Tales2Go

Tales2Go

This summer, I’m doing a 30-day free trial of Tales2Go, a subscription audiobook service aimed at kids from K-12.

So far, so good! Countless wonderful children’s titles to choose from – it’s like being a kid in a candy store! There are definitely some that I haven’t been able to find at our local library.

I’ve been mainly using the desktop player instead of the phone app, and casting it to our smart speaker. Not sure if I will end up keeping the subscription yet as we already subscribe to Spotify and there are so many free options out there, but this one is a definite contender.

Advertisements

Spotify – Thomas the Tank Engine

This happens to me all the time. We went away for a week during Spring Break, and three months later I still haven’t written a new post… I’m hoping to catch up now with some fresh ideas. So what’s new with us?

My five-year old is finishing kindergarten and learning to read. Very exciting, but this means she can now read the title tracks on our iPod, and she keeps choosing the same stories to listen to over and over. And so I haven’t had to introduce much new content at all. She’s pretty happy revisiting stuff she’s heard before.

What else? Spotify has totally changed how we listen to music! And stories! Just type in “story” or “audiobooks” under the search bar and you’ll find dozens of playlists. You can move your favourite tracks into your own personal playlists too. While not free, it gives you unlimited access to a ton of content, which I feel makes it worthwhile.

One that we’re enjoying now is Thomas the Tank Engine (narrated by Johnny Morris), especially my two-year old as she’s in a train phase.

tt

Podcast – Sparkle Stories

sparkle

Another wonderful podcast to check out is Sparkle Stories!

Just super sweet, lovely stories. I find the stories to be slower-paced, calmer, and great for bed-time or quiet-time listening. I like how many of them are set in natural settings, and teach really nice life lessons. Never anything inappropriate for really young listeners.

You can find lots of stories for free through their podcast, or on the website here.

Or subscribe to access their entire library. The cost is $15 per month, and lets you both stream and download. There is a short 10-day free trial.

I also love the inspiring arts and crafts tutorials, and recipes, that accompany many of the stories. This one is definitely a keeper!

Scribd

scribd

Another subscription digital library that’s on my list to try is Scribd.

Scribd gives you access to eBooks, audiobooks, and magazines. Even sheet music! To be honest, I’m not sure how many kid-friendly titles there are, but I like having adult options too.

The cost is $8.99 per month, and includes access to 3 eBooks and 1 audiobook per month from their library of titles that require a credit for full access. There’s also unlimited access to magazines, documents, and other books.

Yes, of course there is a free trial too (30 days free). I can’t give a full review yet, since I haven’t had time to try it, but it looks intriguing. I will re-post once I’ve signed up.

Epic!

epic

This summer, I discovered Epic! It’s a subscription eBook library for kids that offers access to thousands of eBooks, read-to-me books, audiobooks, and videos.

The cost is $7.99 per month, but free for elementary school teachers and librarians. If you happen to be an educator, by all means, get this app! For everyone else, you can also do a one-month free trial, which I am now checking out.

My review. I think this app would be nice to keep if we didn’t already have free access to Overdrive and Tumble Books through our library. Many of the titles overlap. Yes, there are a massive number of eBooks, but my kids are not reading independently yet, and I don’t really want to read to them off a screen. I downloaded the phone app to play audiobooks off of. However, the app does not run in the background (unlike how my other music and podcast apps operate). So the story shuts off if I try to do anything else on my phone or even turn the screen off to save power. Largely because of this, I’m finding I haven’t been using my free trial time as effectively as I’d like. I have played a few of the audio stories off my PC, and that’s been fine. It’s the not-so-great phone app (for me) that’s keeping me from fully recommending it.

There is definitely no harm in signing up for a free month though, and if you don’t have another source for digital audio stories, this might be the subscription for you!