run out of womb

... learning how to be a mum from scratch

Monday 2 March 2020

Lunii My Fabulous Storyteller review: the screen-time killer your kids will love

Turning off Paw Patrol or trying to de-grapple an iPad from a toddler's paws usually involves the kinds of screams more usually heard in an abattoir. Or a banshee meet-up. Or foxes making sleep-shattering midnight, er, love. In short, screen time addiction is real.
And yet, that black box of pixels is sometimes so fricking useful. When you're knackered. Or need to do some work. Or just want to make dinner without also simultaneously acting as a referee between squabbling siblings who just so happen to want the same toy. 

And sometimes kids come home from school in need of some chill out time, and the TV/iPad provides it. But then they never want it to turn off and the endless arguments ensue...
So for all these reasons, I was really keen to find an alternative to the black box babysitter that would still give my kids a chance to sit back and relax, whilst using their imagination.

Then a French mama friend told me about Lunii's My Fabulous Storyteller. It's amazing. So I wanted to share our experience.

It's basically a 21st century update of the Walkman that we all had as kids (long childhood car journeys plugged in, listening to Joseph... that was me!) - made more techy because it comes with 48 stories downloaded onto it, plus you can download loads more. There are special snoozy ones for bedtime, a meditation collection, and hits like Mr Men available too - and they can choose elements of the story to make it personal to them.

The device itself is super simple: a turquoise rectangle with just a few buttons and dials, one on the top for turning it on and off and volume (which has a controlled max), a front yellow dial to pick a story, and three buttons to choose and pause a story. My four-year-old quickly picked it up - this is no manual-requiring complexity!

It has an in-built speaker or you can add headphones: Lunii's Octave ones are £32, but ordinary ones work too. Another excellent factor: NO BATTERIES! You charge it up like your phone and each charge lasts for a whopping ten hours of stories (each one tends to last around 5-7 minutes).

After a month of testing out the Lunii, it's exceeded all expectations. I love that my kids will sit down, relax and focus on the stories whilst still using their imagination to fill the gaps and dream of the characters etc. We haven't needed to download any extra tales just yet (there are about 160 English stories available at the Lunni store; they cost anything from £3 up) as both my almost-three and almost-five year old remain entranced by the 'free' ones provided. But I'm excited about the future options - linguist kids can even download stories in seven foreign languages - in total the store has more than 1500 to download.

The Lunni Fabulous Storyteller isn't going to usurp bedtime books: nothing can beat curling up with your kid and reading them a story, (or the, er, fun of cajolling them to read their school reading books on a Sunday evening..). But the Lunni has proved amazing for car and plane journeys, for after-school chilling time, and especially for Saturday mornings when mum and dad just want half an hour to read the newspaper or relax! I also think it would be an ideal present for a sibling of a new baby, as it's an exciting gadget that gives them independence... and parents of a newborn time to lie down! 

You can buy the Lunni from its own store, from Amazon or from Selfridges and Harrods. It's aimed at 3-8 year olds but my youngest is already enjoying it. It's really robust as well as light too so not like the toys/devices you buy and have to shield in bubble wrap or not let your kids carry.

Lunii sent us a device to review but rest assured we're seriously gobby and only rave about things we really love.


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