Best Book for Kids Who Can’t Sit Still: All Better!
Do you have a kid who just doesn’t seem interested in reading? My 18-month old daughter Zoe may look calm and sweet, but she cannot sit still to read a book. She wiggles in her seat like a bear scratching its bum on a tree, and I can barely get through one page before SLAM! She closes the book on my fingers and reaches for another one. God knows how many different books I have tried, but no matter how funny I make my voice, or how excited I sound at every page (seriously, I made The Hare and the Tortoise sound like a NASCAR race), she just did not seem interested. I was just about to give up on this whole reading thing…until I found All Better!
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All Better!, or what is better known as the “boo-boo book,” is what I consider pure genius. Published by Kane Miller, it has 5 reusable and repositionable bandage stickers that kids can use to help patch up each animal’s boo-boos. On each page, an animal somehow gets hurt, and if you clean it, kiss it, and put a bandage on it, the animal is “all better!” The brilliance of this book comes from the fact that kids who are fidgety have now something to do with their hands (the bandages), and just like that, Zoe sat through her first book.
All Better! became one of Zoe’s favorite books, and we read it every single day, multiple times a day. She cannot get tired of taking off the stickers and putting them either on the animals or back on the page that stores all the bandages. What I really love though, is seeing the progress she makes as she plays with the stickers. In the beginning, she had no idea where to put the stickers back on the page, so she just put them anywhere. As she kept reading the book, she started to know what color blocks go with which bandages, and most of the time she put the bandages back on the right color block. Then, recently, as she started to practice more fine motor skills, she began concentrating really hard on lining up the stickers with the color blocks and sometimes spends a few minutes adjusting the stickers until they are lined up almost perfectly.
Whenever my 3.5 years old son Alex comes into Zoe’s room, he grabs the book right away and starts reading it as well, so the book is not only fun for little ones, but for older toddlers as well. The book allows kids to:
- Improve fine motor skills
- Learn about different animals and the food they eat
- Match the bandages with the animals on them
- Match the bandages with the appropriate color blocks
- Learn about empathy by caring for the animals when they get hurt
I am excited to keep reading this book with Zoe and continue to see her learn. If you have a toddler who just cannot sit still for books, try All Better! You will be pleasantly surprised!
The Story of How All Better! Helped a Desperate Mom Wean
My friend who bought All Better! for her son was struggling to wean. Her son was really clingy and attached to her and wanted to nurse whenever he was bored, scared, sleepy, hungry…so basically, he was nursing all day long. My friend tried feeding him more solid food, distracting him with toys when he asked to nurse, or leaving him with a caretaker so he could stop nursing so much and slowly wean off, but nothing worked.
She was pleasantly surprised when she started reading All Better! to her son because just like me, she was having a hard time getting her son to sit still and read a book. After seeing her son’s interest in the bandages and how he really wanted to cover up the animals’ wounds to make them feel better, she had a sudden epiphany!
That night, she put actual bandages on her nipples. When her son asked to nurse, she said that her nipples were hurting and that they needed to be covered with bandages (not really a lie, considering that her son was going through the biting phase). She showed the bandages to her son and he seemed a bit confused and touched the bandages to make sure they were real as opposed to the stickers in the book. She repeated what she said initially to make sure he understood, and he seemed to be empathic of the fact that her nipples needed time to heal. That night, she put him to bed without nursing (and without crying it out, I must add).
The next day, whenever her son wanted to nurse, she would show him the bandages on her nipples. He would always touch them as if to make sure they were actually there, and then he would turn away to find something else to do. After a couple of days of bandaged nipples, my friend had weaned her son completely off breastmilk. Victory!
I must applaud my friend for coming up with this creative solution to weaning off her kid. She saw that her kid responded to the wounded animals in All Better! with compassion and thought she could apply the same concept to her nipples. I am so happy that All Better! was not only a solution for fidgety kids who could not focus enough to get through a book but also for one of the biggest problems breastfeeding moms have toward the end of their breastfeeding journey – weaning!
You can view All Better! on my Usborne Books & More page here: https://y6250.myubam.com/p/4503/all-better
Contact me if you are interested in getting your hands on a copy of All Better! for your fidgety toddler!