Grandad Steve’s Bedtime Story Collection

Story time is often one that is most enjoyed by young and old. For our co-founder’s children Rachel, there is nothing more precious that hearing the voice of their grandad and while he lives far way, the distance has been easily overcome with audio recording.

Overcoming distance

Iris and Edith’s grandad Steve is a retired head teacher who lives 200 miles away on the south coast of England. He visits with Grandma as often as he can. 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.

Bedtime stories for kids
Grandad Steve with his two grandchildren reading bedtime stories

After Rachel had shared some messages and recordings of her daughters through Aroundsound, Steve wondered if this could be a way to overcome the reliance on the his grandaughter’s temperament (Facetime during evenings can be tricky) and distance. He enjoyed listening to the sound of his grandaughter’s voices and wondered in turn whether they would like to hear grandad stories recorded and shared this way too.  It could be the next best thing to sitting on grandad’s lap with a book!

A Collection is born

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! They loved hearing grandad’s voice reading to them even when he wasn’t there. Naturally, they wanted more and so the Collection of bedtime stories with grandad Steve was born.

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.

Books for children to read
Books for children to read

Nothing is perfect

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 puts the phone to 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 of stories in his voice to enjoy for years and share with their own children in time to come.

Grandad holding his grandaughter
Grandad Evatt with one of his youngest grandaughters

Overcoming distance with families need not be difficult. Audio recording is an especially good way to also bridge different time zones. It’s really easy to get started recording your own stories. Just download Aroundsound for iPhone or Android and hit the big red record button. When you’re done, share with friends and family. They don’t need to have the app to listen.

Published by Rachel Evatt

Rachel is the co-founder of Aroundsound, an app for recording and sharing sound, and is the joint owner of Sunart Fields in Derbyshire, an ecological restoration project.

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