Friday, March 28, 2008

I spy with my little eye...

Ronan's Nonna gave him one of these Hide and Seek bags over a year ago, and it's suddenly vaulted into the "favorite car toy" category. It's a fleece pillow that's filled with soft pellets and about 40 little trinkets. You choose an item from the attached laminated list, and then manipulate the insides around until the chosen object appears in the "window."  

Unfortunately, it appears that this particular seller is out of business, but quite a few Etsy   stores have them in stock. Search "I spy bag" or "hide and seek bag".

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Familiar Voices

You may remember my earlier post about how my son loves to listen to stories on CD. Well, thanks to our relatives, who are both open to my zany suggestions and fairly technologically capable, we took it one step further. For Christmas this year, they purchased picture books, recorded themselves reading them, and then burned CDs. So now my son has a stack of new books, and he can pop in a CD and hear, for instance, Uncle Mike reading Traction Man Is Here (with Aunt Jamie on sound effects). Since we live across the country from our families, it's a nice way for him to feel connected. My older niece and nephew even did some reading for him!

A few longer books that I think work well are Flat Stanley, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, A Bad Case of Stripes, Eloise, How I Became a Pirate, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, Make Way for Ducklings, and Fairy Houses.

I've burned all the individual CDs into iTunes and made one master CD. Sometimes Ronan listens to the whole thing before bed, in the dark, without looking at the books.

With a Mac, it's pretty easy to use GarageBand to record (and put in little sound effects as the page-turning notification). Pretend like you're making a podcast. On a PC, download Audacity (which is free).

I'd love to hear suggestions for longer picture books that would work well, so if you have any in mind, please comment.