Thursday, November 18, 2010

Question: Do you let them touch the flashcards/books?

I'm referring to babies or very young children below the age of 3 years old.

I have seen and heard of parents reading to their children but not allowing them to touch the books/flashcards for fear they might damage them. Yes, babies and toddlers are not exactly kind with their touch and yes the books and flashcards are very expensive. But I have given them a lot of freedom to touch all our books (including the "non board books") and flash cards in our home, since they were a baby. We have a box with books that they know it as the "book bin" where books and flashcards are available to them at any time, with or without supervision. Sometimes we have torn pages/cards and other times, we have wet pages/cards after some tasting session (but thank god the tasting sessions have stopped). I try to let them know the consequence of handling the books and cards too rough every time such accidents occur and I will tape the torn pages back together with them. Many times, they were as upset as me when the pages or cards tear.

They like to play with their flash cards and I don't quite understand why. They can just march and walk around with their flash cards when they were much younger. These days, they will run to us with a card and read the word to us. K likes to go through his action cards and do the actions to the words. I love to see that.

When they were 1 year old, the book bin contains mostly board books and only a few books that are more delicate. And now, at 21 months I can leave any books/cards there, regardless of the thickness of the paper. They are able to handle them well and I'm very pleased. The improved motor skills at 21 months contributed to this of course.

I'm glad I gave them this freedom to explore their books/cards. There were times when I'm so upset when they accidentally damage the books/cards. Come to think of it, they seldom damage the book/card when they were reading by themselves. The damaged book/card is usually the result of a fight. But children learn from experience. And seeing them taking a book from the book bin and flipping the pages or going through their cards by themselves just make me very happy. I hope they will grow up to love books and love to read.

Whats's your experience with giving your baby and young children the freedom to access the cards and books in your home freely?

K, reading his book by himself at 14 months

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