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.
Quick Easy Kids Coloring Tray: An Unexpected Birthday Gift
My little toddler absolutely loves to color, but at 18 months the whole concept of keeping markers and crayons on the table is about at foreign as E.T. Needless to say coloring is not my favorite activity and it doesn’t help that my living room floor is noticeable slanted making this a challenging feat for adults. A few days ago was my husband’s birthday and there were still a couple of shirt boxes sitting around our living room when my little munchkin asked to color. It suddenly dawned on me to tear open one of the sides of a shirt box and use it as a 3 sided tray. “Dump!” My son’s favorite word at the moment sounded and the markers and crayons came pouring out… into the tray. It was a beautiful sight. I almost shed a tear as the markers rolled to the edge of the “tray” and stopped. Ok, now I am just being melodramatic, but still, it made me one happy Momma, and as an extra bonus it greatly reduced the number of time I had to remind him to color on the paper, not the table. Now to invent some type of child surrounding funnel system so every time drops a crayon on the floor because he is done with it, it will just roll right back into the tray. Hmmm…
You sit attentively in a small chair, pencil poised in hand. The paper, angled properly on the desk in front of you as you have been instructed, is the kind with dots down the middle of each line to show you how tall your “i” should be. And be sure your “t” only goes 2/3 of the way up. Why is there no dotted line to show me how tall to make my “t”? It’s the paper with the big, open space at the top so you can be creative and draw a picture to go with your words. The strange adult at the front of the room now gives you the assignment. It’s a simple one. “Draw a picture of what you want to be when you grow up and write a few sentences about why.” If your pencil remains thoughtfully poised in the air as you watch the papers around you fill with careers, the compassionate lady at the front will suggest a wonderful list of things you can be… a firefighter, a doctor, a teacher, an artist. Reach for the stars and be an astronaut. Can I be honest when I grow up? Can I be a peace maker? Can I be human? Silly girl, your letters are all the wrong size.
Many people wake up, stumble out of bed with their eyes barely open and reach straight for that coffee cup. If you don’t believe me just take a look at how many programmable coffee makers there are. “Make the coffee!? I don’t do anything before my coffee… anything! In fact, the day they make an alarm with a coffee IV you can count me in.” We all have our drug of choice. I am not judging yours. But for those us that have never managed to acquire a taste for that bitter stuff, we have to find other ways to get that morning pick-me-up. Welcome to my morning coffee.