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Child’s Play: Hallmark Interactive Story Buddies [Video Review]

by on April 8th, 2012

Reading with your child is a great way to bond with them and to improve their reading skills. As the iOS devices such as the iPad gain in popularity we’re seeing more reading and learning apps developed for young kids.

Hallmark has taken this to the next level with its Interactive Story Buddies.

They’ve come up with stuffed toys that interact with specific stories. We got my son Cooper for Christmas and he loves it. Not only does he love Cooper because he’s so soft and cuddly, but because when we read him one of the three Cooper specific book, Cooper responds by speaking to certain phrases.

Right now there are three books for Cooper with another on the way, and with each story Cooper says more. He has up to three different responses for each interactive sentence that you read. So while it can get repetitive, it’s not too bad.

While this alone makes Hallmark’s Interactive Buddies worth the money, there is an app for your iOS devices developed specifically for each character.

The app will read the story for your child and of course the character will respond to the interactive sentences just like it would if you were reading the book. There are also a couple of easy games included in the app. And my favourite – you can record yourself reading the book.

So now, if you are going to be away, you can record yourself and your child can listen to you read the book at any time. Or how about if your kid is just learning to read, then they could record themselves and show you their progress. It’s a really wonderful feature and of course the character will still interact with the story as it should.

Have a look at my video to see Cooper in action, along with all the features within the app.

As I mentioned, my son loves his Cooper bear and loves the stories. They aren’t all that long and they’re very well written.

The app is free in the App Store, but only includes the book that comes with the Story Buddy when you buy it at Hallmark. I really wish there was a way to pay for the other books to have them available on the iPad too – or at least have an app code included with the books so you could add more content. Perhaps that’s something we’ll see in the future.

Let me know what you think of the Story Buddies.

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