Books have an incredible hold on us. As kids, they are our first exposure to many strange and different places and unusual, fun (and sometimes scary) creatures. Reading sparks our imaginations and charges our emotions like nothing else. Just witness the incredible draw that the recent film adaptation of “Where the Wild Things Are” had on adults and children alike and we can see that reading creates incredibly powerful memories during our childhoods.
Plus, whether it’s reading box scores from last night’s game out loud to your infant or sharing a classic like “Goodnight Moon” to your toddler, the simple act of reading aloud is a crucial responsibility of good parenting. It’s no secret that reading to your child is one of the most vital things you can do to help your son or daughter develop his or her brain, language and emotional responses.
But once in a while, we don’t have time for this highly important task. Jobs force us out of town, late meetings keep us away from home and books are left unread, despite the best of intentions. Fortunately, there’s a solution for those times when you can’t be at home to read a bedtime story. A Story Before Bed is a new Web site that allows parents (or grandparents living out of town) to use their Webcams to record personalized readings of bedtime stories, so they can be played back to their children at any time.
The concept is pretty simple: Go to the site and register. Next browse the available books and pick one you think your child will like. Then click the link that says “Record this book”, follow three simple setup steps and then click “record” and start turning pages and reading. It’s as easy as that. You can add your own comments to your narration, like pointing out something funny in an illustration or simply saying “I love you, good night” at the end of the story. When you’re done recording, click stop and the book is saved with no obligation — you have 24 hours to purchase your recording. You can watch your effort and – if you don’t like it – simply start over. To see a demo of a completed recording, click here.
Since the site is new, there’s an introductory price of $6.99 per recording. But if you are serving in the Armed Forces and have a “.mil” address, you can get a coupon for a free recording. However, since the good folks at A Story Before Bed are longtime GeekDad readers, they want to offer other GeekDads an opportunity to try A Story Before Bed for free, too. Before December 15, make a recording and enter this code at the checkout for a recording at no cost: DD4W-DY6L-XG6W
A Story Before Bed is a great concept and a wonderful solution for the times when I cant read to my kids. My only complaint is that the choice of books is a little limited, but since I started tracking the site, they’ve added quite a few titles and have plans for adding a lot more. Check out the site and don’t forget to read to your kids every day!