Tales Untold Are Stories Not Just for Kids, Not Just for Bedtime

Tales Untold Are Free Audio Books for Kids to Enjoy at Bedtime…or Anytime!

Those of us of a certain generation may be old enough to have owned a record player as a child. I did. My prized albums were various children's stories, like Walt Disney's Mickey and the Beanstalk or Tale Spinners for Children's The Ugly Duckling and The Pied Piper. These were the ones that came with a story book in which you turned the page when you heard the chime. The best part was hearing how well the professional voice actors told the story along with my imagination and a sound effect or two. It felt like an adventure every time I listened, which I did over and over again.

Fun and Exciting Audiobooks

Fun and exciting audiobooks for kids were probably widely available when cassette tapes and CDs came along too, but by that time, so had Gameboys and other digital entertainment, so maybe they lost some of their magic. Tales Untold, the namesake app from Tales Untold Media, is a new digital experience that aims to bring back that magic from childhood, and introduce it to your children.

Seasons of Stories

Tales Untold is a free mobile app featuring original, episodic stories for children—and maybe even parents too. The app itself provides access to a number of stories ("tales") that are broken up into short episodes of about 10 minutes each, though some are shorter and some are longer. The first episode of each tale is free. tales-untold-storiesMore are provided via in-app purchase, either by the episode, or by the season. Purchasing the season gets you all the episodes—about 10 each. And the library is growing. Tales Untold Media will continue to add new seasons for existing tales, as well as brand new tales on a regular basis.

Adventure, Mystery, Real Life

The tales that are currently available are: Radbert, A Little About a Lot, Inspector 9, Trunk Show, and Trouble with Wishes. They're about adventure, mystery, and even real life. Inspector 9 takes the listener on a bedknobs-and-broomsticks-ish adventure with the titular Inspector and a magical bunk bed that transports the passenger to places only imagined. The story engages your child through riddles and puzzles, along with funny reactions from the Inspector. For example, one particular piece of a puzzle was "the opposite of standing, rhymes with wit." The Professor's bumbling responses—"Lying down? Napping??"—were entertaining while pulling kids in with the right answer. There are also sillier moments, such as discussing names for a pet iguana, including "Little Booger." Yep, that would get a response from my kids.

A Little About a Lot

Sure, Tales Untold is targeted for younger kids, but that doesn't mean that parents can't enjoy them too. My favorite series was A Little About a Lot. Each episode in A Little About a Lot is a self-contained dive into a fascinating area of non-fiction about the world, helping you answer all the whys and hows your curious child wants to know. For example, you can learn about Lewis & Clark, Amelia Earhart, or how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. Yes, everybody knows that it spins a cocoon (or, more technically, a chrysalis, as Tales Untold teaches) and in a few weeks a butterfly comes out, but what actually happens inside the chrysalis during the metamorphosis? The episode tells you all about it. I won't spoil it for you, but I will tell you that I will never think of "soup" in quite the same way again.

Outstanding Voice Acting and Sound

A Little About a Lot teaches subjects like history and science—yes, what some kids might call dull or boring—but it's neither dull nor boring. The narrator is eminently listenable, varying his pitch, tone, and cadence appropriately. He pays special attention to advanced concepts, and finds ways to relate them to kids' experiences so that they can understand and relate to them better. For example, the Wolves episode compares and contrasts wolves (which kids have hopefully never seen up close) to dogs, which are probably very familiar: eyes are yellow, instead of blue or brown, heads and paws are bigger, and they both howl. In Let's Talk, the episode about how people communicate, sound effects play for the various older technologies like Morse code and rotary telephones, providing a way for kids to relate to them.

For Your Ears Only

The production values of Tales Untold are obviously high, tales-untold-iphone6-250from the charming cover art, to the professionally voiced narration, to the sound effects. All of these help draw the child into the world of Tales Untold. All in all, Tales Untold is almost entirely an aural experience. That's not a bad thing—imagination is a powerful tool, and video can be a crutch, but for those looking for something to watch will be disappointed. Also, there are no words to follow the story along with. Tales Untold is for listening pleasure only, though Tales Untold Media does provide a free coloring book on their website that you can print. Kids may enjoy coloring the characters while listening, thereby engaging in tactile and aural stimulation at the same time.
The last thing I'll tell you about Tales Untold is the last thing you hear in each episode: the jingle. It's so catchy with its acoustic guitar and whimsical lyrics. It's only a few seconds long, but if you're like me, you'll find yourself singing it at dinnertime. And then maybe you'll want another helping of Tales Untold.

Tales Untold is available for iOS (iPad and iPhone). You can download it from iTunes and the Apple App Store. An Android version is in the works. (This review is based on the iPad version, though the experience should be very much the same on any compatible device.)




Healthy Summer Snacks for Kids

healthy summer snacks for kids

Regular exercise along with nutritious snacks are an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Summer is right around the corner and having healthy snacks on hand will make it easier to keep the chips and candy away from your kids.

Here are just a few ideas on healthy summer snacks for kids this summer:

7 Summer Family Activities

7 Summer Family Acitivities with Children

Everyone gets excited to spend time outdoors when the weather gets warm and enjoyable. It can be very easy for families to go separate directions during the summer. Kids disappear into their peer groups, parents become consumed with lawn care and chauffeuring said children to various sleepovers, camps, activities. Keep your family working and playing together with some of these great family summer activities!

Cook together
Cooking a meal together is a great way to bond as a family this summer and fall. Sneak in a math lesson by letting the kids help you work out measurements, set an example for eating a healthy diet by preparing lots of fruits, vegetables and healthy meats, and you can support your community by purchasing local produce when possible.

Go backyard camping
Camping, a quintessential summer activity can be difficult to do if there are younger children in the family. Eliminate some of that hassle by keeping your trip close to home – right in your backyard! Set up a tent and use a store bought fire pit to roast marshmallows. You can also make a pretend one with paper, colored cellophane, and a flashlight.

Capture the flag and other team sports
Even-numbered families can feed their competitive sides by splitting up for team sports! Capture the flag is a great game for kids of all ages, while games like flag football are great for families with older children.

Eat exotic Ready for a night out?
Broaden your worldview by choosing a restaurant that serves cuisine not native to your area. Make the night educational by reading together about your food's country of origin and the culture it comes from.

Give back to your community and teach your family the importance of getting involved! Animal lovers can donate their time to dog shelters, nature fans can get involved in a community gardening project, bookworms can volunteer at the local library; there are plenty of options available for this family summer activity that combines the best of bonding and contributing to your community.

Visit a zoo or museum
Nothing beats the look on a child's face the first time they see a real elephant, or for older kids and art or history lovers, a piece of moving artwork or world history. Visiting venues like zoos and museums is a great family activity that is both fun and educational.

Get crafting
Create lasting memories with family-made artwork! Crafts that the entire family can participate in, like making a scrapbook or decorating a large canvas for wall art in your family home, let children of all ages participate and leave you with memories and a piece of art that will last a lifetime.

Another thing to remember is sunscreen to protect your skin! We hope this article inspires you to find something fun and unique to do with your family this summer. If you have any fun family summer activities that you do, please share in the comments and we may feature them in a future article. Thank you for visiting www.KidsDesk.net if you like our site, please bookmark us and tell your family and friends. Have a great week ahead.

When to Tell Your Child to Take a Break from Technology

Taking a break from technology

In the electronically advanced world we live in today, technology is everywhere. You can find toys, games, and even tablets and other complicated devices that are aimed directly at the children. After watching a children’s television station for just a few minutes, you will see numerous advertisements for all types of electronic devices. The question you ask yourself is, are these appropriate for your little one? What you want for your own child is going to differ from what your neighbor thinks is okay for their kids to play with. This is something that has never changed. Click read more below to continue reading.

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