Toddler Tips #14: Board Book Rehab

With each passing day, I find myself trying to solve some new challenge with raising four toddlers, aka “quaddlers”. They are a cunning lot who inspires a little ingenuity on my part (and George’s) just to manage day to day life. While my ideas are born from being surrounded by four toddlers, I think many of them could be helpful to any parents of little ones so I'm sharing.

With each passing day, I find myself trying to solve some new challenge with raising four toddlers, aka “quaddlers”. They are a cunning lot who inspires a little ingenuity on my part (and George’s) just to manage day-to-day life. While my ideas are born from being surrounded by four toddlers, I think many of them could be helpful to any parents of little ones so I’m sharing.

Because I want the quads to develop a love of reading, I leave book baskets within their reach within in every room where they congregate.  I even keep a basket of them in the kitchen so they can peruse them before and after meals.  Our “basket books” are primarily ones I picked up at garage sales and Half Price Books, or were handed down.  We have our special books located on high bookshelves and we take them down only when an adult can sit and read them, most often at bedtime.

When we finish a meal, I’ll often hear Rylin’s raspy voice whisper, “book” as she signs “please”.  They will sometimes sit for up to 30 minutes flipping through pages of books, examining the pictures, and sometimes even asking us to label things.  It warms my heart to see this.

Photographer, Christina Childress, captured this group shot during their one year photo session.

Photographer, Christina Childress, captured this group shot during their one year photo session.  This is one of my favorite photos of the quads.

5-IMG_7745

6-IMG_7758

However, sometimes I’m convinced that our children are part Billy Goat.  They love gnawing the edges of books almost as much as they enjoy looking at them.  It doesn’t matter how closely we supervise them or how often we redirect this behavior, they are toddlers and they simply chew voraciously.  At first it wasn’t really a problem aside from making books a little less attractive.  After a while, their books were so tattered they’d chomp of bits of them, posing a choking hazard among other things.  The first few times this happened, I chucked the worst books into the garbage.   Then, our collection of board books began to dwindle forcing me to look for replacements.   I didn’t want to spend money on more books I knew they’d find delectable so instead began a repair process.

Here are a few of the books with chewed spines.

Here are a few of the books with chewed spines.

To fix them, I gathered our collection of Duct tape and a pair of scissors.

To fix them, I gathered our collection of Duct tape and a pair of scissors.

Voila!  These books were put back into rotation.  Since the repair, they have chewed the edges a little bit, but they cannot get through the Duct tape and don't seem as interested in Duct tape as cardboard.

Voila! These books were put back into rotation. Since the repair, they have chewed the edges a little bit, but they cannot get through the Duct tape and don’t seem as interested in Duct tape as cardboard.

My desire to repair books began when they nearly finished off our copy of “Yummy Yucky”, which is a family favorite here.  What is your favorite children’s book?

Hugs!

Amber

11 thoughts on “Toddler Tips #14: Board Book Rehab

  1. Sean preferred to chew rather than listen to me read to him. Since he was reading to himself in no time, I guess it didn’t matter. I saved one of his favorite little hard books he chewed to bits and tucked it away in his baby keepsake box. It was hilarious watching his reaction when he saw it again as a teenager.

    Like

  2. I love that you are taking the time to repair the board books. I always had that intention (we had trouble with chewing books too), and they would sent on the counter unrepaired until someone finally threw them away! A friend of mine suggested saying this to our kids when they were chowing down on literature…”Oh no, we don’t chew books. They are a gift from God. Let’s say “thank you” to God for our books, not chew them!” Then we would sign “thank you”. That seemed to work! Might give it a shot 🙂 My favorite children’s book is Guess How Much I Love You! When we ask our kids how much we love them, they will say, “To the moon and back!”

    Like

    • Our books sit on the counter a while too, but with for choppers is be buying new ones constantly if I didn’t repair them.

      I will try that redirection for chewing, it’s worth a shot.

      Oh that is another of my favorite books! It’s so sweet.

      Like

  3. Yes sometimes I have to decommission books and send them to book hospital. But instead of duct tape I use clear packing tape, that way I can still see the title on the spine (assuming the spine is still in tact). I also use the clear packing tape to fix tears in other parts of the pages, or for other book injuries where you will still want to be able to see the text/pictures. Love packing tape!

    Thankfully we haven’t had that much book chewing though! I only (haha) have 2, back in the earlier times if they were interested in a book I would take it and read it to them… Now they go grab books and slam them into my face for me to read to them, basically CONSTANTLY. Actually, I love it, but after a while it’s also exhausting! I could read alllll day to them seriously! Sometimes I’m like hey guys don’t you want to play with blocks? I mean, wow, could be worse huh? haha I have their favorite books memorized, and one time in the car stuck in traffic I started reciting all their faves and it was kind of amazing how they got calm and listened to me “read” to them.

    Like

    • I love the idea of the spine showing, but I feel like our packing tape is too flimsy. Does it stick ok? What brand?

      Haha- I have a lot of books memorized, which is how I can read them well upside down preschool teacher style. I think mine prefer books to blocks too, which is fine by mean. Language and reading are the keys to cognitive development.

      Like

      • I think I just use the usual scotch packing tape? I layer it a bunch, and try to be strategic about placement, but I have half as many babies trying to rip apart the books so they are getting less wear. Although I may end up having to buy another very hungry caterpillar, because the page with the 1 Apple is too small to effectively tape and it is quickly separating into two pieces at the binding.

        Like

      • Haha, true! Four babies are twice as many babies, and sheesh they are HARD on books. When we have one that’s just a little worn, I’ll try packing tape to see how it works. I mean the duct tape holds, but they even chew on it. I just ordered the Very Hungry Caterpillar from Amazon. Classic book! It’ll be a bookshelf one in these parts.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s