Kids get all kinds of gifts. Have you ever noticed how sometimes they will play with the box more than the toy that came inside? Toys can be fun, but they aren’t very meaningful.
A personalized book won’t be like that at all. Watch the video to see a few of Grace’s adorable reactions to her new ABC Book that has pictures of herself, her dad, her mom, and her cousins! She is learning to love reading and learning letters and sounds that will help her become a better reader.
You can order your own personalized book at Etsy or Amazon or make your own books with our Apple or Android app.
Give a meaningful, treasured gift that kids and parents will both love!
I’ve been reading to Grace since she was a newborn. First it was really easy to read to her. Then, as she got a little bit older, reading became more of a struggle. Sometimes we’d just flip the pages back and forth as fast as Grace could, or I’d end up pulling the books out of her mouth. But, as we’ve continued to read, Grace has really learned to love reading. My little wiggly baby has spent more and more time relaxed against me, listening to stories.
We already have one Read With Me Kids book that I wrote about her birth. I can’t count the number of times we’ve read it. I wish I could let you experience the magic of watching her smile or even squeal with joy at the pictures of us in it. We love it so much, we knew we wanted to give her another Read With Me Kids book as a part of her first birthday.
My husband, Grant, and I threw around ideas for books we could write and eventually decided on one about our family history. I’m going to be honest, it did take some work to put this book together. Grant, and I wrote the words to the book, and then most of the work involved collecting and organizing the images. This meant texting our parents, looking through boxes and random computer files, etc. It wasn’t really an instant gratification kind of experience. But, that’s what I love about Read With Me Kids — the app lets me personalize the books as much as I want to!
As a side note, Grace loves the books that we’ve written ourselves, but she also loves the books that we’ve made with the templates (for example, she really loves reading “Daddy Investigates Strawberries” which literally took seconds to make).
Once I had collected some images, I decided I wanted to use my art degree and create a simple digital illustration of a tree. I popped pictures of our family into the “family tree” and then made a series of cropped images to highlight different family members. I threw those little tree illustrations into a google photo folder along with a bunch of other photos I had collected and then got to work. From then on it was just accessing those images in the app directly from google photos (so grateful that you can do it like that!) and organizing them. Writing the story, collecting the images, and making the illustration were the hard part; the app was the easy part.
It was so satisfying to see Grace’s grandparents flipping through the book after she opened it on her birthday. They got to see the end result and maybe feel like they were a part of making it too. I took quite a bit of time making sure the book was just how I wanted it, and the end result is priceless. I love that she will grow up knowing a little bit about her grandparents and great grandparents.
On the night of her first birthday I took her in the rocking chair and read her the book about her birth and held her close (I’m definitely one of those “cry when your baby turns one” kind of moms). The next day I held her again and read her “Our Family Tree.” Today she made sure she said, “Hi” repeatedly, to the people in the book as we read it before bedtime.
Making a custom book was well worth the effort!
Rachel is a proud momma and has a BA in Art Education
Children with Autism often struggle with everyday social situations and have difficulty understanding the nuances of interpersonal communication. As an Autism Support Worker, I often used what are called “Social Stories” to help illustrate and explain these situations. These stories are written with simple language from the child’s perspective to help them conceptualize and prepare for specific events.
Recently I used a great application from ReadWithMeKids.com that allowed me to create a clear and concise social story about Christmas right on my phone. I was able to easily add text and images – the entire process took about 10 minutes!
Keep in mind that social stories are not limited to use with Autistic children – even typically developed children can benefit from these easy to understand stories. Trouble with potty training? Bed time? Eating healthy foods? You can write a social story for that.
Writing a social story is not difficult and requires only a little creativity. Think of the concept you want to explain to your child, simplify the language (being repetitive if possible) and add some clipart. Voila! You made a social story!
For example, the Christmas social story I recently wrote using ReadWithMeKids.com simplifies the process of Christmas: decorations, Christmas tree, presents, etc. For an Autistic child, who may thrive on order and struggle with flexibility, Christmas can be a chaotic time of year. Having that story to read will help to give them expectations so that the change in décor and schedule is not as frightening and shocking.
Having the ability to print these stories makes them extremely interesting and novel – the exact thing you may need to catch your child’s attention!
Chelsy Theriault is a writer, single mother, and Autism Support worker from Saint John, NB, Canada. She has a B.A. in Psychology and is certified in Autism Intervention Training.
My eldest is already an avid reader of chapter books, top of her class in second grade. But my youngest, just four years old, is just now learning to write and recognize letters in preschool. Seoul loves when we read to her, and she loves flipping through books, but I wanted to do something more to help her get into reading even more so she can excel at it like her big sister.
When I found the Read With Me Kids App, I knew I’d stumbled upon something great. It allows you to create personalized stories with your child’s name and photos in it. I’d seen other sites that personalized books for your kids, but only on a superficial level, like in the name or where you live. Read With Me Kids was definitely a major step up.
I wanted to see what Seoul would think so I had her come sit with me and asked her if she wanted to make a book about her that we could read together. She was so excited! She loves animals so we created one that included all her favorites like birds and giraffes and all the animals at the zoo. She loved being a part of the creative process. I think kids this age just love getting to make decisions and by making this book, it gave her the chance to make something that was hers and hers alone. We called it “Seoul Goes to the Zoo.”
All I had to do was download the free app and follow the prompts. It was really easy. Once you finish personalizing it and uploading photos of your kid, you can get your PDF pretty much instantly.
Seoul loved her book so much she kept wanting me to read it with her all the time. I love reading it with her. She’s learning to recognize the words on each page too because you can highlight them.
When she has quiet time, she starts flipping through other books. That’s what prompted me to start exploring how to make a printed book. With the app, you’re also able to share the books you create so I sent it to my parents. My mom said she wanted to make Seoul one for Christmas too. The app says it takes about two weeks for a printed book, making it a good time to get going on creating books for Christmas.
I love that I can keep creating books together with Seoul. We can make them exactly how we want them and add more pages if we wish. Read With Me Kids is a brilliant idea that gives you more than some cookie-cutter experience. I’m excited to see what my mom creates for her that she’ll unwrap under the Christmas tree.
There are so many options and it’s so easy to use. Reading to your kids is so important for their success in life. If you have little ones that are learning to read and you want to get them a unique gift, Read With Me Kids does it all in one.
Jennifer Raskin is a mother, a lover of reading and writing, and a published author.