Books are incredibly important in our house. Not only do they allow us to explore new worlds and meet new people, but they bring us together as a family. Not a day goes by when we don’t read T a book.
Bedtime is when we read most of our books; although I don’t begrudge T when he brings me a book after breakfast! When we’re settling down for the night, T will usually sneak 2-3 books to bed hoping we’ll read all three (we always do) and then ask for another. I love the fact that he finishes his day with a book – I often wonder whether his story continues in his dreams.
T is a complete book worm, and to celebrate World Book Day we were recently sent a new interactive reading experience: a Moonlite Projector.
What is a Moonlite Projector?
A Moonlite Projector is a small, clip-on projector that attaches to your phone, and using the light from your camera’s flash (no batteries required) it projects images onto a nearby surface. Using story ‘reels’ that are inserted into the projector, your child is immersed into an interactive story-telling experience using the Moonlite app.
It’s compatible with iOS and Android (which we were able to test as we have both!) and the app with it’s contents can be used on more than one device – you just need to make sure the same account is logged into each app.
We were sent the Mr Men & Little Miss collection as well as two further books; Goose and The Three Little Pigs. T LOVES Mr Men, so he was incredibly excited when he saw the packaging.
Setup is incredibly easy, and before we’d even looked at the instructions we were half way to finishing set up. If you’re anything like me, and regularly races ahead without reading the instructions, don’t worry. You really can’t go wrong.
When you open the packs – which, if I’m honest, are a little heavy on the plastic – you’re presented with your projector and five reels, as well as a ‘Quick Start’ which has no more than 4-5 steps to follow: Download the free app, register (they only ask for an email and a password – that’s it – you also have the option to opt-out of any emails and updates), and configure your device, which sounds more technical than it is. All you have to do is align a bullseye with a target and you’re done when it comes to the projector.
The app is easy to follow and you can start and stop the instructions at your own pace. It’s also incredibly clear and little moon ‘assistant’ is really cute! On the same note, it’s not too bright – so don’t worry about burning your retinas in the dark.
Once you’re all set up you will see your available books – which can be displayed as a grid or like a book. Any further books can be added using the padlock icon; where you insert your activation code, or via the shop.
The Storytelling Experience
Each story comes with 12 slides and plays music in the background as standard. In addition, each page has around 1-2 sounds that are displayed in the form of ‘prompts’ on certain words. Simply tap the word and the sound plays. Each sound is relevant to that story.
As you travel through the book, you’re then advised when to turn the reel to the next slide.
Each story can last around 15-20 minutes (if not longer!) depending on how confident you are.
For me, I was quite slow at first as I found navigating between scrolling through the story, turning the reel, and tapping the sound words a bit fiddly, but after some practise I got there in the end. I was also worried about being too rough and knocking the projector off my phone, but I needn’t worry as once it’s on it’s on pretty tight until you physically take the clip off.
Our thoughts / Value for Money?
What I liked instantly about Moonlite is how it can be used on any surface – no matter how small. You could be sat on the sofa and project the image onto the opposite wall, or sat in a small cubby hole or reading corner and project the image right in front of you. Regardless of where you are, the image is incredibly clear and bright (we later found a dial that can adjust the focus further!).
There’s something about Moonlite that takes me back to when I had a Viewmaster, and although there is a requirement to use technology it’s done in such a simple way. That being said, it’s only you, as the reader, that uses the screen anyway. Your child is concentrating on the images and sounds – no different to when you read a book.
Moonlite is available to buy at The Entertainer, Smyths Toys, Amazon and JoJo Maman Bebe.
Apart from the starter pack which is £19.99, each story pack – which comes with a projector and five reels – is £39.99. Every individual story then ranges between £7 and £9. In my opinion, I feel this is very reasonable. The projector is good quality and is sturdy when attached to the phone, and the images within the reels are bright and colourful. The packages themselves also fit nicely onto a bookshelf when not in use. I’d be delighted if T received something like this as a gift.
We were sent the Mr Men & Little Miss collection, as well as two other books; Goose and The Three Little Pigs in exchange for an honest review, however all thoughts, opinions, and images are our own.