Reading may be the most important skill your children will ever learn. Reading to kids, and having them read to you, is extremely important. For those who are learning to read and those who are pre-readers, being read to is one of the best ways to learn. However, as parents, we don’t always have time to sit down and read to our children as much as we would like. This is where audio books come in handy. And good news: you don’t have to run out and spend a bunch of money on audio books. Instead, I am going to show you how to make DIY audio books for kids. This will allow you to turn any book in your house into an audio book. I got this great idea from one of the sweet first grade teachers at my son’s school.
To get started making your own audio books, you will first need to gather together your necessary supplies. You will need books, blank CD’s, your computer with recording capabilities, and something to make a chime sound when it’s time to turn the page. For the page turn signal, you can use a chime on your cell phone, a bell, or even one of your children’s toys that makes a simple noise on command. You will need one blank CD for each book that you will be recording. Pick out books that your children already love. You can also buy new books that you think they will enjoy and surprise them with the audio version of them.
The Process of Recording
Most computers will have a program on them for recording, such as sound recorder or voice recorder. Sometimes, these programs will limit you to one minute of recording time. If that’s the case, you may want to download a free or paid version of recording software, such as Audacity. You can find these on the internet. Once you have a recording program and know how it works, you are ready to record your audio books. Find a quiet place to record where there will be no background sounds. Also, pick a time when you will be able to read the entire book without being interrupted.
When you are ready, make sure you have your page turn signal handy, hit the record button, and start reading. Use your normal reading voice throughout the book. Or, for added interest, try using different voices for each of the spoken parts. Be sure to signal each time you turn the page. When you are finished, listen to the recording. If you are satisfied with it, save it on your computer. Then burn it to a blank CD. The teacher who taught me this process recommends keeping a copy of the recording on your computer. This way, if the CD gets lost or damaged, you can burn a new one without having to record the book again.
Packaging the Book and CD Together
Be sure to label the CD with the name of the book. If you want to get fancy, you can create a custom CD label for each one. To keep the book and CD together, attach a CD sleeve into either the front or back cover of the book. You can glue or staple it onto the book cover. If you staple it, be sure you don’t block the opening for the CD. After the CD sleeve is attached to the book, slide the recorded CD into it. Another option for packaging the CD and book together is to put them both inside a gallon sized Ziploc baggie. Then give it to your child to enjoy.
Set Up a Listening Center
After you have recorded several audio books for your children, consider setting up a listening center in your home. You can use a bin or plastic container to hold all of the audio books. Put a CD player next to the bin. You might also consider adding a set of headphones, pillows, or other comfort items to the area. This way, your children will always have a place to go to when they want to listen to audio books. You will also be able to keep your audio books organized and know where they are when you need them. When it is time to take a trip, you can easily grab a few books to take for your children to listen to on the way.
Reading is one of the most important skills for children to learn. One way they learn to read is to by listening to someone else read. In order to maximize the time your children spend being read to, consider turning their favorite books into audio books. The easy process outlined above will allow you to turn all of your children’s books into DIY audio books for kids. And the best part of this process is that they can enjoy their favorite books while listening to mom or dad reading them, even if you are busy!