VTech Storio Review + Give Away!

Thanks to all who entered – Kim was the winner and has been notified – “The little girl who lives next door, her parents are alcoholics and don’t believe in Christmas”.

VTech Storio

This post is sponsored by Nuffnang.

We have had the Vtech Storio for less than a week and I can already see it is a great addition to the literacy tools we have at home. Especially so for my five year old who is off to school next year and is just about to start reading.

Currently we read stories together, we tell stories to each other, play word games together and he has online literacy games that he plays. Bringing new technology into his early literacy is a natural part of the process for us. The VTech Storio is an animated e-Book Reader specifically designed for kids aged 3 – 7 years old.

Reading with VTech Storio

There are three key ways kids can use the VTech Storio – watch the story, use the story dictionary and play reading games. The Storio comes with one cartridge containing an e-book and the associated activities. Our Storio came with a Disney Cars 2 cartridge. The video below shows a snap shot of what the kids can do with the Storio.

The video shows the kids (our 5 and 7 year olds) playing with the Storio for the very first time. As you will see they navigate it with ease, it is quite intuitive, so they can easily play with the Storio on their own.

The reading games the kids can play involve a number of different skills, comprehension, phonics, spelling and listening skills. The phonics game has already increased the words our 5 year old can sound out and identify in text, adding van, cup and hat to his growing the list of words.

Exploring with VTech Storio

VTech Storio E-book download center
There is a Storio download centre where you can purchase new e-books to download. At start up we received 3 V Coins, so were able to buy three additional e-books for the kids to read and explore.

Our five year old loves non fiction so quickly chose World of Science to download for his choice. His little brain has now filled up on all sorts of wonderful things like “the sun is actually a star” and “people who study rocks are called geologists”.

To download these additional e-books you do need to have a SD memory card which the Storio doesn’t actually come with. The SD memory card is needed so you can use the full functionality of the Storio, so I would recommend making sure you have one from the start.

This next video shows just how easy it is to download e-books and explore them. I guided my 5 year old through the process and he was able to navigate through the screens with ease.

Creating with VTech Storio

Storio also lets the kids upload their own photos to view or add to:
VTech Storio

They can draw their own pictures and colour in:
VTech Storio

Or use stamps, frames and affects to create their own picture:

For the parents

VTech Storio Progress Log
As the kids can easily use the VTech Storio on their own, it could be hard to keep up with what they are playing if it wasn’t for the Progress Log as shown above. Shapes that are coloured in highlight there is more information for parents to explore.

You can see a breakdown of learning achievements by story they have read and how they have progressed with the associated games, with information on:

  • Duration of Storybook use
  • No. of times completed Storybook
  • No. of questions answered
  • No. of correct answers

This gives you an accurate picture of what your child is doing when they are on the Storio and can give an indication to areas where they may need more help. These can be areas I can focus on when we are reading and writing together.

My five year old is quite keen on technology and has really taken to the VTech Storio. Additional story cartridges can be bought from toy stores and he has already decided that he is going to by his favourite cartoon of the moment – the Scooby Doo cartridge once he has saved up enough pocket money.

Like all technology in our house, its use will be regulated (other wise he would play it for hours!), but it is great new medium with which he can explore written text.

VTech Storio Give Away

VTech have one Storio to give away for a lucky reader of Planning With Kids. This would make a fantastic gift for Christmas.

Full T&C’s are here. To enter all you need to do is:

  • Leave a comment below letting me who the VTech Storio would be perfect for in your family.
  • The giveaway is open to Australian residents only.
  • You may only enter once.
  • Entries close at 5pm 30th Nov 2011.
  • Entries will be short listed. From this list of entries, Nuffnang will judge the winner.
  • Good luck!