A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
What's it about?
Kids create and record their own stories in LIPA THEATER: STORY MAKER. A brief tutorial, in which kids are guided through a story, orients kids to the tools and creative enhancements available. Then kids are free to choose from a variety of characters, props, backdrops, music, and more. Kids can even choose to take a photo to use as a backdrop, and characters and props can be resized and moved around. When they're ready, kids tap record and have one minute to narrate a story as they move objects around.
Is it any good?
Kids take the lead in telling fantastical stories in this 21st-century version of a classic puppet show. Because the platform is digital, there are a few fun advantages: Kids can easily change the backdrop, add music, alter the weather, and have a big bag of props at their disposal. It's also fun that kids record their stories and so can keep a tangible record of what they've created. Being able to pause lets kids change the background and move things around before recording again. Though the characters don't represent every type of person, there's quite a diverse array, including varied skin color, eye shape, and female knights. The digital platform could allow for even more freedom, however. A "design your own" feature would be a nice addition, as would the ability to widen the music choices. Though kids can make multiple recordings for the same story if they need to, it can be frustrating that they also have only one minute in a single recording. While kids could be even more empowered with more creative freedom, overall this is a nice, easy-to-use platform for creating stories.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the differences between creating stories within the app and offscreen. What are the advantages and disadvantages of both?
Ask kids about the characters, props, and other elements they choose for their stories. Who are the characters, and what are they doing? If their characters use the toy weapons, talk about why they're using them and -- if they're angry -- another way to resolve the problem.
Get out puppets or dolls, or make paper figures pasted on popsicle stick, and sit down at the "theater" to listen as kids present whatever story comes to mind. Switch places and have kids listen to you telling stories, too.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Subjects: Language & Reading: speaking, storytelling
- Skills: Creativity: imagination, making new creations
Communication: multiple forms of expression
Tech Skills: digital creation
- Price: $3.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Release date: February 22, 2016
- Category: Education
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures
- Size: 79.90 MB
- Publisher: Lipa Learning s.r.o.
- Version: 1.0.2
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 6.1 or later; Android 4.3 and up
Themes & Topics
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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.