Sparkup makes reading picture books fun and interactive. Choose a book, attach Sparkup, press the record button, and you’re ready to go. But Sparkup doesn’t only love picture books. Here are a few ideas for how to use Sparkup to take reading and storytelling to a whole new level.
1. Photo Albums
When was the last time you flipped through a real photo album? No, I’m not talking about the app on your smartphone. Wedding albums, baby albums, albums from Grandma’s house…even the album from that family vacation 20 years ago that ended with your mom signing her favorite rendition of “I Will Survive” in front of 500 hotel guests.
Dust off those old family photo albums and revive them with Sparkup. Attach Sparkup to the back cover of an album and narrate as you flip through the pages of photos. Grandma and her grandson can sit together as Grandma tells the story of her childhood in Europe through the photos she and her family collected over the years. You can point out who each and every person is in the pictures (“See, that’s your Dad when he actually had a full head of hair.”) and preserve special memories with personal voice recordings. Sparkup will correctly identify each page, even if you turn the pages out of order.
And let Sparkup inspire you to keep making new photo albums. Believe it or not, you can still print (ask your kids if they know what “developing film” means) and find plenty of beautiful photo albums at stores in your neighborhood.
2. Make Your Own Book
Show your kids that you don’t have to be a professional author to write and illustrate your very own book. Take a blank notebook, a set of markers and pens, a stack of old magazines, a glue stick and a pair of scissors (make sure to help your little one with the cutting) and get to work!
First, come up with a story together and write out the text, page by page. Let your child make up his own story about the neighbor’s dog that is really a superhero, write about a special day at school, or create a personalized version of a popular tale. This is a great exercise to help strengthen grammar and penmanship.
Next, help illustrate his literary masterpiece with crayons, markers or cutouts from magazines. Younger kids who can’t yet read can make a picture book without written text and narrate it themselves.
Finally, attach Sparkup to the back cover of the notebook and record together. You may just be holding the next Great American Novel in your hands…
3. A Storybook Play
This idea is great for the entire family. Choose your favorite picture book and delegate a character to each family member: Mom can be the queen, Dad the king, Uncle Harry the court jester, Jenny the princess, and little Dave the knight in shining armor. Personalize the characters names and places: “Don’t worry, Princess Jenny. Your honorable Dave will save you from the evil castle on Main Street!” You can even use props and dress up in costume.
Attach Sparkup to the book and record the story together, with each family member reading his character’s lines. I know it can get wild, but try to make sure to keep the book still on a flat surface while recording so Sparkup’s camera doesn’t get confused.
Close the book after you’ve finished reading, and you’ll have a special recording you and your family can cherish for years to come.
4. Special Messages
Sparkup can even turn a little piece of paper into a magical moment. This idea is inspired by Gil Hazaz, our VP of Business Development.
Gil lives in Israel with his three young daughters. He has to travel abroad for work, which means he can’t always be with his girls before bedtime. So Gil came up with a clever way to use Sparkup to tell his girls how much he loves them while overseas.
Before leaving that morning for his trip, after his eldest daughter Kim had already left for school, Gil took a piece of paper and drew a heart on it. He attached Sparkup to the piece of paper, recorded a special message, and then put the folded paper in Kim’s nightstand drawer.
That evening, when he called Kim from New York to wish her good night, he told her to open her drawer and attach Sparkup to what she found inside. Kim connected Sparkup to the piece of paper, turned it on, and heard her Dad’s voice: “I miss you very much, Kimmy, and can’t wait to see you when I’m back next week. Sweet dreams. I love you, Dad.”
No special message is too small for Sparkup!