As we all know children cycle through toys quickly. I’m always on the lookout for gifts that my son will continue to treasure for a long time to come. I recently dug through the mound of toys in his playroom in an effort to move some out of the way and bring others to the forefront. He receives so many gifts between his birthday and Christmas that I often don’t know where to put them and have resorted to a toy rotation of sorts, where I box up a bunch and then bring them back into the playroom a few weeks later.
As I was reorganizing the toys I also did my best to corral his books into boxes. Along the bottom of the stack I found a recordable book my parents purchased for him on his first birthday. It’s a hallmark book that allows you to record your voice as you read the story. I specifically asked my parents to buy this for my son when he turned a year old.
Ever since he was born my son has loved to listen to stories. While other children tend to wiggle off of your lap after a few seconds or minutes my son can sit with a stack of books and read for an hour. I wasn’t sure how he would respond to a book that spoke to him, but from the minute he opened it he fell in love with it. He would find a comfy spot on the couch or floor and listen to the story two or three times before setting it aside.
He loved it so much that I bought four additional books on clearance after Christmas. In one of the books rather than recording the story I recorded my voice asking questions like “where is the dog” or “where is the train.” After he read through the book a few times I would record over the previous version asking him to point out new images.
Over time the books were lost under the stack, but when I dug them out a few weeks ago my son climbed up onto the couch and read them over and over again. He still loves the book my parents recorded the best. He listens to it every day and tells me who is speaking on each page. He can’t say “grandma” or “grandpa”, but he has nicknames for each and shouts them out as soon as he hears their voices.
This is one of those gifts that serves as two gifts in one. It is a gift for my son as much as it is a gift for my parents. My parents loved reading the story aloud to my son and my son loves hearing their voices.
It’s a great gift for connecting family. I recently bought one for a friend of mine whose parents live in Europe. His daughter can’t see her grandparents every day but she can hear their voices.
You can find the books at Hallmark, but I’ve saved a few dollars here and there by searching for cheaper versions on Amazon.