It’s always a treat to get to tell you about things I’ve been working on, and I’m particularly excited about this one because it’s been nearly two years in the making. Speakaboos is a multi-platform subscription service filled with stories for kids 2 to 6. And now it’s available on iPad!
Speakaboos has over 150 interactive and linear stories and music videos, grouped by kid’s interest categories. Animals? Yep. Vehicles? Got ‘em. Princesses? But of course. We also have classic stories and licensed characters like Little Pim (with Sid the Science Kid, Dinosaur Train, and more biggies on the way!)
Each interactive book has three reading modes, which helps span the interested and abilities of kids 2 to 6. The Read to Me mode plays like a video with text highlighting while it’s read. The Read and Play mode also highlights the text as it’s narrated, and then kids get to interact with the book page. The Read It Myself mode turns off the narration, but kids can click on any word to hear it read — great for emergent readers. Kids can interact with the page in this mode as well.
Our interactivity is designed to help with the comprehension of the story — no distracting clicks just for the sake of having clickables. Kids can hear more character dialog within the scene, help further the plot, and in some cases the player gets to be the hero of the story. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again. But the player can!
We test every interactive story twice with kids. The first time we make sure kids understand and love the story. The second time, we make sure that they can use and enjoy the interactivity. Showing kids that Humpty Dumpty book was one of the best moments of kids testing. They had looks of genuine concern on their faces, until they put Humpty back together again. Then they cheered, “We saved the day!” From that early moment, we’ve tried to put those hero moments in as often as we can, empowering kids through interactivity.
Kindie fans will be excited to see videos from Gustafer Yellowgold, Debbie and Friends, Todd McHatton, Mike Whitla, and The Flannery Brothers on there, with more great bands on the way. In the music videos, we’ve added lyrics that are highlighted for kids to follow along with the songs. We love having songs on Speakaboos that have a story to tell.
Speakaboos is free to download on the iPad, and then you get three stories free (the first three stories you play). Subscriptions are $4.99/month, $24.99/6 months, and $39.99/year. Your subscription also gives you access to Speakaboos.com, which will be updated in coming months to match the app. An Android release is soon on the horizon as well, and you’ll be able to access your account on any platform.
Please share it with your kids and let me know what you think!