Kids love listening to stories. Often you’ll find them relating the stories they listen to real-life situations. And there’s no end to the day without their bedtime story ritual. With the need for a different story everyday parents use various web tools to come up with a fresh story every day.
One such tool is StoryMoment. With the core concept of storytelling, the tool stands out in its approach towards the activities that children engage in after the story ends. The tool is filled with stories and practices that have been carefully designed to create an emotional experience between parents and children as they read aloud or listen to each story and train in the simple yet engaging practices like Breathing Exercises and Mini-Meditation designed exclusively for children.
The stories consciously and engagingly touch on many important issues such as negative emotions and difficult life circumstances. At the same time, they focus on nurturing creativity and garnering compassion, acceptance, and appreciation of the beauty and diversity of our surroundings. The tool uses stories to engage children and provoke them to think and be creative while maintaining a calm mind.
“We believe the best learning and emotional development happens this way. Alongside the stories, we have our breathing, contemplation, and mini-meditation sections. As you read, you will see how acceptance, calm, awareness, and focus emerge in both your minds.”
Pain points/ needs:
Audio Content; Digital Storytelling Creators; Digital Textbooks; Parent Collaboration
Three free stories and practice sessions are available to try out the tool and experience the usability of the tool. To continue using the tool afterward users have to pay a subscription fee of 7.99$ per month for receiving a new story and practice session each day.
The “Story of the Day” and mindfulness practice mobile application is compatible with iOS and Android devices.
Process & Usability:
The app is intended for children between ages 4-12. The main difference between the ages in regards to the stories is the way children understand and interact with the stories and practices.
The main part of the app is the daily story page. Every day you get a new story. Each story page has 4 parts or activities in order. These are Breathing Exercise, Story, Contemplation, and Mini Meditation. The process of each is explained as below:
Breathing: This is a short breathing exercise. The purpose of it is to wind down before starting to concentrate on the story and to create awareness to the body. This exercise is around two minutes long. Simple instructions are given to practice the exercise. You can use audio narration available or read it out loud to your child as the makers recommend.
Story: It is recommended that you read the story before bedtime. Each story has an audio option which is a narration of the story. The narration option is useful if parents want to rest with the child while listing the story. The most important part is to be relaxed as much as possible so you can make your pick as you like.
Here’s a list of stories from their website. You can check out a few to get a feel of their approach.
Contemplation: This is the most important activity of all. After you complete narrating or listening to the story, kids are given a few open-ended questions they have to reflect upon. The activity aims that your children share their thoughts and feelings and also get the space to contemplate them for themselves.
The protagonists in the stories help children reflect, become more aware, and compassionate towards their fellow mates, peers, and the people who they meet in their journey of life. There is no particular motive to teach children about anything good or bad. Sometimes they are open-ended and sometimes they deal with the unpleasant feeling or circumstances experienced by people in regular lives.
It is most important that you do not put this into a right/wrong answer format (there is no right or wrong for the contemplation). The most important thing here is to create an accepting space for the children’s thoughts and feelings. You might be surprised how much you can learn about your children from these questions.
Mini Meditation: This practice could be your child’s first step towards practicing meditation. We all know the importance of meditating to live a healthy life. It is usually hard for children to sit even for 2 minutes and concentrate on their breath without doing anything. The tool uses the story plot and the kids’ imagination to make the practice easier. Through this practice, they learn to strengthen their awareness of the present and how to focus. In some of the stories, kids can even go a step further and demonstrate how to meditate on a certain subject. In this section, there is also an audio option where the practice is narrated. Again, it is recommended that you read it to your child yourself at least some of the time. If you do read it yourself do the practice together with your child.
Practicing and engaging in activities throughout with your child at each step is recommended to make it more effective and not just an online activity.
Why You Should Try This Tool:
- I see a lot of importance being given to communication between parents and children. This tool here also emphasizes the part where the connection gets its due importance. The tool helps parents to connect with their children rather than merely communicate through well-thought practices.
- Old habits die hard, they say. The tool helps in cultivating some great habits like meditating, reflecting upon thoughts, acceptance of self and others, compassion, focus, and more such qualities that would help the child for a lifetime.
- The holistic approach in crafting stories helps children in character development. Along with the practices, the stories stir mindfulness, help be grounded in the present, and help cope with negative emotions and life circumstances in a serene and accepting way. Their storyline demonstrate how kindness, compassion (and self-compassion), not being judgmental, and acknowledging ourselves as part of a bigger ecosystem, help one sustain greater mental well-being, emotional stability & intelligence, and psychological resilience.
I highly recommend you try out this tool. You get 3 stories for free and if you like it you can go for their monthly subscription.