Pull up any ‘StoryBots’ video on YouTube and a yellow StoryBot will show up and cheer at the video’s start. That is how I feel about StoryBots- like I could cheer! So what is a StoryBot? This interactive website is one of the best in education. StoryBots is a multi-platform learning program for children ages 3-8, created by digital entertainment studio JibJab.
There is a vast array of music videos covering all alphabet letters, some shapes, dinosaurs, and a multitude of other topics as well. The “letter songs” are fast-paced and full of information, running through several different words along with entertaining illustrations. They are also catchy as all get out! I dare you not to sing along after a few rounds of ‘Everything’s Pink’ or ‘B is for Boogie.’ Once signed up for the site, one is granted access to various worksheets as well.
Recently, StoryBots have even branched out into television. There are now six science-centric episodes available for streaming on Netflix, such as ‘Why is the sky blue?’ Because of microscopic molecules and the way blue wavelengths reflect off them, obviously! We meet Nitrogen, Oxygen, and Dust in this outing, along with a muppet artist who contorts our heroes into various famous art pieces. The episodes tackle complicated scientific concepts and while they never oversimplify their explanations, they make the information entertaining and relatable.
Another amazing feature are the ‘Starring You’ videos. You simply sign up for the site, upload a photo and insert yourself into a story or song as one of the characters. Some seasonal offerings have seen Mr. Truta and other teachers running around a haunted house or chasing a turkey.
Obviously, screen time is inescapable in this day and age. While it is not ideal, screen time is also almost unavoidable, so I offer these tips as a way to maximize the “good” screen time you child might have. I know when I was younger, my mother preferred that we watch Sesame Street or Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood over NickToons. With the multitude of much-improved choices these days, I highly recommend StoryBots. Check it out!
*logo image courtesy StoryBots.com