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Puffin's We Make Stories: A New Generation Of Young Digital Storymakers

22/07/2009 12:16 | Updated 22 May 2015

It has been said on occasion I spend a little too much time online. I argue that there are learning benefits, it's research, it's part of my job, it's for my child's future. Likewise my husband argues that yes our two year old really does need the full range of Star Wars spaceships and characters.

Mostly I'm not sure either is really true except for this part...

"it's for my child's future"

More and more companies are realising that the web is the place young people are likely to spend unfeasible amounts of spare time and since they're here, they might as well be doing something constructive with it.

Puffin, yes those lovely people who make nice books, have cottoned on and given themselves a rather funky upgrade into the digital world with a really beautiful new website designed to turn children and young people into story makers.

We Make Stories is a collection of digital tools for children aged around six to eleven, to design and create exciting stories (and sneakily help aid children's development of literacy - shhh don't tell them they're learning, OK?)

Purely in the name of work I spent some time playing researching it. The visuals are stunning. Great big, bright, jolly monsters and creatures burst out here, there and everywhere. Safety is all taken care of as your child has to have you confirm their registration via email, and are only ever referred to by a username, not their real name.

The small fee (the price of just one 'real' book) gives you access to a mind-bogglingly mad and wonderful range of shapes, characters and sounds. I spent more time than is healthy creating a pop-up story featuring a police-girl and toy solider in a retro 1950s bedroom. Once complete I was able to print it out with full pop-up instructions to bring it to life, and save it to a gallery to share with other people. You can also create treasure maps, remix old favourite stories, publish your own comic, build noisy stories,

It might be just a little too advanced for my two year old but by the time he's old enough I'll be ready for him in my world of pirates and rainbows.

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