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This blog is here for you to find fun learning activities to do with your children. We share great ideas we find and love on the Internet, as well as ideas we come up with on our own! We also like to share resources we find helpful.

To find ideas for your child, click on the age range blog label or on the theme/topic you are looking for (on the left side of the page). In each post, we try to list optimal age ranges for the activity, but you must judge for yourself if it is appropriate for your child. When you try an activity out, please comment and let us (and everyone else) know how your child liked it!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Homemade Audio Books

When I was little my grandmother recorded stories on tape for us all the time.  We still have some of them!  She also sent some to my cousins who were overseas at the time.  I think this is an awesome gift for little ones that live far away.  They get to hear your voice on a consistent basis, acting out your love from thousands of miles away by reading stories to them!

 
A few years ago I took the same concept and made a set of books on CD for my nephews (age 2 and 3 at the time).  I chose some favorite books from childhood and recorded myself and my husband reading them using my computer. 

I used a free recording software called Audacity.  It worked well.  Their software was easy to use and easy to edit.  I later went in and added a little chime sound for when the page should be turned.  The software made it easy to dub the chime to my saved recording.  Just Google “free sound effects” to find a wide array of choices.  Finally I burned all the stories onto a cd, made a cute little cover for it and packaged cd and books together for my nephews. 

We also recorded some fun family stories and songs and I added a few stories from my grandma and grandpa using the tapes they gave us as kids.

I should add that I am not a technological expert by any means.  I have trouble with Facebook! :)   I guarantee that if I could do this, anyone could.

It really wasn’t a difficult project to complete and I think it’s a great gift.  I recently burned all those same stories onto a cd for J so it’s become a gift that keeps on giving!  It’s been great to use on road trips and plane trips.  It also works great while cooking dinner or entertaining toddler while busy with the baby.

Since all toddlers and preschoolers tend to love hearing themselves, a great addition to your audio assembly would be having them join you in reading key words, recite a poem or even read a simple book themselves.



5 comments:

Erika said...

This is such a great idea! Thank you. My DH is deployed and before he left we bought some recordable books at Hallmark for him to read to the kids but they were $30/each. This is a much cheaper version and you could do a lot more than just one book.

Candis said...

I love this too! I just wish I would have saved our old CD Walkmans. I need to search for some at garage sales!

Becca said...

Candis- you don't have to burn them onto CDs, save as a mp3 if you want, put it on your iPod. All the stories we made for my nephews a few years ago are now on j's iPod list.

Mama Pea Pod said...

My mom did this for me (on cassette tapes back then, of course!) for when I stayed over at my grandparents' house. We still have the tapes (though nothing to play them on anymore), and I remember them clearly and can even hear my mom's voice in my head reading the stories. We live across the ocean from all my kids' grandparents, and I have wanted to do something like this but wasn't sure what our parents could manage, technology-wise, that we would be able to listen to on our end. Will pass on the link to them and hopefully they can do it for our girls. Thanks!

Becca said...

Oh, I hope they'll take the time to do this! Finding those links to family are so great for the kids. Of course, I'm still working on my family to do this. Maybe next time we visit, I'll just have to prep it all (technology is not their forte; I must've taken after them!).

If you could get your hands on a cassette player (maybe a friend has an old one?), you could transfer those cassettes of your mom's stories onto the computer. I did this with my grandparents stories. Or I know there are businesses that will transfer old cassettes/VHS (even 8 track and movie reels) to our modern day technology. I've used them to transfer old movies before.

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