To be honest, I can't believe I've never thought of this, but what a great idea for an affordable, customizable gift for a new baby or child of any age!
We've been enjoying a lot podcasts at the moment and I've actively searching for free (or at least affordable downloads) that can be engaging for the family and I thought I'd share my latest finds.
One of the best finds I've found so far is:
- Librivox - a huge collection of free audiobooks. They are all public domain books recorded by volunteers. Because it's done my volunteers it can be a little hit or miss as to the particular talent of the reader. But, there are some very talented readers who've shared their time with this project and I've been very happy with this find - I highly recommend Ms. Elizabeth Klett. I'm in love with her version of "Persuasion" and currently working through her version of "Jane Eyre". They offer many of their audiobooks in "Podcast" form and can be downloaded via Itunes or a similar platform.
- The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd - In their own words "The Radio Adventures Of Dr. Floyd is a weekly, 5 minute, family friendly show that combines the fast paced, episodic hilarity of Rocky & Bullwinkle and the imagination inducing power of “old time” radio. It’s Stan Freberg, Jay Ward, Mystery Science Theater 3000, Prarie Home Companion, and Sesame Street all rolled into one" Dr. Floyd are the adventures of an evil villain and a bumbling hero who thwarts his nemesis' attempts to steal certain artifacts from history. Educational and Entertaining!
- Storynory - Storynory is a collection of stories for children ranging from classic fairytales to classic literature and everything in between read by professional actors! They are currently publishing their version of "The Secret Garden", but also have a finished version "Wizard of Oz" as well as original stories, Aesop, World Fairytales and so much more!
- Barefoot Books - Barefoot Books gives a weekly story thru their podcast of one of their titles. Similar to Storynory they offer original works as well as well known and global fairy-tales.
- One other podcast I've downloading but haven't played yet (past a few little snippets) is a reading of "A Christmas Carol" distributed via podcast by BBC Learning. The episodes are only available for download for a limited time, so I'm not sure if you'll be able to get the early episodes - BUT "A Christmas Carol" is public domain so tracking down a free version shouldn't be too hard.
- I'm thrilled to see that there are more and more "children's" audiobooks being offered - not just chapter books but picture books, too. Many of the picture books can be downloaded for under a dollar and most for under $4 and would be perfect for a long car ride or to have on hand when mom or dad might be a little under the weather and you just can't take another episode of Thomas!
Any favorites out there that I'm missing?