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Chance to win a £200 voucher - check out the Storytime Sounds app from and share your storytelling experiences, tips and tales NOW CLOSED

(173 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 15-Dec-14 16:52:27

To celebrate the latest addition to the iPhone Storytime Sounds app from the team at they'd love you to share your storytelling experiences, tips and tales on this thread.

They'd also love to hear your feedback on their app; it's available on iTunes - you can download it here:

They say "our story time app is free to download and is designed to bring an extra element of fun to storytime for families with kids aged 3-7.

There are 6 soundboards for different storytelling themes - pirates, fairytales, lost world, space, monsters and our latest addition, Christmas"

So please share what storytelling means to you on this thread. Are you creative enough to make up your own bedtime story for your LO, do you do "funny" voices, when do you do storytelling with your child - bedtime or during the day? And do give the app a try if you can - would love to hear what you and your DC think of it (the new Christmas sounds in particular), how you used it and whether it made storytelling easier/more fun.

Please share your thoughts and feedback on this thread and you'll be entered into a prize draw where one lucky MNer will win a £200 voucher for Please add your comment by 24 December. Standard Insight T&Cs apply

Good luck

PS They have also written a little story as a starting point for your storytelling adventures, which can be found here:

26Point2Miles Mon 15-Dec-14 18:32:46

Not sure about the app but my children used to love me animating their story time with puppets made from socks! They are late teens now, so outgrown those days

MaryWestmacott Mon 15-Dec-14 18:55:17

Not tried the app, but my ds much prefers DH doing story time as he does better voices, usually picking random characters to be northern, kiwi, Irish etc (never appropriate accents for the story!).

Ds is now learning to read and learning different phonics sounds. We've taken to picking stories do he can practice that days sound (eg last week I had to find a story with some words with "ur" in it) not sure if that makes it more fun.

InMySpareTime Mon 15-Dec-14 19:14:34

I'm a children's storyteller, so obviously I'm pretty good at telling storiesgrin.
My main tips are:
Keep the audience engaged by adding a bit of participation, puppets, repeated phrases etc.
Never underestimate the power of a really silly character voice!
Tailor the story length to the age of the audience. A bunch of 3-year-olds won't sit for more than about 20-30 minutes, even on a good day.
Let the children think they know a bit more than you, it makes them feel powerful.

Eastpoint Mon 15-Dec-14 19:23:58

I haven't tried the app but when my son was little his grandfather tried reading a Thomas the Tank Engine to him. DS insisted on reading along and knew all the words so it looked as if he could read to himself at 2! We used to let dcs choose their own story and I'd have to read one to each in turn - we have 3 in 3 years. Sometimes I'd fall asleep reading...

CMOTDibbler Mon 15-Dec-14 19:27:56

Ds is 8, so bedtime reading is from a book. But in the bath, we have a joint story about a mummy seamonster and her twin sons Splashy and Washy who like to eat squid. All a bit strange, but we have great fun and though I moan about it, I'll miss it when he stops

missorinoco Mon 15-Dec-14 20:42:40

Storytelling to me means one on one time with the children. We do it before bedtime, and ad hoc during the day if they fancy it.

I try to use a "narrator voice" for the text, and different voices for the characters, but the reality is they probably like the sound of a parent's voice pre bed time.

Maiyakat Mon 15-Dec-14 20:44:56

I'm just enjoying the fact that DD will now sit still for long enough to get all the way through The Gruffalo! I try to do voices but they're not great (for some reason to fox is always posh!)

SantasBassoon Mon 15-Dec-14 20:46:36

Being able to fluently read upside down helped me when the children had picture books at bedtime grin. I'm not embarrassed to do silly voices either.

iwasyoungonce Mon 15-Dec-14 21:07:23

My DS went through a phase (aged 3-4) where he insisted on a made up story every night. It was always a variation on the same story - that his favourite playschool teacher and all his friends came round to ours for a party, and all the kids were really naughty! I would have to get really inventive with different naughty things they all did (drew on the walls, ran the taps so the bath overflowed, smashed all the plates etc) - he absolutely laughed his head off at these tales!

These days (aged 5) we just read bedtime stories/school books, and part of me is relieved - it took imagination and effort to make a new story up every night! But part of me misses it too!

rachaelsit Mon 15-Dec-14 21:27:12

It's always so useful to have stimulus after you've been at work all day and feel like a zombie. I like to have my phone or tablet out of site at bedtime so probably wouldn't use it for then. For the day however it's great for childminder or on weekends and also to get ideas for story time without the phone!

JoyceDivision Mon 15-Dec-14 22:13:11

I have read all harry potter books to dd, now dc is in year 1 I promised him I would read them to him and I have now started to read Philosophers stone to him... after I have read to DS Ithen have to read to DD... and it isd always a randon chapter in a harry potter book!!

I feel like I live at Hogwarts on a night!! grin

lottietiger Mon 15-Dec-14 22:15:23

I downloaded the app to test out for It's a good app and helps if you are making up stories or reading a particular book. For me though it's a day thing not a bed time thing when I want technology out of the way. Fun for travelling though, cars planes etc
DS is addicted to books at the moment but likes things to be "hiding" ie under flaps that makes it quite easy to make up stories

nobutreally Mon 15-Dec-14 22:39:22

My two are 8 & 10, so officially out of target, but I still both read to them (complete with voices - have just completed Anne of Green Gables and my Canadian accent has had a good work out), but also still tell stories. We have a couple of characters who I always go back to, and each has it's own distinctive narrative set up (one is adventure based, one is very much 'disaster/everything goes wrong/naughtiness!) I can't imagine using an app at this stage - although we do a lot of storytelling in the car, and if I was a passenger I can sort of imagine it working...

BathshebaDarkstone Tue 16-Dec-14 06:14:26

We don't make up stories here, I don't have the imagination! I'd use the app if it was available for Windows phones. Not a gripe at notonthehighstreet, I wish more apps were available for Windows phones. fsad

Flossiecrossie Tue 16-Dec-14 07:37:15

This is about when I was a child, and my mum used to walk my sister and I to school. It was a fair old walk, and we were in our early years of school, so quite a twice daily challenge for us. My mum though, made these trips a magical time by tellng us stories that she made up and episodes of which would carry across to each trip, so we would be waiting in anticipation for the next installment. I don't know where she got her inspration but we were enthralled by each of her wonderful stories.

Lindsaym1983 Tue 16-Dec-14 07:58:13

Have not tried the app yet but I always let the child choose there own story and we have story time every night before bed and I always make it fun by putting on silly voices and really getting into the story to make it more believable for the child and making sure I always have the book turned towards them so they can see the pictures at all times

xalyssx Tue 16-Dec-14 08:47:12

I like to make up stories with my 2 year old's help smile normally it involves Thomas The Tank Engine pulling the ninky nonk! I like to do different voices, and let him talk about the pictures before moving on to the next page.

Iristutu Tue 16-Dec-14 09:42:23

Having a go tonight with the app, I would say take your time, it means that you an add a lot more emphasis on the words and can use some character voices.

We love story time and cosy up in bed.

NikkiPlum Tue 16-Dec-14 10:58:25

My two boys always love having stories read to them at bedtime, but I also used to tell them stories on long walks or on the way to and from school.

Walking home one Autumn evening, inspired by the chill, gloomy weather, I was telling them a creepy story loosely based on Little Red Riding Hood, when we turned the corner into a large field. The whole field was covered in thick white fog, which only reached up to my shoulders but covered their heads completely. They shrieked with delight and ran straight in, disappearing immediately.

I gave them three minutes then shouted - "You know what lives in the fog, don't you?!" There was suddenly a complete silence. "WOLVES!!" I yelled.

I've never seen my kids move that fast before or since as they came haring out. Once I stopped laughing, I realised that at least all the stories they've heard have given them a very vivid imagination!

Dolallytats Tue 16-Dec-14 11:14:56

DH tends to be the person who reads the bedtime stories in our house. DS chooses the book and DH will do different voices for the characters. He also has the ability to make up great stories and games, something I can't seem to do.

DS is currently going through Roald Dahl's books and DD, who is only 17 months is looking at board books and babbling to herself like she is reading so it's working!!

CathBookworm Tue 16-Dec-14 14:21:23

Story telling is our time of the day to get snuggled up together and be close. I don't just read the story to my son, I ask him what he thinks and get him to join in. I do try to do the voices as I find it makes it more interesting for me as well as him, though if anyone heard me they'd fall about laughing no doubt! It is also a time of nostalgia for me, as I choose books to read that remind me of my childhood.

ChristmasName Tue 16-Dec-14 17:05:20

Really don't like the idea of the app- I don't think bedtime's a good time for screen time

Summergarden Tue 16-Dec-14 20:04:38

I tried the app with 3 year old DD, who enjoyed it, especially useful for inventing stories. She loved the Christmas sounds.

For telling stories, using different voices for different characters entices young children (especially for 'baddies'!).

When I read a brand new book to DD for the first time, we sometimes look at the pictures and make up a story by them before reading the words for the actual story.

Most story reading and telling happens at bedtime, but if using the app I would slot it in during the day instead.

Keepcalmanddrinkmulledwine Tue 16-Dec-14 20:38:17

Primary teacher and mum of two here. I always read with a story-telling voice, use different voices, props, actions etc.

I love the app and am going to let the children in my class use it to tell each other stories. It will really enhance their storytelling skills and they will really enjoy it.

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