Launching A Storytelling Toy For Kids To Address Overexposure to Screens

Storypod Helps Parents “Edutain” Their Kids 3+ Screen-Free With A Library of 300+ Original and Licensed Bilingual Stories, Songs, Books, and Games

Character-driven, broadcast-quality audio for hours of screenless fun. Today, we’re thrilled to launch Storypod, an edutainment audio platform for kids that helps busy and screen-concerned parents entertain their kids screen-free through interactive stories, songs, books, and games.

Research shows that more screen time results in children’s lower expressive language, less ability to rapidly name objects, and decreased literacy skills, as well as physical changes to the brain. In fact, the World Health Organization recommends ​limiting screen time for kids under 5 to just one hour daily of high-quality programming. But how else can parents like us keep our little ones busy all day, especially nowadays being forced to stay indoors? Enter Storypod.

An Unexpected Beginning

The idea for Storypod came about under unusual circumstances. Our founder, Daniel Buelhoff, a serial entrepreneur from Berlin, Germany, now living in Miami, dreamt up a new-age version of his beloved childhood audio cassettes, which he re-discovered with his daughter during his cancer treatment back in 2018. In Daniel’s own words:

“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 screenless medium and bring the characters to life with these wonderful yarn figurines my daughter loves to play with.”

How Storypod Works

How Storypod works is simple. Kids grab eco-friendly yarn figurines called Crafties, which are about the size of an avocado and embedded with an NFC-chip, place them on their Storypod, and playfully listen and learn to immersive, podcast-quality audio in English and Spanish. Crafties initiate “the magic” on Storypod, through an RFID sensor that upon contact initially downloads the audio content from the cloud to its 16GB of space for offline playback.

Storypod also features read-along books aimed at developing children’s reading skills by encouraging them to follow along word-by-word as dynamic narrations with soundscapes bring their favorite stories to life. At night, Storypod helps parents achieve a stress-free bedtime routine by using the Storypod app to set a sleep timer and nightlight as their kids fall asleep to stories, lullabies, or a variety of white noise.

Less Screen Time, More Story Time

“I believe the US will experience an audio boom for kids bigger than in Germany, which grew to a billion dollar industry called Hörspiel. We’re already seeing the explosion of podcasts for adults, so I expect podcasts for kids will soon follow. I do believe that storytelling is one of the best ways for kids to learn. But to do even better, Storypod has an interactive Q&A feature that engages kids with fun questions and riddles based on the listening experience to engage in a more meaningful way,” continues Daniel.

Storypod launches with a bilingual audio library of 30+ characters full with 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.

Pre-Sale on Kickstarter

Storypod will pre-sell three different sets starting at an estimated retail price $120, with a targeted delivery date in Q4 2020. Pre-orders begin today on Kickstarter with discounts up to 50% off retail. Any members of the media wishing to receive more information or interview Daniel should contact him at press@storypod.co

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Storypod is live on Indiegogo. Preorder a Storypod Set for up to 40% off here.

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