"More than a new electronic marvel, or a new antibiotic, or (heaven help us) a new drug for ADHD, what children really need is a new way to get excited about books and to exercise their creative urges. That's what blue manatee boxes are. Hat's off to Dr. John Hutton and Sandy Gross for this fun, timely, and important innovation.”
-- Dr. Robert Needlman, M.D., Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Case Western Reserve University, revising co-author of Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care, author of Dr. Spock's Baby Basics, and co-founder, Reach Out and Read.
"As technology advances at a broadband clip, carrying with it expectations for kids to learn and develop faster via all manner of gadgets, it's easy to lose sight of their basic needs and nature. blue manatee boxes provide a reminder and opportunity for families to slow down and reconnect with the simple yet fundamental joys of reading, playing, and spending time together using one of the most robust learning tools yet devised - a cardboard box."
"A Blue Manatee Box is a perfect choice for parents and teachers who want to build a child's learning power. Shared reading opens brain connections for attention, language development, and imagination--enduring gifts for any child!"
-- Dr. Jane M. Healy, Ph.D. Educational Psychologist, speaker, and author of Your Child's Growing Mind: Brain Development and Learning From Birth to Adolescence, and Different Learners: Identifying, Preventing, and Treating Your Child's Learning Problems.
"Having worked with more than 17,000 families over the last 12 years, we, at Every Child Succeeds, recognize the importance of addressing the literacy needs of children beginning at birth and continuing to age three. We know that the first three years of life are more important to brain development than any three that follow and that by reading, talking, learning through play, children fulfill their potential. The creative and engaging blue manatee boxes provide the magic that allows learning to be fun. The box itself and everything in it is designed to stimulate the mind of the young child. There is no better gift."
-- Dr. Judith B. Van Ginkel, Ph.D., Professor of Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, and President, Every Child Succeeds.
"Read to children and you take them on adventures beyond their everyday experience. Books spark the imagination with pictures, words, and stories. Many story characters become a part of the children’s play. Parents can enrich children’s language by participating. In blue manatee boxes™, books and the box become new adventures for children, where they can discover all the fun things you can do with a box. This leads to creativity, problem solving, and lots of fun!"
-- Beth Bronsil, M.Ed., Director, Children's Home Space; retired Director, Xavier University Montessori Education Program; former Chairperson, American Montessori Society Teacher Education Committee.
"So, here is to (blue manatee boxes™), and their imagination, and to their belief both in children and - in the amazing box. I can hardly wait to hear what children will imagine."
--Patricia Lee Gauch, editor, and author of Christina Katerina and the Box.
"Blue Manatee has hit the spot and put it in a box! blue manatee boxes™ are undoubtedly the best idea that I’ve seen for encouraging parents and kids to stop, sit, and read one-on-one while leaving technology on the sidelines. Going one step further to include great books in packaging where everything is reusable, shows their commitment to ensuring that kids are given opportunities to express their imagination and creativity. All this, in one box, provides each child with important pieces for a good start so that he/she can grow up confident and encouraged without bounds."
--Eric Dustman, M.Ed., Director, The New School Montessori, Cincinnati, OH, and founder of Play Modern.
"Kids are natural born scientists - exploring outdoors, eternally curious about how things work, and asking big questions. Good thing, since experience really is the best teacher when it comes to learning about the natural world. And kids don't need to be flown to exotic places to get engaged with wildlife. Crouching down to observe ants, digging in the dirt for grubs and worms, or fishing for bluegills are more fun and better for kids than a trip to a snazzy amusement park or even an overseas vacation. To be a scientist, the only requirement is a sense of wonder - something every little kid comes equipped with. So my suggestion is to do what my mother did when I was a boy, tell them to 'get outside and play!' And don't forget to take a box of books along!"
“Kids learn through plain o' play! Play on!”
--Lenore Skenazy, author and founder of the Free-Range Kids book and blog.
"We now know that open-ended activities are as important to a child's neural growth as protein. Indeed, the box the flashcards come in are probably more beneficial to a toddler's brain than the flashcards themselves. Studies show that, compared with controls, kids allowed a specific type of open-ended play time (such as with boxes) were: more creative, better at language, better at problem solving, less stressed, better at memory, and more socially skilled."
-- Dr. John Medina, director, Brain Center for Applied Learning Research, Seattle Pacific University, and author, brain rules for BABY.