We Make Stories

Common Sense Media says

Fun digital tools let kids practice storytelling skills.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Storytelling is not only fun, writers can express themselves in lots of different ways by using words, sounds, pictures, or all three. The site gives kids plenty of wholesome yarn-spinning tools to experiment with.

Violence & scariness

Cartoon bombs and cartoon boxing gloves. Batmanlike fighting words such as "Kapow!"

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language

A profanity filter screens for potentially offensive words, leaving fart jokes at worst.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Good overall. In general, kids don't have to divulge any private information, plus they can save their creations to a private "bookshelf" no one else can see. The other save option is a public gallery that can be viewed by anyone who visits the site; unfortunately, the site doesn't make the difference clear. Nor does it let users edit or remove their own creations once posted. However, moderators will consider deletion requests.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this delightful story-creation site lets kids 6-11 make their own comic books, pop-up books, and treasure maps. The site is owned by Puffin Books, the children's paperback publisher of such classics as The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The digital tools are superb and the content G-rated. The only drawback: the oodles of ink kids will need to print out their creations.

Parents say

Kids say

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

All the tools are easy enough for six-year-olds to use, but there’s enough to keep tweens entertained, too. For instance, the audio book, which consists simply of dragging and dropping sound effects onto various objects such as cymbals, will delight youngsters just learning to read. Older kids will like Pop!, a tool for writing storybooks with fancy pop-up centers, and Comic Genius, for creating comic strips complete with talk bubbles and South Parklike characters. The graphics are gorgeous, the sound effects rich, and the writing clever. There’s even a tips section for kids on what makes a good story.

Families can talk about...

  • Discuss how storytelling has changed, from stories passed down verbally from one generation to the next to printed books to today’s digital media. Why is telling stories important and what advantage do books have over movies and vice versa?

  • Using the We Make Stories site's Comic Genius tool, create a comic strip about your family. Dress the characters, choose a background where you like to vacation such as the seashore, and write talk bubbles of things you say to each other. Read our tips on creating with digital media.

Website details

Genre:Creating
Pricing structure:Free

This review of We Make Stories was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 3 and 9 year old Written byKidsAndMommy October 10, 2011
AGE
4
QUALITY
 

if my kids have to go online...

What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Safety and privacy concerns
Teen, 13 years old Written byminidolly March 20, 2012
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

minidolly

i think this site is best

What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Safety and privacy concerns

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