Wednesday, December 3, 2014

DIY Audiobooks for Preschoolers

In preparing for a recent cross-country road trip I realized that listening to books would be a great idea. Audiobooks would be a great way to change from listening (and re-listening) to favorite music. Plus, it would be a great alternative to TV or screen time. I mean, just imagine your child listening to you read them a book while you are otherwise preoccupied cooking dinner, cleaning, nursing a newborn, etc!

I had this brilliant idea with very little time until "take off." So instead of buying a pre-recorded book or recording AND then creating a CD, I just decided that I could record stories onto a recorder and play it through the car speakers. It turns out that it is a great "toy" for my preschool engineers. They love sitting quietly with the recorder listening to different stories and recording their own things.

Tips for Making and Using Audiobooks for Preschoolers

  • Choose your recording device. 
    • Do you want to burn CDs or not? (I don't think it is necessary.)
    • Does the device you choose play the way you want? (Is it equipped with USB? Can your car play USB?)
  • Find quiet time and space.
  • Watch the input volume so it is in the sweet spot of not too quiet but not too loud.
  • Start small. Read "Brown Bear Brown Bear What do you see?" before diving into "The Cat in the Hat."
  • Have your child choose books they would like to hear.
  • Don't panic if your child inadvertently erases your recording while trying to listen again. It is just a life lesson.
  • Don't worry about burning CDs. Your child can listen easily enough by having the device directly in their hands, or, depending on the brand of recorder and your car, you can play it through USB to your car speakers.

I have an old Olympus voice recorder that was sitting around collecting dust. I used that one and it works beautifully. It is easy to record, user friendly (I was able to pick it up and figure it out again quickly). And it played back nicely via USB in my car. If I had to start from scratch, I would probably skip talking into my computer's microphone and attempting to burn CDs from that. I would buy a standalone device like the Olympus VN-722PC (affiliate link below).

[Disclosure Statement: This post contains affiliate links. If you click and purchase, I receive a small referral fee at no cost to you. To see how I spend the money see my "Philanthropy" page. ]

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