Before my 3-year-old son, Henry, clambers into bed most nights, we almost always read a story (or two, or maybe three, depending on how determined he is to stay up). If I had a quarter for every time he’s asked me to reread his favorite book about tractors and diggers, well, I could probably retire comfortably.
But what if I’m not home at bedtime … and Henry still wants to hear a story from Daddy?
A new website, A Story Before Bed, offers a solution. The concept is simple: Parents (or other caregivers) with webcam-equipped computers can select from one of 50 or so books on the site and read it (the book appears onscreen). That reading is recorded to an account on the site, to be played back at any time. During that playback, children see the pages of the book being turned (onscreen) with a window showing the video of Dad or Mom (or perhaps Grandpa or Grandma) reading the story to them. Cost per book: $6.99.
We sometimes talk about how modern media and entertainment technology have eroded interest in simple pleasures, like reading a book. This concept, I think, creatively harnesses technology to make the tradition of story time before bed possible, even when Dad or Mom can’t be there.
While it might not be quite the same as the “real thing,” astorybeforebed.comenables parents who travel, distant grandparents and military personnel stationed overseas a way to connect with their kids or grandkids that they might not have had otherwise.