My three year old son was squirming in my arms. Surrounded by hundreds of other travelers after a 9-hour flight, we were standing in line at customs. With every minute, my little guy became more and more restless. He had zero strength to ‘hold it together’ with the 2 hours of sleep he had over the past 24 hours. He was MISERABLE.
When we finally reached our rental car, he wanted nothing to do with being strapped in a rigid car seat. My last hope hinged on him falling asleep once we started driving. I was just as exhausted as he was and had no energy left to entertain him.
Well, the story didn’t end there. He didn’t fall asleep AND we had a 6-hour drive ahead of us.
Like a flash of lighting, I suddenly remembered that I had packed the one thing that might save us all. I grabbed my phone and hit play. And then I waited…
10 minutes passed.
I glanced back and his heavy eye lids gently closed. My baby was drifting off to sleep.
Sparkle Stories saved the day and turned the rest of our 3-week Germany trip into a delightful adventure despite long car rides and another flight back home to the US.
After the trip the whole family was officially hooked on Sparkle Stories. At one point, my husband suggested that they should make audio stories for adults. Yes, that’s how good they are.
The In’s and Out’s of Sparkle Stories
By now, you might be wondering, ”What exactly are Sparkle Stories?”
Let me explain…
Sparkle Stories are the equivalent of inviting a very talented storyteller into your home. A storyteller that delights your child with marvelous stories at the drop of a hat. A storyteller you will rave about to all your mom friends.
David and Lisabeth Sewell McCann, the creative folks behind Sparkle Stories, have been producing original audio stories for children for over 5 years. They have a story for every child, every situation and every challenge in a child’s life. A total of over 875 stories! You literally never run out of stories.
A few handy facts:
- Stories are packed into series that cover various themes…a brother and sister named Martin & Sylvia and their adventures; a series about fairies, gnomes and pixies; a series about animals living at a junkyard; a bedtime series and many more.
- The entire Sparkle Stories collection has stories for children from ages 3 to 9+.
- Each series contains 52 stories, one for each week of the year. Stories are 15 to 45 minutes long depending on the series.
- Most series follow the seasons and holidays throughout the year.
- Many stories come with recipes, crafts, nature projects and tutorials for parents.
A favorite in our house are the Martin & Sylvia stories, which are geared towards 3 to 8-year old’s. And my kids are excited about the latest Martin & Sylvia series called “Nature School”. It’s a perfect fit for our family and I assume many of you. “Nature School” beautifully instills a love and appreciation for nature that feels incredibly genuine and well,….natural.
Is there anything we don’t like about Sparkle Stories?
Six months ago, I would have said that it is a bit cumbersome to have to download the stories from my account on the website to my phone. But with the launch of the new app and website that problem has been solved. I am ecstatic about how easy it is now for us to listen to the stories.
How to listen to Sparkle Stories?
- With a monthly subscription you have access to all 875+ stories and can stream them through the Sparkle Stories iOS App (Android coming later) and on the website.
- Stories and audio books can also be purchased and then downloaded onto your computer or phone.
- Looking for a particular story? The search function makes it a breeze to find exactly what you are looking for.
Are Sparkle Stories right for your family?
Sparkle Stories might be exactly what you have been looking for if YOU:
- are trying to reduce or eliminate your child’s screen time.
- need an activity for your little one while you cook dinner, nurse the baby or need to make a phone call.
- are going on a long car ride or flight.
Sparkle Stories are also perfect if YOUR CHILD:
- has stopped napping and has switched to quiet time.
- has a hard time falling asleep at night.
- is sick and you don’t want them to watch TV all day long or can’t get them to settle down so they can recover.
- is a non-stop talker and you need 15 minutes of quiet. (I have one of those.)
- is overcome with fear or worry, feeling lonely, is nervous about going to the doctor, etc. (As I said, there is a story for every scenario).
- and the list goes on…
Why Sparkle Stories? What makes them unique?
While there are a number of other audio stories and audio books available for children, none have drawn my children in as much as Sparkle Stories. ‘Why is that?’ you might wonder.
The first thing I noticed when listening to our first Sparkle Story was David’s calm and friendly voice. Both my children fully relax while listening to the stories. They are comforting and give my sensitive children both space and warmth. – Read David’s article about the benefit of stories for sensitive children.
Comparing them to other audio stories we have listened to in the past, I find Sparkle Stories to be the most authentic. All the characters are well developed and the story lines have a beautiful flow to them…two things that truly bring the stories to life. In our house, we talk about Martin and Sylvia in the same manner we talk about our real friends.
The stories are the perfect pace for children to follow along, giving them time to paint an imagine in their minds while listening. And as David says, “storytelling builds nimble brains.” They truly are more than just entertainment and infuse your child’s life with a wonderful dose of imagination and creativity.
Consistency is another benefit of Sparkle Stories. Within a series, each story starts in a similar way, setting the stage for what’s to come. It’s like a quick warm-up session for the brain. Repetition, while sometimes annoying to an adult mind, is a necessary experience for a child’s mind. And yes, your child will likely ask to listen to some stories over and over again. They know what they need.
A wonderful, yet subtle, benefit of Sparkle Stories are the lessons that are woven into each story. Lessons about sharing, being kind and grateful, respecting others, caring for loved ones, helping people in need, and so on. And to top it off, mom and dad in the Martin & Sylvia series make me a better parent. Hearing them calmly empathize with Martin when he is upset and taking the time to help Sylvia solve a problem are handy reminders.
And some stories are just plain funny. “Frogs and Toad” is one of those stories that has us all bursting into belly-laughs…over and over again.
Ready to try out Sparkle Stories for FREE?
To get started with your FREE 10-day trial, I’m going to hand you over to Lisabeth and David from Sparkle Stories. You will be in good hands. Their genuine kindness not only comes through in their stories but also how they treat and value each and every family they cross paths with. Enjoy!
P.S. I did not receive anything in exchange for this review. We just love these guys and what they do and want to share it with all of you. 🙂