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Storybird

Website review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Storybird Website Poster Image
Fun, free way to be creative; writing help may cost more.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 19 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about using writing, storytelling, reading skills. They'll practice being creative and flex their imagination, and sharing stories may help them gain self-confidence to write more. Site offers how-to guides on topics like adjective and adverb use and courses on college-level writing skills, scriptwriting, other topics with paid subscription; or kids can view them by spending crown currency they earn. Posting comments and liking items provides chance for self-expression. Overall, Storybird gives kids a fun and easy way to create and share stories that's anonymous -- so it won't put their identity at risk.

Positive Messages

Kids get frequent encouragement to be creative on the site, and some books share messages of hope, love, growth.

Violence & Scariness

Writing challenges include a reminder that the site is family friendly and stories shouldn't include blood or guts.

Sexy Stuff
Language

Users who include derogatory language, bully others, share personal information, or utilize any form of inappropriate online behavior will be banned, according to the site.

Consumerism

There aren't any external ads, but kids can purchase artwork from the site, and a paid membership with access to writing courses and guides, additional feedback, other features for $8.99 a month or $4.99 a month if they sign up for an entire year. Kids can also order ebook or PDF versions of their work for $2.99.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Storybird, which lets kids create personalized stories, is committed to inspiring user creativity by providing a variety of colorful and vibrant Illustrations. Kids will see some prompts to sign up for a paid subscription, which offers additional writing help and other benefits; they can still create and share books and poems, though, with a free membership. Kids under 13 have to provide a parent's email address so their account can be activated; they could potentially enter their own email, but no personal information is listed on their profile, so their experience should be safe. Stories kids write are automatically private, unless they make them public. Users are also cautioned against using or including inappropriate content in their stories, and could find their accounts banned if stories are found with elements that violate site rules. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared, and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMelissaLyn July 12, 2016

It's limited

There's no doubt that the artwork in this site is absolutely gorgeous. I'm not disputing that students would not be able to create a book from the con... Continue reading
Adult Written byKelly Q. October 13, 2016

Cool but limited with creativity

Engagement: This is a very engaging tool that can be used to introduce a new concept in a way that connects to your students. It definitely gives students a sen... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byrebma97 September 21, 2013

Nice Creative Outlet

I haven't explored this website much, but it seems very nice. All of the stories I've seen so far are clean, and the pictures are beautiful. A lot of... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old September 21, 2013

Best website ever!

This is my absolute favorite website. The environment is great, everyone is so nice, and you can really let your creativity flow. So so so great!

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?

Website details

  • 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: Free; optional premium features available
  • Pricing structure: Paid, Free (Paid memberships available for $8.99/month or $59.88/year. This membership includes unlimited downloads, challenge certificates, special comment stickers, personalized profiles, and more.)

For kids who love story time

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