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7 Things My Kid and I Learned From Story Pirates’ “Sleep Squad”

A delightful audio and video adventure that sparks kids’ imaginations.

Jack Shepherd · 4 months ago

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If you haven’t heard of Story Pirates, get ready to discover your new favorite thing. The award-winning podcast, which has featured guests like Lin Manuel Miranda, John Oliver, and Lake Bell, encourages kids to be creative by taking kid-submitted stories and turning them into delightful wacky adventures with songs and comedy. And now, thanks to Story Pirates’ “immersive bedtime experience,” Sleep Squad, you can play along at home. Here are 7 things my son and I learned from our Sleep Squad experience.

1. Broadway star Lilli Cooper is a wise and benevolent Dream Queen

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Each Sleep Squad adventure opens with a message from Captain Siesta Shuteye, a.k.a. The Dream Queen. Played by Lilli Cooper, who’s a Broadway star (and the voice of Sandy Cheeks on “Spongebob Squarepants”), the Dream Queen is a compelling guide to the world of Sleep Squad. She’ll get kids hyped up for the imaginative adventure that’s ahead with her enthusiasm and infectious attitude. 

2. Anyone can explore the Slumber Galaxy once you know how!

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Your body is the only ship you need, it turns out. Just close your eyes (or put on your sleep goggles) and listen to the audio dialogue that’s inspired by an actual dream submitted by a listener, then let your imagination transport you into a cool new world.

3. Experiencing Sleep Squad alongside your kid is a delight.

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Photo: Eileen Lamb/Pexels

I didn’t know what to expect when I queued up Sleep Squad for my child (he was much more interested in putting on “Toy Story”), but once he realized that we were basically participating in imaginative role play together, he quickly got into the spirit of it. We both had a blast pretending we were in the situations the narrative created for us — stuck on a desert island, hanging out at a dinosaur party, or attending a robot rock concert. 

4. Sleep Squad helps even very young kids stretch their imaginative muscles.

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Since imaginative play is what my kid wants to do most of the time anyway, it was a delightful change of pace to have a guide with prompts to change things up. My kid isn’t quite 4 yet, so he didn’t fully grasp everything that was going on, but he seemed almost intuitively to know how to take the story prompts and add his own ideas to the narrative. 

5. You really ought to keep a dream journal.

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Sleep Squad makes room for you to write (or draw) the experience you co-created after the fact, which means that you’ll have a document to remember it with that can also be the basis of a new story in the same world next time. 

6. In a dream, anything can happen.

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Technically, I already knew this about dreams, but Sleep Squad does a great job of emphasizing the point that even silly ideas can be the start of a great, engaging story. 

7. Always bring a co-pilot.

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It’s good to have a friend along for the journey. We chose a penguin, who seemed perfectly happy to be stranded on the island, but was somewhat more dubious about the dinosaur party. 

If you want to check out Sleep Squad for yourself, you can sign up for the next available experience here!