Sparkle Stories…a review

Sparkle Stories

As part of our efforts to reduce our television time before we start with Kindergarten in September, Bundle Number One and I wanted to find some appropriate audio stories for us to share. We were thrilled to discover Sparkle Stories   

At Home With Martin And Sylvia

ages 3-7

We chose to review the At Home With Martin and Sylvia stories because, as well as being age appropriate for Bundle Number One (who is 4) these were the stories which appealed to me the most! I liked the fact that these stories centre around a family at home and their everyday adventures, a reflection of our own lifestyle which I knew Bundle Number One would identify with and enjoy hearing about.

The stories themselves are very well written and beautifully delivered in a gentle, clear and descriptive tone. They last around 20 minutes which is just right for Bundle Number One. The family featured in these stories are very well observed, and there is plenty of humour included along with a healthy sprinkling of subtle life lessons and ideas.

We both particularly love ‘No Boo Boo Day’, in which the whole family try not to get a ‘boo boo’ after finding themselves with so many the previous day. Bundle Number One found this very amusing and ‘boo boo’ is now firmly planted in our vocabulary! His favourite character is Sylvia (age 5)

‘I love her because she is funny and she is a bit like me, we both do funny things sometimes’

We were lucky enough to receive five stories from the Martin and Sylvia At Home collection and have now listened to them all (more than once!) Bundle Number One has decided that his little brother’s nap time is the perfect time for him and I to share a Sparkle Story together which I am really pleased about. Its lovely to have this quiet time together and I enjoy these stories as much as he does! The fact that he is listening to such rich stories and using his imagination to visualise the content fills me with joy. Sparkle Stories are definitely a hit with us and we will certainly be subscribing and making them a part of our daily rhythm.

There is a wide range of subscription choices available at Sparkle Stories appropriate from age 3 years -9 years+.  You can view these options and listen to some sample stories here. You can also join the mailing list to receive a free story. Subscriptions are easy to set up and very reasonably priced (there is also a new App coming soon which we are very excited about!)  

There are also audio books available as ‘single purchase, self contained tales’ we will be choosing some of these for the car

We would highly recommend Sparkle Stories to families with children aged 3-9years+, they are perfect for quiet time, for listening to when they are poorly and snuggled up on the sofa, for car journeys and just for fun! Check them out and see which is your family’s favourite!

We received some Sparkle Stories (free of charge) in return for our review. All opinions are our own. The images used in this post are taken from Sparkle Stories website.

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Mindful Ted ‘One Thing at a Time’ (a review)…

The postman delivered a lovely package to Monster House last week, containing a CD copy of  Mindful Ted ‘One Thing at a Time’  (Audio Story and Story Companion) 

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‘Mindful Ted is a bear with an open heart and a peaceful mind who lives life in a kind, loving and compassionate way, inspiring others to do so too.’

The CD sleeve (front) features a lovely illustration of Mindful Ted himself, a very friendly looking bear wearing a stripy scarf and carrying a bag with his initials on the front, which we thought was particularly endearing! On the back is:

* A detailed description of the story ‘One Thing at a Time’, in which the listener ‘joins Mindful Ted as he visits his good friend Juggling Jimmy Johnson’ and finds him in a bit of a pickle…’

* An explanation of the ‘Story Companion’ in which you can expect to discover ‘…the SECRETS to being able to do one thing at a time’ and which also ‘shares some other tips and tricks to help you apply them in your day to day life’

* Featured exercises ‘Conscious Breathing’ and ‘Focusing Tips and Tricks’

There is also a detailed list of tracks (including length of tracks) and an outline of what the CD introduces the listener to .

So, Bundle Number One and I settled down on a quiet afternoon, found a comfy spot and got ready for an adventure with Mindful Ted

The story is read in a clear, slow, relaxing style and immediately drew us in (this impressed me as Bundle Number One is very ‘active’ and had previously been running around the room like a tornado…!) The sound effects were excellent as we joined Mindful Ted on a summertime stroll to visit ‘Juggling Jimmy Johnson’, taking in the sights and sounds along the way and Bundle Number One exclaimed ‘I can hear the river!’ 

When we reached Juggling Jimmy Johnson’s’ house, we both couldn’t help giggling at the description of him as he tried to do too many things at once, particularly at the fact he was getting everything in a complete muddle which really appealed to our senses of humour! 

‘One Thing at a Time’ is a very cleverly written story, delivered amazingly well. Bundle Number One sat enthralled throughout (as did I!) and his comments after the story were 

‘That was funny with Juggling Jimmy, he kept messing things up and then he fell in the water!’

‘I wanted some more story but there wasn’t another one’

‘i liked listening to the river’

‘I liked the song because it sounded like Jimmy’

The Story Companion is something was especially curious about and certainly it did not disappoint. we especially liked the fact that it is delivered by the bear himself, which definitely helped keep Bundle Number One interested. He was initially shy about closing his eyes and joining in with the breathing exercises but, after watching me (i peeped!) he did start copying and we were both very relaxed, a lovely shared experience.

I really liked the way in which the whole package was tailored in a way that children can apply to their own everyday rhythm and helpfully suggesting appropriate moments to practice.

We would highly recommend giving Mindful Ted a try, there are more stories coming soon, along with printed copies of the stories 🙂

find Mindful Ted here:  http://mindfulted.com/

Disclaimer: We were kindly sent this product (free of charge) for review. All opinions are our own.