Thursday, March 3, 2011

How to make your own read along CD

 I loved these as a kid.  Those story books where you popped in the cassette tape and it read the story while you flipped the pages and look at the pictures.  Admit it, you remember them!

Fast forward a few years (okay!  Lots of years!) and here I am with my own kids and a desire to share that memory with them.  Then I look at the prices.  Yikes!

Almost $10 for a book and CD.  I don't know about you but my 2 year old would be really great with the book but tends to scratch or break a CD.  So I got to thinking......

I handle the web design and sermon editing for my church.  Now we aren't one of those big churches.  Just a small group with a very small budget.  So I edit with a free program called Audacity.  It's a great little program that lets you edit, add sound effects and do SO much for free.  Guess what!  It even lets you record your own tracks!

So I pulled out some of Princess A's favorite books, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Just in Case You Ever Wonder, and One Hand, Two Hands.  I sat down with my computer and microphone, opened Audacity and began recording as I was reading the story.  (Be sure to tell your child when to turn the page by either saying turn the page, or using a bell or click to indicate a page turn).  When I finished I saved the files as mp3's since they take up less room on a CD and I can put them on an mp3 player in the future.  Burn a disk and if you have one of those fancy programs that create CD labels be sure to label them.  You can probably use a picture of the book cover if you want to get all fancy with it.

Now I have my own set of read along stories for Princess A and didn't have to spend a fortune to get them!  If you aren't familiar with Audacity there are a ton of tutorials online to help you figure it out.  For this project it's pretty straight forward, but if you feel adventurous you can use the program to change your voice for each character in the story or to add sound effects and even create a music track to play behind your voice. 

Until next time,

P.S. If you aren't familiar with One Hand, Two Hands you can read my review at as well as several other book reviews!


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