Information for Educators, Librarians, and Parents:
1. Indestructibles Are Developed for Babies: Many books are developed for older children, then printed on cardboard so they may be marketed for babies as well. Indestructibles are specifically developed with the baby in mind.
2. Babies Are Often Overlooked When It Comes to Reading: Educators, literacy experts, and child-development professionals emphasize the importance of reading to babies, but there is little on the market that is truly baby-friendly.
3. Indestructibles Encourage Dialogic Reading: Babies whose mothers talk to them often develop much higher vocabularies than babies whose mothers have a low level of speech. Indestructibles were purposely created with no words or very few simple words in order to encourage natural conversation between parent and baby.
4. Indestructibles Grow with Baby: Because they have no words or very few words, Indestructibles have something to offer infants from birth to toddlerhood. What parents say about each page can change as the child grows and develops, and pages can be turned quickly or slowly depending on a baby’s interest at the time. There is no right or wrong way to read an Indestructible.
5. Indestructibles Are Tear-Resistant: It is a developmental milestone when babies begin to grasp and hold on to objects. At this point, many parents shelve favorite books for later so they don’t get ripped and torn. Indestructibles can stand up to the most “enthusiastic” infant.
6. For Babies, “Reading” Often Looks Like “Chewing”: Indestructibles are created from a waterproof, tear-resistant, paperlike material that lets babies “read” as much as they want. The book stays intact and there is no worry about ripped pages or choking hazards.
7. Indestructibles Encourage Babies to Talk and Tell Stories Long Before They Can Read: As an infant grows and develops, important cognitive skills are acquired as babies start to recognize the pictures in the Indestructible and begin naming them, then learn to create their own stories and tell what is happening in the pictures.
8. With Indestructibles, Reading Can Happen Anywhere and Everywhere. Because the books are lightweight and can be wiped down or washed, they can go wherever a baby does, tucked into a diaper bag or brought along in the car, carried in a stroller, taken to the pool, or enjoyed with a messy meal. With exposure, reading becomes a comfortable everyday habit, not just something reserved for quiet time or bedtime!
Early Literacy and Indestructibles
Early literacy is what children know about reading and writing before they can actually read and write. According to research, there are six pre-reading skills that children must learn in order to learn to read:
1. Tell Stories About Everything: Because Indestructibles have few or no words, babies and children can learn to talk about the pictures and tell stories without the limitation of words they are unable to read, gaining important narrative skills.
2. Play With Sounds: Indestructibles encourage natural conversation with babies (dialogic reading), so babies hear the natural flow of their mothers’ speech and begin to hear smaller sounds in words, developing phonological awareness.
3. Talk, Talk, Talk: Because they have few or no words, Indestructibles allow for parents to use words from their normal vocabulary to describe the pictures. Young babies will listen longer and hear more words when parents speak in “parentese” rather than more formal language.
4. Notice Printed Words All Around You: Indestructibles allow babies and young children to begin to understand that printed words have meaning, from the title to the simple words inside.
5. Look At Pictures: Before a child is ready to recognize letters, he can recognize differences in pictures. What is bigger or smaller in the picture? How can two pictures of the same object look different? Looking at the bright illustrations in Indestructibles builds skills on the path to letter knowledge.
6. Have Fun With Books: Because Indestructibles can be handled by babies, they can actually learn how to turn pages themselves, hold a book from an early age, and learn that books and reading are enjoyable.
Based on Johnson County Library 6 x 6: Ready to Read early literacy program.