When I was growing up one of my favorite things to do was to “read” books as they were read to me on tape or LP. My daughter Peanut (who is two), loves to “read” books too. While we often sit down to read together, I began to wonder how we could recreate some “books on tape” so that she could take them in the car on long trips or listen to them during her quiet time.
During some of our reading times together, I began to record what I read onto my iTouch. We even added a little “ding” for the page turns (a drinking glass and spoon work great for this) on several occasions so she will know exactly when to turn the page. Yes, on occasion, she has been known to ask a question or gurgle (when younger) while I recorded, but I decided her input just adds character. Besides, she seems to like the recordings even more because “that’s her!”
Once recorded, I converted the stories to mp3 and burned them to CDs which I attached to the back of the book with a paper CD cover.
Now Peanut can get out a book she enjoys, pop the CD into the CD player, press play and follow along as I read her favorite books to her over and over again even if I’m not available.
For those of you unfamiliar with how to record yourself and burn it to a CD, there are several free options available depending on your resources. Today I’ll share with you two that I’ve used many times over to create quality recordings not only for my daughter’s book CDs but competitive audition entries for my choir students.
If you have an iPhone, iTouch, or iPad:
This has quickly become my favorite way to record because its so portable and requires little knowledge about recording software. Besides that, the quality is quite exceptional for such a device.
1. Open the app “Voice Memos.” This app came standard on my iTouch. However, if your iPhone, iTouch, or iPad does not automatically come with this app, you can easily download it from the iTunes store for $.99
2. Press the red record button to record. Press it again to stop recording.
3. Press the button that looks like three horizontal lines stacked on top of each other (the menu button) to view your track.
4. Select the track recorded and then select “share.” Email it to yourself. Doing this automatically converts it to an mp4.
5. Now go to your computer, open your email, download the track to your computer and upload it to iTunes.
6. While in iTunes, create a New Playlist. Drag your track to the Playlist.
7. Insert a blank CD into your CD-R drive. Right click the Playlist you created and select “Burn Playlist to Disc.” When the pop-up window for burn settings appears, select “burn.”
8. Once the burn is complete, eject your CD, label it, and place it in the back of your book. That’s it.
If you want to only use your computer:
If you do not already have some sort of simple recording software on your computer, you can download Audacity 1.2.6 for free and it works great. Make sure you have an external microphone on your computer or else a computer mic hooked up to your mic jack before you record.
1. The software’s main features look like an old school tape recorder. Press the red record button to record and the square stop button to end the recording.
2. Once done, select “export as MP3” in the File menu to save the track to your computer.
3. You can then follow the above instructions to continue to transfer your track to a CD (steps 5-8) or use another burning software you may already have on your computer. That’s it.
Got any other ideas for reading centers, audio books, or creating extra reading opportunities with toddlers? Please share! I’d love to hear your ideas.