What’s the best way to connect with your child, grandchild or other close child family member? Reading them a story, of course.

Reading to children of all ages boosts language skills, embraces bonds, and teaches valuable life lessons. However, with our military being deployed, and families being separated by cities and multiple states, it can be tough to get a chance to cuddle up with that lovely little one and read a story together. After all, if you are overseas and your child is in Pittsburgh, how can you share a story together?

With the start of a wonderful company, Be There Bedtime Stories, it is now possible for people everywhere to share a bedtime story.

Be There Bedtime Stories is an online service where you purchase a book and record yourself  reading it. When you are finished recording it, you send it on to a lucky recipient. Not only will that child get a great bedtime story, they will get to hear it from a cherished family member who they don’t see everyday.

The creator, Allison Sansone, came up with the idea when she found herself across the country from her nieces who were growing up quickly.  She decided to find a way to read a story using a video camera and allowing her nieces to hear bedtime stories from her on the computer. Now her family could continue to bond, despite being miles apart.

Allison Sansone’s single idea is now a large presence on the internet with over several hundred books to choose from. All you need is a book choice, a webcam, and someone special to send the story to and you are on your way to creating happy moments with that special child (or children) in your life.

Creating a video is easy.

  • First go to BeThereBedtimeStories.com and create an account.
  • Go to My Account and then My Kids Info. There you can create a kid contact using an e-mail address where you will send the video to.
  • Next, click the Bookstore Tab and choose the perfect book for the child you have in mind.
  • Click on Try it Free. The Website will check to see if you have a web cam hooked up and will ask if you allow access to the webcam.
  • Once you select ALLOW, you will be taken to the book. You should see yourself in the top square above the pages of the book. When you are ready, click record and start reading. If you mess up, don’t worry. You can re-record until you get it right.
  • Once you are satisfied with the recording, click on Finish and then Send My Bedtime Story.
  • From there, you will be taken to a page to select the child you are sending the book to.
  • Click next and check out. Now your story is on its way to that special someone in your life.

Some authors, including yours truly, have a demo you can see before you purchase a book. Check your favorite author websites and facebook pages for exclusive links to some free previews.  Here’s my link to Teresa’s Shadow to start you off.

With the holidays coming up, Be There Bedtime Stories is planning some Buy One Get One offers. Who couldn’t use a good deal this time of year? They also will be doing a Military Family Donation Drive where you can buy a book for military families.

So, go ahead. Have some fun and try it out. Be there for that bedtime story.

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Copyright 2012 Jennifer Gladen