I love those children’s books with movable parts. You know, the kind that have tabs to pull to make the bird’s mouths chirp or the warthog’s head shake. But for young children those fun moving parts just scream, “touch me!” and they do, with those less than gentle hands. They turn your sweet, curious, little angel into the kind of monster that rips the heads off birds and the legs off kangaroos.
I bought one of these books, “Alphabet” by Matthew Van Fleet, knowing books like this tend to get destroyed, I believed I could keep my son from destroying it until he learned how to handle it. I now believe the cuteness of the book may have caused me to momentarily take leave of my senses. My son loved it. There was so much to look at and touch, but I hated it because it felt like all I ended up doing was reprimanding my son. After a while it found a new home hiding under a pile of papers awaiting yet another repair.
Then one day, while my son was napping I was doing some cleaning, and I came across the book. I couldn’t stand the idea of fixing it again just to see those poor little birds once again left trying to eat their breakfast worms with no head. I decided to fix the problem. I pulled out some plastic sheet protectors, a pair of scissors and some clear packing tape, and went to work.
I went to the offending pages, cut a piece of the sheet protector big enough to cover all the moving parts and taped it down on all sides. Sadly I was not able to save the clam and his shell is forever gontoie. In the end, my son was a bit disappointed at not being about to pull the pieces off anymore, but I was quite happy with the result. You can still break these moving parts if someone puts too much pressure on them while you try to make them move, but otherwise it was a great solution. Definitely something I will do to the next moving parts book before my son even lays eyes on it.