Indestructibles FAQ For Educators

Indestructibles FAQ & For Educators

Information for Educators, Librarians, and Parents


What are Indestructibles made of that is so durable yet paperlike and delightful for my baby?

Indestructibles are printed on a synthetic material made from flashspun high-density polyethylene fibers (getting technical here, we know). It feels like paper, but liquid water cannot pass through it and it is very difficult to tear.

Why are there no words, or so few words?

Indestructibles are intended to encourage dialogic reading (that’s education-speak for “natural conversation”) between parent and baby. Dialogic reading is likely to help an infant develop early literacy skills such as phonological awareness, vocabulary, and narrative skills. For more about Indestructibles and Early Literacy, visit our “For Educators” section.

What do you mean “Indestructibles grow with my baby”?

Indestructibles have something unique to offer babies at all their developmental stages between 0 and 2, whether it is a tactile experience, a visual experience, a picture-identifying experience, or a storytelling experience. Because they have few words, your conversation can change as your baby develops, understands, and interacts with you more and more. Here are some examples of ways a baby might use an Indestructible at different developmental stages (these are just examples. All babies differ, of course):

  • 0 months: Baby enjoys hearing your voice and seeing you turn colorful pages.
  • 4 months: Baby reaches out and touches the book with her own hands.
  • 6 months: Baby chews and explores the books with his own mouth.
  • 9 months: Baby starts learning to turn pages by herself.
  • 12 months: Baby starts to identify the objects in the pictures and soon says their names.
  • 18 months: Baby talks about what a character is doing in the picture.
  • 2 years: Baby and parent or caregiver tell stories about what might be happening in the book.

Why don’t Indestructibles have a cover or spine?

Indestructibles’ pages are virtually indestructible, and a typical cover simply isn’t necessary to protect them. We have found that the addition of an outside cover or spine diminishes the appeal for babies who really want the tactile experience of playing with the pages.

Are Indestructibles safe?

Yes. Indestructibles have been safety tested for ages 0+ and conform to ASTM F963 Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety and CPSIA Guidelines.

Are Indestructibles BPA-, phthalate-, PVC-, and lead-free?

Yes on all counts. Indestructibles contain none of these substances and are completely nontoxic.

How can I wash my Indestructibles?

Wash Indestructibles with warm water and mild soap. We recommend throwing them in the tub with your little one, just for the fun of it. 🙂

I thought babies liked high-contrast black/white illustrations. These books have colorful pictures on colorful backgrounds. Why?

Contrary to popular belief, by about 2 months of age your baby is capable of perceiving almost all of the subtle shadings that make our visual world so rich, textured, and interesting, including shadings in clouds and shadows that are unique to your face. They can even see a white teddy bear on a white couch! The Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute says “by about 2 months of age your baby is capable of perceiving almost all of the subtle shadings that make our visual world so rich, textured and interesting: shadings in clouds, shadows that are unique to your face; even see a white teddy bear on a white couch!”

Seriously, isn’t my baby going to destroy an Indestructible if I give her free rein with it?

Nope. Seriously. We haven’t yet had an Indestructible torn or destroyed by a baby. Crinkled, yes, but we’ve heard some moms comment that the more crinkly they get, the more their babies love them.

For Educators

Why Indestructibles?

1. Indestructibles Are Developed for Babies: Many books are developed for older children, then printed on cardboard so they may be marketed for babies as well. Indestructibles are specifically developed with the baby in mind.

2. Babies Are Often Overlooked When It Comes to Reading: Educators, literacy experts, and child-development professionals emphasize the importance of reading to babies, but there is little on the market that is truly baby-friendly.

3. Indestructibles Encourage Dialogic Reading: Babies whose mothers talk to them often develop much higher vocabularies than babies whose mothers have a low level of speech. Indestructibles were purposely created with no words or very few simple words in order to encourage natural conversation between parent and baby.

4. Indestructibles Grow with Baby: Because they have no words or very few words, Indestructibles have something to offer infants from birth to toddlerhood. What parents say about each page can change as the child grows and develops, and pages can be turned quickly or slowly depending on a baby’s interest at the time. There is no right or wrong way to read an Indestructible.

5. Indestructibles Are Tear-Resistant: It is a developmental milestone when babies begin to grasp and hold on to objects. At this point, many parents shelve favorite books for later so they don’t get ripped and torn. Indestructibles can stand up to the most “enthusiastic” infant.

6. For Babies, “Reading” Often Looks Like “Chewing”: Indestructibles are created from a waterproof, tear-resistant, paperlike material that lets babies “read” as much as they want. The book stays intact and there is no worry about ripped pages or choking hazards.

7. Indestructibles Encourage Babies to Talk and Tell Stories Long Before They Can Read: As an infant grows and develops, important cognitive skills are acquired as babies start to recognize the pictures in the Indestructible and begin naming them, then learn to create their own stories and tell what is happening in the pictures.

8. With Indestructibles, Reading Can Happen Anywhere and Everywhere. Because the books are lightweight and can be wiped down or washed, they can go wherever a baby does, tucked into a diaper bag or brought along in the car, carried in a stroller, taken to the pool, or enjoyed with a messy meal. With exposure, reading becomes a comfortable everyday habit, not just something reserved for quiet time or bedtime!

Early Literacy and Indestructibles

Early literacy is what children know about reading and writing before they can actually read and write. According to research, there are six pre-reading skills that children must learn in order to learn to read:

1. Tell Stories About Everything: Because Indestructibles have few or no words, babies and children can learn to talk about the pictures and tell stories without the limitation of words they are unable to read, gaining important narrative skills.

2. Play With Sounds: Indestructibles encourage natural conversation with babies (dialogic reading), so babies hear the natural flow of their mothers’ speech and begin to hear smaller sounds in words, developing phonological awareness.

3. Talk, Talk, Talk: Because they have few or no words, Indestructibles allow for parents to use words from their normal vocabulary to describe the pictures. Young babies will listen longer and hear more words when parents speak in “parentese” rather than more formal language.

4. Notice Printed Words All Around You: Indestructibles allow babies and young children to begin to understand that printed words have meaning, from the title to the simple words inside.

5. Look At Pictures: Before a child is ready to recognize letters, he can recognize differences in pictures. What is bigger or smaller in the picture? How can two pictures of the same object look different? Looking at the bright illustrations in Indestructibles builds skills on the path to letter knowledge.

6. Have Fun With Books: Because Indestructibles can be handled by babies, they can actually learn how to turn pages themselves, hold a book from an early age, and learn that books and reading are enjoyable.

Based on Johnson County Library 6 x 6: Ready to Read early literacy program.