A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Lego Friends Story Maker is a publishing tool that lets kids create multimedia books using background images, Lego Friends characters and accessories, and their own text and audio. With the iOS version, kids can publish their books to iBooks and share them. With the Android version, the book is saved and read within the app. It's free with no in-app purchases required -- not even to publish. A few bugs that cause text not to be saved were still being worked out at the time of review, though some issues already have been fixed. Kids may want to save often to check that their text is saving correctly before getting too far along in a project. The app does instruct parents to tap and hold for two seconds to access the publishing tool, but kids who are old enough to type a book could easily bypass a parent's permission and publish on their own.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Kids create and publish stories by dragging and dropping elements into place. They start with a cover and can add pages as they go, choosing background scenes and adding Lego Friends play sets, characters, and accessories. They also can add frames, stamps, and text to pages and record their voices narrating the story or reading the words they've written. Each element can be pinched to resize or turned to rotate. Stories are automatically saved in the My Stories library and can be edited or published at any time.
Is it any good?
LEGO FRIENDS STORY MAKER is an impressive tool, offering kids easy story creation and publishing. Laying out the pages is as easy as tapping backgrounds and dragging objects into place. The stories in progress save automatically, and kids can edit, publish, or delete the stories saved in My Library. The recording tool is easy to use and works well when kids are reading the published story. The text can be tricky, though, with issues regarding text typed on a keyboard being saved or the device's text-to-speech feature. The Lego Friends focus may limit some kids' creativity, but they do have the option to take pictures with the device's camera to create pages.
Talk to your kids about ...
Kids can take their own pictures to include in the story. Lego fans could create a scene with their Legos to include and to build a story.
Talk about Lego marketing and the Lego Friends line. How is it different from other Lego products? Ask kids why they think Lego Friends are so different and if they really appeal to girls or not.
- Devices: iPad, Android
- Subjects: Language & Reading: storytelling, writing
- Skills: Creativity: imagination, producing new content
Tech Skills: digital creation
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: May 14, 2014
- Category: Kids' Games
- Topics: Friendship
- Size: 109.00 MB
- Publisher: The LEGO Group
- Version: 1.1.0
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 6.1 and later; Android 4.0.3 and up
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.