I was looking forward to receiving this Zip It hardback book from Little Tiger Press, written by Patricia Hegarty and illustrated by Fhiona Galloway. While it looks like a book for younger children, it’s aimed at 3-6 year olds, with the main purpose of letting them practise undoing and doing up fastenings. N really needs some help with those, because he doesn’t really make the effort to try (apart from being able to pull a zip up and down).
Zip It is bright and colourful, with the fastenings all part of each animal’s anatomy, a buttoned nose on the pig, or the zipped up mouth on the frog. N was quite excited when he spotted the book had arrived, and liked looking at the pictures and talking about the fastenings. I explained how he would need to learn to do all his fastenings up before going to school – not strictly true because they have polo shirts, sweatshirts, and he’ll likely only need to learn to put zips together by the time he starts – but I’d rather he could do everything in order to be prepared. Hopefully the book would help him learn.
And so the demolition of the book started.
I have to say that it’s been extremely rare for flaps to be broken or books to be ripped by N, but one look at this one and he’s already ripped part of the laces page (trying to undo the laces by pulling the base lace instead of the ends) and the fabric on the button hole’s been ripped slightly. Argghh. Obviously not quite made for a destructive and enthusiastic 4 year old.
I quickly put a stop to his rough shod attempts, and showed him gently how to do each page’s fastening. There’s a zip, button, velcro (is it only my son who says he can’t undo his shoes?!), popper and shoe laces. He could manage a few, but I think the button was a little tight on the hole (I struggled to fasten it again), and the popper is a little firm for little hands. Hopefully it’ll loosen over time.
We haven’t really read the words, because he’s more interested in the fastenings, but there are words to read along as you go.
I think it’s a great idea for a book, and hopefully will get N a bit more enthusiastic about learning to do his own fastenings. He didn’t seem put off by the book looking a bit young, but in theory you could introduce it to younger children as an introduction to what the fastenings are called, before pre-schoolers can then learn to do the actual tasks.
Zip It is released on 2nd March 2015.
What techniques did you use to teach your children to tie laces and do up fastenings?
Disclosure: We received this book for the purpose of review, all words and opinions are my own.