StoryBuilder

App review by
Liz Panarelli, Common Sense Media
StoryBuilder App Poster Image
Very cool app asks questions, creates stories from answers.

Parents say

age 4+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn language and communication skills by answering questions and listening to the recordings of their responses with StoryBuilder. The repetition of audio and visual cues gives extra support for kids who struggle with auditory and language processing. Kids also stretch their thinking as they analyze each image, make inferences, and respond to the questions. Turning off the questions allows kids the freedom to express their creativity by creating a completely original story. StoryBuilder is a versatile educational app that uses a fun and creative activity to support the development of critical thinking and language skills. 

Ease of Play

There are many options for customizing the user experience, which can feel a little daunting at first. However, instructions for recording a story and for the settings are available and clear. There are three main levels of difficulty. For level one, kids will record answers to four questions about a picture, which will then be played back as a short story. Level two asks seven questions that require more creativity or inferences, and level three is entirely free-form recording without question prompts. Whether question and answer prompts are provided and shown on screen is also adjustable within each level in the settings. Stories can be saved and replayed later and shared via email.

Violence & Scariness

Some pictures show violent action in the past or future, such as a boat sinking, a firefighter rescuing a boy from a burning house, or a bear baring his teeth, but no harm is actually shown.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Parents can provide an email to join the Parent Center and receive information about the app and other family activities, including age-targeted apps. There are also links to purchase other apps. There is a simple math problem to test whether users are parents before taking them to the store.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that StoryBuilder is an educational app that prompts kids to record answers to questions about a picture, then knits their answers together into a story. The app uses both auditory and visual prompts and has three levels of play. There are additional settings to adjust whether and how long the words of the question or answer prompts appear on the screen. Kids can also record their own story without the prompts. Stories can be saved and also shared on email. Multiple users can create profiles and save stories, but only one can be logged in at a time. Since there is no feedback provided to kids within the app itself, this is best used together with parents and teachers to track progress.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byDiane C. December 3, 2017

Price increase

I haven't used this game, but I was interested. The price is $7.99 at iTunes, not the $3.99 listed here.

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What's it about?

In Levels 1 and 2 of StoryBuilder, kids respond orally to a set of questions about an image. The app presents questions in text and audio, and after each, kids see a sentence starter to help them form a response. In Level 3 of StoryBuilder, kids see an image with no question prompts; therefore, they can create any story they wish. Custom settings are available to choose the level and to set up how long the question or answer prompts appear on the screen. Kids can record their responses, as well as replay and save them as a story.

Is it any good?

STORYBUILDER does a great job achieving its aim -- helping kids formulate stories about a picture. The multiple levels and settings make it very customizable, so parents or teachers can tailor it for a kid's particular needs. However, the cartoons lack diversity -- almost all of them depict white characters -- and there are a few small typos. The feature to customize the app so that kids see a picture and greeting is nice, but kids will almost definitely need adult help to use the app to its full potential (or even just find the play button from the settings screen). Still, overall it's a great app for developing (and saving, sharing, and showing off!) storytelling skills.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Set up the app for your kids based on their specific learning needs.

  • Use StoryBuilder as a jumping off point for writing practice. Have your kids write down one of their recorded stories and develop it by adding more details and events.

App details

For kids who love storytelling

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