Monday, January 04, 2010
Anything that promotes sharing books and reading with children gets my vote, and Ripple is a wonderful web-based tool that does exactly that. Ripple lets you make private recordings of children’s picture books on your own computer and then send those recordings electronically to the special kids in your life. Children can keep the recordings for a lifetime and listen to them over and over again. This is an awesome idea for grandparents, deployed parents, parents who travel a lot on business, out-of-town aunts and uncles, godparents, or anyone who wants a special and unique gift for a child in their life.
Other uses for Ripple include:
- Pre-recording stories to entertain kids on a long trip. (Just take a laptop along!)
- Preserving the voice of a loved one who is terminally ill.
- Enhancing read-aloud time by providing an additional way for kids to be read to.
- Supplementing literacy instruction by educators.
- Giving an eco-friendly gift!
I recorded two children’s books on Ripple, and it was very easy to do. I quickly downloaded their software without any problem and located a microphone in the house. (Some computers have one built in.) Then I selected a book from their online library and followed their simple instructions to record it. I loved that the recording stops after each page so that if you mess up, you can re-record that page before moving on. I also loved the wide selection of books available. I have twin six-year-old boys, so I opted for two books that would appeal to them: Can I Bring My Pterodactyl to School, Ms. Johnson? and Dezzer the Gasser. Their books are categorized by age and category (such as Humor, Folktales, Poetry and Rhyming Stories, Sports, Award Winners, Inspiration, and much more). It’s especially nice if the child has the book in hand and can read along with the recording, but you can also see the pages of the book on-screen as the child listens to it.
But the big test, of course, was whether my kids liked the Ripple Reader. I’m happy to report that they loved it! They were fascinated by both stories and were amazed to hear my voice coming from the computer. They sat on my lap while we listened, so we still had cuddle time, but this will also be a great way for them to listen to the stories again and again when they’re anxious to hear them but I’ve gotten a little tired of reading them! This service won’t replace our regular story time, but it’s a terrific companion to it, especially if I’m trying to fix dinner or get something done and want to entertain the kids with something special.
I encourage you to check out the Ripple Reader at www.ripplereader.com. Scroll through the books in the Ripple Library, download Ripple and record a sample story for free, or send a gift recording to a loved one. The more stories you want to record, the less the service costs. For instance, a single recording is $9.95, but if you purchase 24 recordings per year, it’s only $4.58 per recording! You can also purchase packs of 4 or 12 recordings. And if you purchase at least 4, you receive a free microphone for a limited time!
I’m pleased to be able to offer 5 free recordings on Ripple and a microphone to one reader of this blog. To enter, go to www.ripplereader.com, click on Browse Ripple Library, and leave a comment here with the title of two books that you’d be interested in recording. This first comment is mandatory to enter the giveaway.
You can earn optional, additional entries by:
- Following me (@ParentingAuthor) and Ripple Reader (@RippleReader) on Twitter and tweeting about this giveaway. You may do this twice a day. Leave a separate comment with the URL of each tweet. (It’s easy to tweet this giveaway by using the Bookmark button at the bottom of this post.)
- Following Susan Heim on Parenting through Google Friend Connect. Click on the “Follow” button on the left sidebar. Leave a comment.
- Putting a button for Susan Heim on Parenting on your blog (the code is in the upper right-hand column of this site) and/or a text link on your blog roll. Post a comment with your blog’s URL.
- Posting this giveaway on your blog with a link to this page. Leave a comment with a direct link to the post. (3 entries; leave a separate comment for each)
- Listing Susan Heim on Parenting as one of your Favorites on Technorati. (See “Add this Blog to My Technorati Favorites” banner on the left sidebar.) Leave a comment with your Technorati user name.
- Subscribing to Susan Heim on Parenting via email, RSS and/or Kindle (see sign-up options on left sidebar). Leave a comment for each subscription method.
One winner will be randomly selected from the qualified comments received by Sunday, January 17, 2010, at midnight ET. Please leave an email address on one of your comments if it’s not available on your Blogger profile. Winner must respond within 72 hours or another winner will be drawn. U.S. addresses only.
CONTEST CLOSED. Congratulations to the winner, nightowl!
DISCLOSURE: I received gift codes to record two complimentary books on Ripple so I could try out their service. No other compensation was provided.