties with songs for ages 3-4:
- Elinor Wonders Why™: Songs & Stories About Curiosity
- Daniel Tiger: Songs & Stories about Friendship
- Teo the Dreamy Bear: Bedtime Stories, Meditations & Music
- Melodee Moose: Heartfelt Family Songs
- Manu Monkey: Sing-Along Songs
Lullabies for Babies
I love that this toy is so versatile and can even be used with newborns. I often set up the sheep character to create a peaceful environment for my baby during wake times.
The best Storypod craftie with lullabies is definitely the Sleepi Sheep, but there are several other crafties with songs that are perfect for 0-24 months of age.
Record Your Own Books
You don’t have to listen to Storypod’s stories – you can record your own!
Make up your own stories or simply read some of your child’s favorite books.
This way, they can follow along by flipping the pages as they listen to your voice. It’s a great way to be there without physically being there. Whether you’re cooking dinner or are halfway across the world, I love that Storypod offers this recording feature.
You can record your own audio in several different ways, but our favorites are using the story stickers or the Owl craftie.
It’s dead easy – just download the Storypod app, select your recordable item, and add a new recording!
Each new recording is its own track so that you can skip ahead to the next one easily.
You can also invite friends and family members to record their own books and songs. Just invite them and give them recording permission!
Record Your Own Songs
Aside from recording yourself reading books, you can also record songs!
Sing some of your child’s favorite songs and let them play them back whenever they want.
We even asked some family members to log into the app and record songs for our kids there. It was a huge surprise when our son heard Nana singing Mr. Sun!
Storypod vs Toniebox
I bought the Toniebox to try both and see how they compare.
The biggest difference is definitely the audio content library. Storypod has mostly original content, whereas Tonies relies more on collaborations with popular children’s TV shows and movies.
The tight connection between Tonies and screentime, the thing we’re trying to avoid here, is problematic (at least in our house). But that’s not the only difference.
The popular Tonies characters have pretty short runtimes – typically around 30 minutes. I prefer characters with about an hour of runtime, which is the norm for Storypod.
The characters that go on top of the device are also different.
The Tonies characters are like little action figures, whereas the Storypod characters are like small, plush stuffed animals. To be honest, the Storypod characters are so much easier to keep track of.
We frequently lose the Tonies characters as they’re small and blend in with other toys around the house.
Storypod is for ages 0-6, while Tonies is for ages 3+, and while the devices are the same price, Storypod crafties are $19.99, and new Tonies are $17.99 (for the most part).
At the end of the day, our kids enjoy both Storypod and Tonies. I lean toward Storypod a little bit for the reasons I mentioned above, but I’d fully endorse either option.
We have both, and we use both almost daily!
Pros and Cons of Storypod
- It helps put your kids to sleep at bedtime and naptime
- Sparks the imagination
- Screen-free play
- Creates a calm atmosphere
- Audiobooks in an accessible format for kids
- Inspires individuality – they find their favorite characters
- Ease of use – your child can change the story without your help
- Good for multiple children
- Great age range of 0-6
- You can record your own songs and books in the app
- The runtime of the crafties is pretty long (around an hour usually)
- Some crafties have interactive games and quizzes
- The crafties double as little toys (like stuffed animals)
- The smartphone app has come such a long way – it’s so much more user-friendly now than it was when we first got it
- Durable as he** – we’ve had it for over two years, and our kids abuse this thing; it’s always worked like new
- Your child may not be interested in it, though the lack of interest may be short-lived
- There’s a 10 to 20-second delay when you turn on the Storypod – you have to wait until it says it’s connected to the internet before you can put a new craftie on top
- If you want new songs and stories, you have to buy more crafties – you can’t just purchase a new story in the app
- The crafties are plush, so if they get dirty, you will have to wash them; they are machine washable, though
- The more crafties you have, the more you have to store
- While the base glows red when it’s getting ready to die, there’s no percentage warning on the device or in the app. It’d be nice to get a notification if you have 20% battery left or 2% because it always seems to go dead at inopportune times.
What age is Storypod for?
Storypod is for ages 0-6. My daughter really started getting into the audiobook characters around age 4. Our little ones (newborn through age 2) really enjoy the characters with music.
How do Storypods work?
Storypods work by placing a small stuffed animal or character on top. The characters have magnets in the base, which keep them on top of the Storypod while also telling the Storypod which audio experience to play.
Does Storypod require a subscription?
No, Storypod does not require a subscription! You purchase the Storypod and any crafties you want. Crafties are magnetic and sit on top of the Storypod. When you place it on top, the crafties’ stories or songs start playing.
Where is Storypod made?
Storypod is made in China.
How do you charge a Storypod?
Storypods come with a charging cable. When the Storypod is about to die, a red ring lights up around it. At that point, you’ll want to plug it in to charge. A nice feature is Storypod will still play while it’s plugged in and charging!
Who is the CEO of Storypod?
Daniel Buelhoff is the Co-Founder & CEO of Storypod. He took his screen-free idea to Kickstarter and Storypod became the 2nd most crowdfunded toy in 2020.
What is the difference between Tonies and Storypod?
The biggest difference between Tonies and Storypod is the audio content library. Storypod has mostly original content, whereas Tonies relies more on collaborations with popular children’s TV shows and movies.
Can you use Storypod without WiFi?
You can use Storypod without WiFi by downloading your audio experience to the Storypod. Turn on your Storypod and place one of your crafties on top. When the blue light begins to “breathe,” the download has stated. Once that blue light is a steady blue, the download is finished, and you can play that craftie without being connected to the internet.
Is Storypod Worth It?
As for my Storypod review, I have to say it’s 100% worth it, especially if you have multiple young children. It’s a great way to foster a love for audiobooks, podcasts, and other screen-free entertainment. It also bridges the gap between entertainment and education.
From bedtime stories for kids to songs for preschoolers to sweet lullabies for babies, Storypod has a huge collection of audio options. You can even record your own audio if you want!
There are so many ways to use Storypod, and I look forward to discovering even more as we continue playing with it!