Parenting pet peeve: why are things made for children often so ugly? It's a dynamic that's changing, but it baffles me how it ever got started in the first place. It's like the words, "Ages 3 and under" are code for "don't stress about the pretty".
Not so these beautiful flashcards from You Are So Awesome. The instant I saw them--which was on Kickstarter, about the time the Kid was just really learning to talk--I bookmarked them for later. And I was tickled earlier this year when Marie-Claire, the mama behind them, agreed to send along some samples for the Kid and I to try out.
We got the alphabet deck, the colors and shapes deck, and the wallet. I thought the Kid would be most interested in the wallet--he loves to "pay" for my coffee each morning--but actually the alphabet deck has been the hands-down winner. We've started a game where he tells me what each one is a picture of when we're stopped at red lights in the car. Like his mama, the Kid loves to look at the gorgeous art work on each of the cards.
Another thing the mama appreciates is how durable these cards are. The technical specs from the You Are So Awesome site say they're made from,
"a heavy-weight synthetic paper, same thickness of a standards credit card, more flexible. Non-toxic, BPA-free, FDA-approved plastic, safe for food contact. Ink and coatings are nontoxic."
All I know is that they've stood up to my purse. I've been carrying them around and handing them to the Kid at opportune moments for over a month now; they still look like they did the day I pulled them out of the shipping envelope. The sturdy white ring keeps them all together--it's as if Marie-Claire is raising boys or something. (I kid--her first product testers were her own twins.)
While the Kid is well past the chewing stage, I do believe they'll stand up well to the Baby in due course, as well. We don't encourage eating our learning materials, but it's good to know that if she does pop the corner of a card in her mouth it won't a) disintegrate into cardboard mush or b) expose her to nasty chemicals.
If you'd like to check out a deck of your own flashcards, You Are So Awesome is offering an awesome discount to MBE readers. (See what I did there?) Just enter the code "MYBITOFEARTH" at checkout to get 35% off any individual deck. Don't dilly-dally though, the code is only good for one week!
[You Are So Awesome is a My Bit of Earth sponsor, but my thoughts are all mine, as always.]