As I have been transferring old VHS videos and cassettes to digital, I came across a listening tape that I created for my son, Josiah. He was maybe two or three years old and I wanted to create an activity for him that would provide some interaction and free up my time for fifteen minutes.

The recording was made of the two of us talking together. I asked him questions and if he knew the answer I would praise him. If he didn’t know the answer, then I would explain the answer and have him repeat it after me. As he learned new information, I praised him for his good work. I also used prompts for us to say things together.

The types of questions were:

  • What is your name?
  • Let’s spell your name.
  • When is your birthday?
  • What is your address?
  • What is your phone number?
  • Is there a number for emergencies?
  • What is grandma’s phone number?
  • Let’s count to 10.
  • Let’s say a Bible verse.
  • Let’s sing our ABCs.

The list can go for as long as you want on just about any topic. In fact, you may want a couple of different audio files that cover things that you would like your child to learn and remember. The beauty is that you won’t have to repeat yourself over and over. The “tape” will do it for you!

Cassette tapes are pretty much ancient relics nowadays, so find whatever recording device you may have – computer input mic, cell phone, etc. – and make the recording readily available on a playback device for your child.

An important note: do not coach your child too much before pressing the record button. And if your child deviates from “the program” you had in mind, gently redirect him back. It’s important to capture whatever naturally happens during the recording. In a dozen years or so, it will be an absolute treat to hear your kid chatter on about whatever was in their heart and mind at that time.

I would love your feedback on this topic. Please share below.


Image by Naser Mohammadi from Pixabay