Smart PJs Will Read Bedtime Stories To Your Kids

Smart PJs are interactive pajamas for kids with QR (Quick Response Code) codes printed onto the fabric in the form of 47 cleverly designed patterns of dots. Kids, parents, or any adult wanting to snuggle up for a bedtime story can scan the dot patterns with a tablet or smart phone to unlock one of 90 children’s stories. The pajamas work in conjunction with the free Smart PJs app you can download onto your device of choice.

Once the code is scanned, a classic bedtime story by Mother Goose or Brothers Grimm is read aloud to your child. There are accompanying pictures with each story as well as the story’s text. This means big kids can practice their reading or adults could read the story to their child if the volume is set to mute.

The app also offers the option to learn about animals instead of listening to a story. Each dot pattern corresponds to an animal as well; when a code is scanned, one of 47 animals can be learned about through pictures and a brief narration.

Smart PJs were created by Juan Murdoch, Idaho dad of six kids—oy vey. I have three kids and sometimes I dream about creating a padded room for them or a machine that turns their whining into music, so good for him for seeing a bigger picture product for his kids. Smart PJs are way cooler for show and tell.

I’m a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to bedtime stories, however. To me, there is nothing better than a book in my hands. One made of paper and smells like ink and newsprint. And even after a long day with my kids, my favorite activity is to get cozy with them and their books before bed. Part of the fun is choosing the perfect book and then lingering over the book’s illustrations or re-reading parts that are funny.

You can still get the intimacy of story time with Smart PJs, but the element of choice is taken away. Done on purpose, there is not a table of contents on the app. "It's the element of surprise there that makes it fun," Murdoch has said. The element of surprise does not fly well with my four year old nor do her tantrums fly well with me.

And studies have shown that screen time before bed negatively impacts your child’s ability to fall asleep. Looking at a backlit screen suppresses melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep.

But, hey, all kids are different and these caveats may not apply to your child. Smart PJs are definitely cool and would be great when on vacation, an airplane, or anywhere it’s not possible to have more than a few books at a time. Screen time with a story time app is way better in my book than screen time with a movie or cartoon—especially if it gets your kid excited about reading. And it’s a fun way for grandparents to interact with their grandkids across generations of technology.

Smart PJs are 100% cotton, machine washable, and available in sizes 1-9 which are for kids 1-10 years old, according to their website. The pajamas come in either blue or pink trim. Both colors will read the same bedtime stories to your kids.

Some of the sites we link to are affiliates. We may earn a small commission if you use our links.