A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
STORYBIRD lets kids create long-form books, poems, and picture books with artist illustrations. They can get story prompts through writing challenges, which offer a badge and certificate; some are free, but other challenges cost crowns, the site currency. Kids earn five crowns a day by writing and can also spend them on creative and prep courses and how-to guides offering writing help. Kids can keep their work private or publish it under their username; they can comment on posts, too, and follow users to learn when they add new items.
Is it any good?
This impressive creative writing-centered site offers an easy-to-use tool to help kids make picture books, longer books, or poems. With Storybird, writers can share items with other users and get feedback or choose not to. Colorful illustrations featuring items ranging from animals to mermaids can help spark their imagination, along with story suggestions offered by the site through writing challenges, in case kids can't think of an idea. There's also plenty on hand for them to read, including some stories that feature ethical and moral messages with titles such as "Fun Is for Everyone."
The book creation tool has a couple of odd features: Kids have to publish the first chapter of a long-form book, either for their eyes only or for everyone, to add a second chapter; and they can't upload and use their own art, which would allow for additional creativity. Neither aspect, though, is a huge drawback. Moderators review each story and poem before they're posted live, so kids are only able to share and see appropriate content. To help kids select items they feel they can handle, challenges also include information about the recommended age and whether something is advanced, beginner, or immediate level. Some challenges cost money -- kids who don't have a paid site subscription can use crowns, though. They earn five a day for writing, and a number of challenges cost 25, so paying with site currency to participate isn't impossible. Parents really don't need to splurge on a paid membership for kids to be able to have a great time using Storybird. While the membership does provide access to a few interesting learning aids, such as a video course on writing song lyrics from a School of Rock instructor, if kids have plenty of story ideas, designing and sharing books is completely free -- and can be a lot of fun.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the importance of storytelling. How has storytelling evolved throughout history, and what is the benefit of sharing stories?
Why is it better to share things online with a username instead of your real name?
What real-world things can your child identify as a topic for a story?
- Subjects: Language & Reading: reading, storytelling, writing
Social Studies: cultural understanding, events, exploration
Arts: script writing
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: defining problems, making conclusions, problem solving
Creativity: imagination, making new creations, producing new content
Self-Direction: personal growth, self-reflection
Emotional Development: empathy, labeling feelings, perspective taking
Communication: conveying messages effectively, multiple forms of expression
Responsibility & Ethics: embracing differences, respect for others
Tech Skills: digital creation
- Genre: Creating
- Price: 7-day trial; $8.99/month
- Pricing structure: Free to try (There's a 7-day free trial then individual accounts start at $8.99/month or $59.88/year. There's a family plan for 2-5 members available as well.)
- Last updated: October 13, 2020