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Fun Writing Practice to the Tune of Our Rockin’ ABC Videos!

17 Sep

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Screen Shot 2013-09-12 at 11.57.43 AMOur fans asked, and we’ve answered! By popular demand, we’re happy to debut a free 26-page worksheet packet featuring the lyrics from our ABC Video series. In addition to the song lyrics, each page includes areas to practice tracing and writing key words from each letter song. The toe-tapping songs cover a wealth of rich vocabulary words, and now your kids can practice reading and writing as they listen, to increase their command of language.

Download for free here!

Keeping your kids safe is our priority

11 Sep

Hello grown-ups!

We are coming up on our one year anniversary and wanted to take a moment to talk about one of the concerns we had as parents, which led us to start StoryBots: child safety in apps and online.

As parents ourselves, we take the safety of the children who use our apps very seriously. You’ve probably heard a lot of buzz about the concerns and pitfalls of app safety for children. It can be a really confusing and nerve-wracking experience to find safe, high-quality apps for your kids! That’s why we built StoryBots, from the ground up, with a focus on safety for our kids.

For starters, there is no advertising on StoryBots. Most importantly, while many apps build their business by tricking kids into making in-app purchases to buy coins or other virtual goods, we took a different approach. You pay one, low monthly fee and get unlimited access to everything in the StoryBots collection. No additional charges, no strange, unprotected links and no extra in-app purchases.

In addition, we want you to know that we invest heavily to ensure that we are fully compliant with the FTC’s Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) guidelines, designed to protect the privacy of your child’s information. We also follow all iTunes App Store rules for their new Kids section, and have the KidSafe+ Certification.

To help clear up some of the myths and mysteries surrounding app safety for kids, we put together this infographic, highlighting important facts you’ll want to keep in mind. Check out the simple solutions to help make your life as a parent easier, and have a safe, enjoyable time using technology with your kids.

You have our word that we will always keep safety at the top of our list. We are incredibly thankful that you’ve invited the StoryBots into your home and look forward to serving you in the future with great products that bring your families a big dose of happiness!

Happy Parenting!

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Evan & Gregg Spiridellis
StoryBots Co-founders, Brothers & Dads

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Download the full version here.

StoryBots receives the National Parenting Center Seal of Approval!

10 Sep

We’re pleased to announce that the National Parenting Center has awarded its prestigious Seal of Approval to StoryBots.com and Starring You Books for Fall 2013!

All reviews are based on evaluations from parents and children over a testing period of 8 weeks. The seal is given to products that score high in consumer reactions, experiences and perceptions. These guys have been at this for a long time — 23 years in fact — so they know a good product when they see it!

We couldn’t be more thrilled that the NPC team acknowledged the amazingly talented artists, technologists, and business people who make up the StoryBots team and awarded us with this shiny new seal!

NPC - Seal-of-Approval-(No-Year)

New activity packet takes you Back to School — StoryBots Style!

21 Aug

Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 2.29.17 PMTime to set your schedules (and alarms!), sharpen pencils, and pack lunches — the new school year is HERE!

The StoryBots have whipped up a new back to school themed activity packet, just in time for the first school bell of the year. This 22-page activity packet contains word searches, coloring sheets, word tracing, recipes and lots of fun crafts. Together with your kids, you can create and decorate a one-of-a-kind pencil holder (in three different ways!), and make a healthy after school snack.

The packet also features essentials for the school year — like name labels, a calendar to keep track of (and learn!) the days of the week, and customized bookmarks.

Download for FREE here, and get your kids geared up for learning fun!

Fan spotlight: Teacher Mary gets crafty with StoryBots pillows!

16 Aug

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Kindergarten teacher and StoryBots fan, Mary, wanted to bring the StoryBots out of the screens and into her class’s arms with a homemade StoryBots pillow. She designed and crafted her creation completely from scratch, and we think she did an A+ job!

Not only are we super excited to see the StoryBots come to life, but Mary was also awesome enough to share her secrets by creating a simple visual tutorial on how to make one of these pillows at home. Download her step-by-step guide here, and be sure to show us your StoryBots pillows!

Have any StoryBots crafts you’ve made? Let us know and we’d love to share them!

The gang's all here!

Mary's class LOVES StoryBots!

Mary’s class LOVES StoryBots!

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Our First Ever “Kid Day!”

10 May

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IMG_0380We recently hosted our first ever “Kid Day” here in sunny Venice, California, opening our doors to let children overrun the StoryBots Headquarters with giggles, goofs and playful energy. We had tons of fun learning with the StoryBots apps, watching sneak previews of new videos, coloring pictures and doing word searches. The kids hung out with our StoryBots staffers (who are of course just big kids themselves!) as they read Starring You®  books, played Tap & Sing, made talking-head StoryBot crafts, and even ate pizza! They even had a chance to sit with our animators for an up-close look at how all the fun gets created.

IMG_0425Our favorite part was seeing the conference room table surrounded by little ones, weighing in on their pics for best learning videos.  It was just awesome to have the kids and their big energy around the office, and we are overflowing with inspiration to create lots more learning fun!


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Introducing $4.99 All-Access Family Pass

18 Apr

Hello Grownups!

Thanks for being one of the earliest friends and supporters of StoryBots.  Since we have launched, you have watched over 7 million StoryBots videos, put your faces into 500K personalized videos, read more than 3 million personalized iPad books, and given over 500,000 Beeps and Boops. It’s been very, very busy here!

Today, we are excited to announce two changes that make everything in the StoryBots universe easier to use and even more affordable.

First, the characters you create and faces you upload to StoryBots.com or using any of our apps are now accessible to you in all of our other apps.  For example, if you create kid characters in our StoryBooks app, you can simply log into Beep & Boop and the same faces will be there, too.  Hooray for more fun and learning and less time uploading photos!

Second, StoryBots now has a new and improved pricing plan.  Today, for only $4.99 a month, our All-Access Family Pass gets you everything in the StoryBots universe — including 7 apps, 26 books, 36 videos and 124 activity sheets, with new goodies added every month.

Why did we go with a simple one-price plan instead of charging for every little thing?  A subscription approach lets us keep in-app payments far away from kids — and keeps our products 100% free of advertising.  It’s the kind of peace of mind we want as parents for our families, and we think you deserve the same.

Thank you again for all your support and friendliness.  We invented StoryBots for our own families and nothing could make us happier than the fact that so many of you have invited us into your homes.  If there is ANYTHING we can do make your experience with StoryBots more fun or more pleasant, please email us here.

Happy Parenting,

Evan & Gregg Spiridellis
Brothers, Co-Founders, Dads

Coming Soon: Unlimited Starring You Books!

22 Jan

Greetings Grownup!

A year and a half ago, my brother and I took our first plunge into creating something for our families –- an iPad book app called JibJab Jr. that ultimately evolved into StoryBots StoryBooks.  Many of you have been around since those early days and we thank you for it!

Today, we are excited to announce an upcoming change that we believe will result in a lot more of our books being read to a lot more kids.

Instead of charging $3.99 or $7.99 per book, in March 2013 we will switch to a simple $4.99/month membership that gives you unlimited access to all of the books in the library.  In other words, instead of buying individual books, it will be more like Netflix, where you pay one set fee to access everything for a period of time.  

If you are an existing StoryBooks customer or monthly book subscriber, rest assured:

  • All of the books you purchase up until the date we make the switch will be available to you forever.
  • You will NOT be charged automatically once the new app update is released.  We will voluntarily shut down all your current monthly payments so that you are not being moved into a plan that you did not explicitly tell us you want.

We anticipate the changes described above will take place by the end of March 2013, but depending on some factors outside of our control, it could happen as late as April 2013.  We will keep you posted as the date is set.

Finally, we want you to know that this upcoming change is part of a broader effort to give you more for your money.  Not only will the $4.99/month membership unlock all of the books in our app, it will unlock EVERYTHING across the entire StoryBots universe.  Members will get exclusive access to dozens of Starring You® Videos we have in the works as well as a host of new apps that we will be releasing throughout 2013.  You can learn more about what a StoryBots membership will get you here.

Thank you for your past and ongoing support of StoryBots.   My brother and I — along with the entire team here — are so grateful you’ve invited the StoryBots into your homes. We promise to work hard to deliver you quality content that thoroughly entertains not only your kids, but also you!

Happy Parenting,

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Evan & Gregg Spiridellis
Co-Founders, Brothers, Husbands, and Dads

Our “Low Price, Great Value, No Worries” Membership

22 Jan

Greetings Fellow Grownup!

So, you have a 2-to-6 year old in your life? How are you holding up? Could you use a little less stress and a lot more fun in your parenting routine? We thought so.

My brother and I created StoryBots to lend parents a hand with high-quality content you can feel great about giving your kids — as well as tools that make parenting more fun.

When we first started looking at apps for our own kids, we were shocked by the large number of low-quality, spammy apps out there. What’s worse, many of them showed inappropriate, unsafe ads to kids or tricked them into buying things.

We chose a different path for StoryBots.

Our vision? For a simple monthly subscription of $4.99, parents could unlock an entire universe of learning and fun across the web, iPhone, and iPad.  That way, kids could have a blast without hitting roadblocks (e.g., pay $.99 to get to the next level) and parents could rest easy knowing their kids were exploring in a high quality, safe, commerce-free environment.

Today, a StoryBots membership unlocks all 10 of our Starring You® Videos on StoryBots.com.  Over the next 3 months, we will be rolling out a host of new apps and web experiences that will make your StoryBots membership the lowest-cost, highest-value arrow in your parenting quiver!

By the end of March 2013, members will have access to:

  • ‘Starring You® Videos’ on the web – with a new video added every month
  • ‘Starring You® Books’ for iPad – with a new book added every month
  • ‘ABC Videos’ apps for both iPhone and iPad
  • ‘Tap & Sing’ musical app for iPad
  • ‘Printables’ activity sheet downloads on the web
  • ‘Beep & Boop’ for iPhone
  • A new parent app that’s too secret to tell you about yet! :)

Plus, we have even more apps and videos planned for later this year.  We will keep you posted about them on this blog, via our newsletter, and also on Facebook and Twitter.  As always, if you have any questions about StoryBots, please visit our help center or feel free to email us.

Thanks for inviting the StoryBots into your home.  We promise to work hard to keep delivering new, fresh, and fun products that make your kid(s) – and YOU – smile!

Happy Parenting,

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Evan & Gregg Spiridellis
Co-Founders, Brothers, Husbands, and Dads

Announcing StoryBots Starring You StoryBooks!

25 Sep

Today marks the official release of StoryBots™ Starring You® StoryBooks, our update to JibJab Jr.® Books. As you heard last month, this transition was just around the corner and we’re thrilled to finally have it in your hands – or App Store!

Make like a bunny and hop over there to update JibJab Jr. Books and enjoy all the goodies StoryBooks has to offer, including all the books your kids have grown to love, super-fast loading times, an improved home screen, and animations at the end of each book. Our kids love it. We think your kids will, too!

Lastly, the StoryBots world isn’t limited to the iPad. At StoryBots.com, your child can star in videos set to classic songs, learn the alphabet with the ABC Jamboree, or go offline with printable activity sheets. Cool, huh?

Happy learning!

 

 

 

Evan & Gregg Spiridellis
StoryBots Co-founders, Brothers & Dads

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