Last Christmas we gave in and invited video games into our home. I still haven’t learned to love them as much as the rest of my family. Don’t get me wrong, I (obviously) enjoy screen time myself, and I think it’s ok for kids in reasonable doses, but even with screen time limits in place, I can’t help feeling a little disappointed whenever the button wins out over other activities.
That said, there is one interactive button pressing experience that my family and I are all in love with. Have you read Press Here by Herve Tullet? It’s a new family favorite at our house! In our world of buttons and gadgets, this decidedly simple and incredibly clever book is absolutely a breath of fresh air.
In Press Here, the reader is asked to press a dot, then on the next page the illustration makes it seem like pressing the button caused something interesting to happen. Press the yellow dot five times…five dots appear on the next page. Magic! You can see it in action here.
My two year old has read it at least one hundred times since we got it two weeks ago. I’m sure he believes he is making things happen with every dot push, blow or shake. My five year old is all about magic these days, so when I introduced the book to him, naturally I told him it was a magical book. The first time we read it, I think he kind of believed me. After that, he set out to copy the style and create his own “magical” book. He’s also told me several times, “Mom, you know that book isn’t magic, right?” (Still halfway convincing himself!) My big 7 year old totally gets it, but loves to play along. For older kids, it’s a great way to practice the skill of prediction. (If I tapped the dot five times and on the next page it turned red, I’ll bet I can predict what will happen when I tap this blue dot five times.)
If you don’t have this one, I highly recommend adding it to your wish list. Especially if, (like ours), your family’s wish list already includes video games and other button-filled gadgets, Press Here is a simple little way to add a bit of balance to all the button pushing. That, and hiding the remote every once in a while.