The reality of books in daycare is that they get beat up rather quickly when you give the children the chance to actually read them and experience them with their whole body, as we know kids need to do! The books are read and ripped, looked at and tasted (seriously…), stepped on, and more, in the process. It is unfortunate but it means they are well-loved!

So how do we work on this with the kids?

Modelling. ALL THE TIME. Showing them how we, as adults, use books respectfully. We pick them up when they are on the floor. We put them back on the shelf when we are done. We do not step on them if they are on the floor. We repair them when they rip.

We, of course, regularly remind the kiddoes of this verbally, but we know they learn best by seeing us practice what we preach. And sometimes, when we least expect it, we get to see them using the skills they’ve seen us model!

I was organizing the classroom a couple of weeks ago, I found a book on the shelf that had been repaired; very obviously by a child.

Page with tomatoes repaired by children with tape.

Can you imagine the effort it would have taken a four- or five-year-old to complete this task? Especially with clear packing tape which is so hard for them to use – they have to find the edges to peel it from the roll and keep it from crumpling beyond use, all while using their beginner-level scissor skills to cut it to size! You can see from the photos – it must have been tough!

It absolutely warmed my heart to see that at least one child took it upon themselves to work this hard.

I love the results, hair and all.

And as much as the perfectionist in me wants to remove some of the bunched up tape and re-do it, I won’t. I will be returning it to the shelf as is. The effort and responsibility this took deserves to be seen and encouraged!