Eeboo Morality and Citizenship Flash Cards

My wife and I disagree about the following line of toddler products. Eeboo makes flash cards for teaching your child personal values. Take a look:

Respect the Earth Flash Cards:

Photo of the Respect the Earth flash cards containing cartoon drawings of humanized animal characters saying things described later in this blog article.h

Example card:

When a compact fluorescent bulb burns out…
Use natural light. Turn on lights only when necessary.

Other lessons:

  • Unplug chargers when not charging.
  • Turn off the lights.
  • Shop at farmer’s markets.
  • Set the computer to "power-saver" mode.
  • Don’t leave plastic on the beach.
  • Recycle bottles and paper.

Good Manners Flash Cards:

Photo of the Good Manners flash cards containing cartoon drawings of humanized animal characters saying things described later in this blog article.

Example card:

If you have a treat, and there are others around, what should you do?
Take small bites, and chew them well with a closed mouth!

What do you do when you meet someone?
Look at their eyes and give a firm handshake.

When someone sneezes, what do you say?
Say, "Bless you!" and say it again when they sneeze again! (They usually do.)

Other lessons (what to say):

  • Nice to meet you!
  • Thank you!
  • May I please…?
  • Can I help?
  • I’m sorry.
  • Excuse me?

Good Citizenship Flash Cards:

If someone is running for an elevator…
Hold the elevator!

When someone seems left out…
Ask, "Do you want to play?"

Other lessons:

  • Recycle!
  • Use your words!
  • Compliment good work

Read a positive review of Citizenship Cards at Doobleh-Vay.

My wife’s perspective is fairly simple. These cards are useful, reinforce your teachings and maybe present a few situations you haven’t encountered yet.

My harsh perspective is that if you’ve done your job as parent, these cards are redundant.

The vast majority of values get taught as you act by example in your everyday life. Case in point, my daughter knows we recycle because we save waste throughout the week and drive to the recycling center on the weekend. Lately, she enjoys going with me and treating the recycling dumpsters like basketball hoops. She’s a good shot. We also discuss packaging in the grocery store (opting for glass over plastic, etc.). And, she nags me whenever I use a paper towel instead of a cloth rag.

Don’t worry about the few cards that present new ideas. For example, will my daughter know to hold an elevator door for someone? There are perhaps 5 elevators in several hundred square miles of our home. But ya know what? We usually hold regular doors open for people, so I’m sure she understands the principle. At most, these cards would serve as a smug confirmation that I didn’t screw up.

These cards are intended for 3-year-olds and up. I think the learning of these ideas begins at a much younger age.

Yes? No?

Also see previously: Brain Quest flash cards


11 Responses to “Eeboo Morality and Citizenship Flash Cards”

  1. Jonathan says:

    My 19 month old already copies things I do (and has been for a while). As you say, almost all these things should be taught by simple observation of how parents live their lives and run the home. If you don’t do what you teach, then your kids will likely not do it either.

    August 21st, 2008 at 5:41 am

  2. Stephanie says:

    Wow… that’s two in a row of things I think are cool. I have the Good Manners flash cards even though my daughter is on the young side for them. But, it reminds parents to reinforce good manners when they go over them with their kids. Let’s be honest… there are a lot of rude adults out there. I’m not perfect either… but these cards are a reminder for everyone to be kind and thoughtful of each other.

    August 21st, 2008 at 6:56 am

  3. Allison (CodeCrafter) says:

    I’m with you on this one. They seem redundant. Also since most of these cards are about actions I am not sure if rote memorization of the words will really help a child to learn the desired action. This also misses out on the aspect of explaining why you should do these things which I think is really important for a child continuing to be respectful and well mannered into there teenage years and beyond.

    August 21st, 2008 at 7:57 am

  4. RobMonroe says:

    Mine is only 14 months old, but she already says (signs) “please” when there is something she wants. We’re already working on “thank you” too. I do not think that my hcild will need these cards because I, like you AJ, live out things like this. Sometimes to a fault. I can’t count the number of times I’ve held a door for 5+ minutes because nobody else will.

    I can think of some adults/parents that these might be helpful for!

    August 21st, 2008 at 8:14 am

  5. My Boaz's Ruth says:

    I agree with you. Esp because the answer on the back of these cards is not exactly “obvious”

    For example: “If you have a treat, and there are others around, what should you do?” — I thought “Share” or “don’t eat in front of others without sharing”

    “When a compact fluorescent bulb burns out…”
    I thought “replace it”

    And why is it so important to use natural light ONLY when the CFL bulb burns out, not when a regular light bulb burns out? Or even before the CFL bulb burns out at all?

    August 21st, 2008 at 8:47 am

  6. jen says:

    I think these have a place. Like you, I think your job as a parent is to model desired behaviors. however, as I’m sure most would agree, even three year olds sometimes have incredibly conflict between what should be done and what they want to do. (i.e. hogging a toy vs. sharing or pushing in line vs. waiting your turn). We have a small picture book called No Biting that my daughter LOVES. It covers more than biting in simple sentences: “No hitting Mommy. What can you hit? A ball!” On occassions when I have to correct her for things like say, pushing in line, I just have to recite the begining of the book line and she gets the picture instantly and corrects her behavior. I’m not sure I’d buy them, but I do think they provide good visual and auditory cues for kids who are still learning.

    August 21st, 2008 at 9:15 am

  7. Karen says:

    I agree that your children will copy what you do and we should teach them not just through cards but through our daily life examples. These card I think may be good to re-emphasis or as a reminder. Another scenario would be that each child learning pattern is different. Some is Visual, some is Auditory learner and can follow direction immediately, some are tactile and some are kinesthetic learner. Even that you break it down to Analytic, common sense learner or Dynamic learner. Each child is different. I think we need to know which is our child learning style pattern is and make sure we include that pattern while teaching them. Sometimes we tend to forget and teach based on what is the easiest method for us. These cards may be useless for some kids, but might be useful for others, just depends on the kids.

    August 21st, 2008 at 10:17 am

  8. nrbp says:

    Seems to me if you even think your kid might benefit significantly from these cards, there are likely to be some deeper issues that need to be explored.

    I’m not interested in having my children learn manners or morality or good citizenship as a rote kind of thing. There are reasons why we say please and thank you and hold elevator doors (my husband’s office is on the top floor of one of the only buildings around here that even has an elevator…) and shop at the Farmer’s Market and so on and it is in focusing on what those reasons are and in modeling the behaviors we want to see in our children that we are teaching all of the time. I guess these cards could be a springboard into some of these conversations, but we seem to find plenty of opportunities without them.

    We (parents and kids) have enjoyed the classic “What do you say, dear?” and “What do you do, dear?” by Sesyle Joslin and Maurice Sendak.

    August 21st, 2008 at 10:34 am

  9. Sara says:

    I could take them or leave them. I feel like these scenarios are part of on-going life and should be modeled as much as possible, and discussed with kids as much as possible as you do them. However, how could it hurt if your kid enjoyed looking at the cards and playing with them? And if they sparked discussion about behavior or helped kids to remember how to behave, than that is great too. I agree with My Boaz’s Ruth that there are some scenarios’ answers that I would treat differently than the card. I probably wouldn’t buy them, but would give them a shot if they were a gift.

    August 21st, 2008 at 11:16 am

  10. Jen says:

    I think as parents we assume that our children will get the implicit message of our actions. But I don’t think that’s always the case.

    First, full disclosure–I’m a retailer and I sell these cards. Now that’s out of the way, these are the reasons–as a parent–that I think these cards are a good idea. (And they aren’t hot sellers, but I still think they are a good idea.)

    1. Not all children are typically developing children. Some children need explicit direction in social matters.

    2. Even with typically developing children we shouldn’t assume kids “get it” because, frankly, parents send mixed messages when *they* don’t always display good manners. Setting explicit expectations is probably more helpful than we know.

    3. The cards are “neutral”. It’s not mom or dad nagging you to turn off the light, it’s this third party reminding you of “the rules.” Some kids find it easier to hear the message when it isn’t coming from mom. Plus, if it’s a game, it’s fun!

    August 21st, 2008 at 6:53 pm

  11. gertie says:

    As a parent, I don’t think I’d ever use these for my kid. To me “toddler” and “flashcards” just don’t go together.

    The teacher in me, however, can totally see using these in a pre-school or Kindergarten setting. I might pull one card a day, discuss the “value” of the day, and put it up on a bulletin board.

    And since Jen touched on this, I think they would be great in a special ed classroom, with kids who really thrive on this type of direct instruction.

    August 21st, 2008 at 7:43 pm

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