Narrating Stories on Tape

One of the simple pleasures of being a grandparent is sharing stories both those found in books and the ones that have been passed down through the generations, with the grandchildren.

Grandparents who live near their grandchildren are usually afforded ample opportunities for storytelling, but what about those who live far away?

Distance grandparenting has its own unique challenges, but some creative grandparents have found ways to stay close to their grandchildren, even when many miles separate them.

Tape recorder
Image by kalhh from Pixabay

Read Me a Story, Grandma

Bedtime stories are favorites of children everywhere. A calming, familiar voice and a favourite tale of adventure combine to help little sleepyheads drift off to a peaceful sleep filled with dreams of castles, dragons and fairytale creatures.

For many grandparents, memories of tucking their own children into bed at night with a story and a prayer are some of their fondest, and they would love to be a part of their grandchildren’s bedtime routines, too.

One way for distant grandparents to be there at bedtime is to read storybooks onto tapes and then send those tapes to their grandchildren, allowing the kids to hear their grandparents’ voices whenever they wish.

Sometimes, it is nice to include the book along with the tape so that the children can follow along, turning the pages as Grandma or Grandpa read to them.

For young children, grandparents can even add commentary, much as they would if they were holding the child on their laps and reading the story together.

Helpful hints, such as a directive to turn the page, or interactive comments, like asking the child to find the kitten on the page as the story progresses, can make the storytelling feel more personal.

Additionally, using silly voices for some of the characters will help to bring the stories to life.

Sharing Personal Stories

In addition to reading books to children on tape, grandparents can share longstanding family stories with their grandchildren, as well as using tapes to have casual “chats” with the kids.

Children love to hear stories about when their parents were little children, particularly when those parents were naughty or did something especially silly. Including stories about the grandchildren is a good idea and helps the grandchildren feel connected to their grandparents.

Talking about how you felt the very first time that you held your grandchild or how proud you are of all the things that they can do are good ways to let the kids know just how much they mean to you.

When you can’t hug them in person, heartfelt talks can be the next best thing.

I’ll Tell You a Story, Grandma

As the children get to be preschool aged, they would probably enjoy returning the favor and sending tapes to their grandparents. Grandparents might make a special gift to a grandchild by sending them a tape recorder, a supply of tapes, padded envelopes and postage so that the children can make tapes for Grandma and Grandpa.

Children can then tell their grandparents stories about their adventures at school or with their family and friends so that their grandparents can continue to know the children as they grow and mature.

It would be the rare grandparents who wouldn’t be delighted to hear the little voices of their grandkids giggling and talking to them, and when it is on tape, Grandma and Grandpa can have a “virtual visit” with the kids any time that they are missing them.

5 thoughts on “Narrating Stories on Tape”

  1. We have 5 grandchildren between both of us. We have never been asked to attend one birthday for any of our grandkids. But the parents still except us to buy gifts. How other the other grandparents are asked. Even if she has been married 5 times.

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    • @Deb Do you see your grandchildren throughout the year? If you have a close relationship with them, then I suppose you can be expected to buy for them. If you don’t have a relationship with them, then you can’t be expected. It might be the kids want all kids at their party on their birthday, which is understandable. I like to have a mix of both family and children, but I guess people are different.

      Reply
  2. When I had boys on my own we would play farm yards with the animals and building I had bought also they loved me to read to them because I would do different voices to each character.

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  3. I met my 14 year old granddaughter for the first time since she was a 14 months old today. It was bittersweet. Purely by chance, she was walking across the road in front of our car.

    Recognising her from photos I’d seen, I approached her and her friend and told her I knew her mother when she was young. I asked her if she knew if her mum had a boyfriend before she met her ‘dad’ (step-dad) and she said ‘yes’, and named my son.

    I just said, ‘I’m his mother’. She threw her arms around me and started to cry. She was so excited to meet me, she called her mother to tell her nanna was here , and the mother came running towards me, screaming and shouting obscenities. Telling me I should not have approached her.

    For many years, I have written to her mother to beg her to let me see my grandchild but I have never had a reply. I’m devastated. Did I do wrong? I almost died of a massive stroke in 2015 and I want to have a relationship with her before it’s too late.

    Reply
    • @Min- I so feel for you, that’s heart-breaking. You know you can take the matter to court? As your granddaughter is aged 14, then she will have an opinion regarding whether she wants to see you or not which is sounds like your granddaughter definitely does. A least it must make you feel nice and reassured that your son’s ex hasn’t managed to her poison her against you.

      Apply to court. They thing is what have you got to lose? If you lose now, your GD can make up her own mind in four years, so at least you have that to look forward to and once she is 18 you can contact her freely and there is nothing the mum can do.

      Best of luck.

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