Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Flash Cards for Boys

You probably already know that most boys love toilet humor. And a parent of boys, you've already figured out that the traditional sit-down-and-learn approach doesn't work well for many boys. 

And if you're anything like me, you've probably used those facts to your advantage. Like many parents, I placed magnetic letters on my fridge, hoping to entice my kids to build words. Nothing. Until I carefully arranged the letters to make a sentence about poop. Soon, I had 5 boys -- my 4, plus a friend -- gathered around my fridge, competing to see who could create the grossest sentence. 

That's why I think these flash cards are a brilliant idea.

Susan Levy, the creator of ABC Flash Cards for Boys, emailed me recently to invite me to check out her product on Kickstarter, a crowdfunding site she's using to secure the financial backing she needs to launch her brainchild out into the world. I usually ignore emails like that. I didn't ignore this one, and I'm glad I didn't. As soon as I saw her cards, I had to learn more. 

BbB: Tell us a little about your ABC cards. How did you develop the idea? 
Susan Levy

Susan: A little over a year ago when I was working with my son on his ABC’s he was completely uninterested in the products that were available.All the flash cards available were boring and didn't hold his attention. He could have cared less that “A” was for Apple. I wanted to create something that would make recognizing, learning and remembering ABC's fun. This is when I started thinking about what held a boy's attention and made them laugh. The topic that stood out the most was anything and everything to do with potty humor. This discovery was what ignited the idea for Alpha Cards. I began joking with my husband and my now eight year old daughter about ABC’s..."for boys eyes only".  I started making a list in a notebook of funny potty words for each letter.

BbB: What kind of feedback have you gotten from boys? From parents and educators?
Susan: The greatest part of this experience so far has been the feedback from kids, parents and educators. Parents who have seen them are so excited for the prospect of having a  tool that will actually engage their child in the learning process. There have been numerous occasions when I have been able to share my cards with kids and each time their reactions confirms my expectations for the success of my product. Children get it immediately and just start cracking up. I also have had great support from teachers and principals; they are ready and willing to use what works to help kids to learn, recognize and remember their ABC’s.

BbB: Some people completely reject the idea that boys and girls learn differently, and consider any attempts to personalize education for “boys” or “girls” to be sexist? How would you respond to those people?
Susan: As a former classroom teacher (I taught first and second grade)I feel confident in saying that each and every child learns differently no matter if they are a boy or a girl.  The key is taking the time to find out what makes each child tick.  That is the reason a great classroom library is stocked with a wide variety of genres and subject matter.  Alpha Cards are meant to add another diverse teaching tool to the market.  Yes, it says ABC’s for boys, but that does not mean girls won’t  love them and learn from them too. My daughter enjoys them as much as I do! If something works in helping your child get prepared for a lifetime of reading I say, “use it!”

BbB: You’ve already exceeded your Kickstarter goal. What do you plan to do with the rest of the money?
Susan: The success of Kickstarter has been amazing.  The money raised is going to allow me to order a larger quantity of flashcards.  This will give me the opportunity to get them into more stores sooner!

Want to order a set of Flash Cards for Boys? Visit Susan's website,

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