It's that time again when we need to be creative about what goes into that Easter Basket so that we don't put our kids on chocolate overload. Personally, I like to put inexpensive toys like crayons and books in their baskets, but recently I was asked by my grandson William if I could get him some coloring pages to color when he had to spend some extended time here. He just loves the movie "Cars" so we went out on the internet and looked for Cars coloring pages. We found a ton, so many in fact, that William and I decided to make a CD of just coloring pages, not only just for him but for his brothers and cousins. While we were out there, we found some of educational sites that had every thing from Coloring Pages to downloadable lined paper for practicing writing.
Making your own CDs is not that hard. You will need a CD burner; these come as internal units (inside your computer) or as external plug and play devices. You will also need blank CDs. I always buy multipurpose CDs so that I can store either Data or Music to them. First let's clarify what Data is; it is any file that you want to copy such as coloring pages or word documents or graphics. Music can be songs, of course, but it can also be Audio books or whole albums. The average CD can hold over 600 MB of Data or Music. That does not sound like a lot but I can guarantee that, with black and white coloring pages, you can burn almost a thousand pages to a CD. Most computers that have an internal burner also have a program installed on them to burn CDs. Windows Media Player is also a CD burner for music and will work to burn CDs even with an external CD burner. If you have invested in a second hand burner, you can get the drivers and usually a program to burn CDs from whatever company made your burner. These are generally free.
Now that you are all set up and ready to go, let's talk about sites that you can go to make a coloring page CD, and how to save the pictures to your hard drive. First you need to set up a folder in My Pictures so that you can save your files directly to this folder. This is very easy; open My Pictures and go to the left hand side of the screen and click on Make a new folder. Now in the center of your screen you will see a new folder with a small box underneath that will be highlighted and say "New Folder" but there will also be a cursor in the box. Name your folder by typing in something like Coloring Pages. Now click on your coloring pages folder and go to the left hand side of your screen and go to make a new folder and click on that and type in the little box, let's, for example, say Bob the Builder. Now let's go on the Internet. Here is a few links that will give you lots of categories of coloring pages to choose from.
Since we are using Bob the Builder as an example, go down the list of until you find Bob the Builder. Now click on that. A new page will come up with links to pages that have Bob the Builder coloring pages. Click on the first link. A new page will pop up with Coloring Pages. Click on the picture that you want, this should open up a larger size of the picture. Left click on the picture and go up to Save picture as and click. A box will appear that will show you where you are going to save your picture. Go down the list until you find My Pictures and click on it. Now you will see the folder that says Coloring Pages. Click on it and you will find the folder with the name Bob the Builder. Save your picture to this file by clicking save. At any time you can make another folder in My Pictures by opening My Pictures and repeating the process to make a new folder in the Coloring pages Folder. I recommend that you keep all pictures of one subject together, that way when we burn the CD it will be easy for the children to use. Now close out the bigger picture and it will take you back to the page with all of the smaller pictures. Pick your next picture and repeat the process. When you are done with Bob the Builder pick another subject and just repeat the process saving all the color pages to another folder.
If you want to make an educational CD for your kids or grandkids, William and I found two sites I would highly recommend for writing papers and tracers. Tracers are lined paper with letters or words printed on them for tracing. On the first site you will find printables on just about any subject you might want to help your children with. The second site has a lot of cute educational stuff featuring Hedgie the Hedgehog. These pages are just adorable. You can copy these printables from either site to your hard drive using your save as function on your computer. Just put them in a folder called educational.
While we are on the internet, here is a great site to go to if you would like to download some children's audio books. These are recordings made from the old 45 records we used to get with a book to follow along. Put on a CD, these make for a great entertainment for your kids on those long car trips or just when they need to have some quiet time. This site is easy to navigate. On the left is a list of all the titles that they have uploaded for the year. Click on the title you want and then the record you have chosen will appear the right hand frame. Click "Record One" and it will automatically start downloading the file to Your Downloads, which is located on your commuter in the My Documents file. Make sure that you also go back to the top and click on other years to see all of the files that were uploaded in those years. There are lots of Bunny Stories here that would be perfect for Easter.
Now let's make our coloring page CD. Put a blank CD in your CD Burner. A box should pop up that asks whether you want to open a CD Burner File click yes. Go to my Pictures and click once on the file marked Coloring Pages to highlight it. On the left hand side of your screen there will be an option called Copy to CD. Click on this and it will copy all of your files in your folder to the CD Burner File. Open that file and click on Burn CD. And that's all she wrote, folks! As soon as the burner is done, you can take your CD out and with a fine line sharpie pen, write coloring pages on the CD. If you have a specific program that needs to be used with your burner, follow the instructions that came with your program or open that program and read the help file. It should answer most of your questions.
Now on how to take those audio files and burn them to CD. For this, you will need a program called Windows Media Player. If you are not familiar with this program, you can get it for free off the Internet but most PCs come preloaded with this program. It has a burner program built right in. Go to the help file and read about burning CDs. It will give you complete instructions how to burn your Audio CD. If you have another program, just follow your instructions for your burner.
Editors Note: These instructions are for a computer running Windows 2000 or XP. If you have Microsoft Windows Vista, a Macintosh or another system, these directions may not work exactly but should point you in the right direction.
About The Author: Debra Frick is a mother of 5 and a grandmother to 7 grandsons. She is a published author and poetress. Born in California, she now lives in Colorado Springs with her husband and many pets. Her hobbies include crocheting, reading, arts and crafts and bargain hunting.
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