Iris and Edith’s grandad, Steve, is a retired head teacher and lives 200 miles from them on the south coast of England. He visits with Grandma as often as he can and one of his favourite pastimes when together with his grandchildren is reading stories. Enjoying a book together is a highlight of any visit, and there’s rarely enough time to enjoy as many stories together as they would like.
When grandad Steve isn’t with the girls, they catch-up often on Facetime, but it’s often rushed calls between dinner time or bathtime, and relies on the girls being in the right mood. Steve got to know about Aroundsound after being shared some messages and recordings of the girls from their mum, Rachel. He enjoyed listening and wondered whether his grandaughters would like to hear some grandad stories recorded and shared this way. It could be the next best thing to sitting on grandad’s lap with a book!
Steve dug out one of the children’s story books he had put aside for visits, recorded himself reading a story on Aroundsound and sent it to Rachel to play to the girls to see what they thought. It was an instant hit, the girls loved hearing grandad’s voice reading to them even when he wasn’t there, and wanted more!
Steve now has a new routine. He regularly reads and records stories for Iris and Edith, who love hearing new stories coming in. Steve keeps his eye out in local charity shops looking for new books to read and share, and he even borrows favourite books from the girls while visiting to record and post back up. This means the girls get to listen to grandad reading their favourite stories as well as new stories they haven’t heard before.
He has now been recording books on Aroundsound for 9 months and there are now 75 stories saved for the girls. With Aroundsound collections, he has put the stories into collections to make them easy to find. Rachel even gets a new notification when a new story is added to a collection, so the girls can listen as soon as a new story arrives. Although a new story in a collection is exciting, there are some stories that are played over and over again, Flip Flop’s secret is a favourite that has been played out more than 20 times!
Steve finds the best time for him to record the stories are first thing in the morning when it’s quiet and he now finds it the perfect start to the day to sit down with a coffee and take 20 minutes to record a story for Iris and Edith. He doesn’t mind that they aren’t perfectly produced; if he makes a mistake he will make a funny comment as he would if they were all together, and continues recording the story, he even records a special message at the start and the end of the story which the girls adore.
The girls listen to grandad’s stories at lots of different times during the day: when having breakfast, the car journey back from school, but their favourite time to listen to grandad is after mum and dad have finished reading their stories and its lights off time. Now instead of this being a time for tears, as story time has ended, they now drift off listening to grandad’s voice, even asking for specific stories to fall asleep to. Rachel either stays with them with the lights off and they all lie and listen to the story, or she pops the phone on flight mode and lets the stories play for 15 – 20 minutes until the girls have fallen asleep. They have even created a special collection of stories to nod off to.
Steve loves knowing that most nights the girls fall asleep listening to his voice reading their favourite stories, something he wouldn’t have thought possible living over 200 miles away. The girls also have this special connection with their grandad, and have a collection stories in his voice to enjoy for years and share with their own children in time to come.
We think Grandad Steve’s collection is so special that we asked him to record some of the books available publicly for you to enjoy as well! Find Grandad Steve’s bedtime story collection here…
It’s really easy to get started recording you own story collection. Just download Aroundsound here for iPhone or download Aroundsound here for Android, find a quiet spot and a favourite book and hit the big red record button. You can rename and trim when you’re done and create your own collections, adding any of your recordings, then share easily with loved ones. The don’t need to have the app to listen, but if they do they can comment on collections and be notified any time you add a new story!