Mukibooks Quiet Books

RO: Am vrut sa scriem acest articol inca din primul moment in care am inceput sa folosim carticica Muki, insa ulterior ne-am gandit ca ar fi indicat sa o folosim cel putin cateva luni inainte de a reveni cu un review complet despre acest produs. Pentru ca pana la urma, piata este pur si simplu invadata de jucarii, plusuri, carti, cartonase si in general absolut orice ar putea trezi interesul copiilor. Cumparam deseori impulsiv doar pentru a avea intotdeauna o jucarie noua de rezerva (si noi facem acest lucru, desi stim ca nu e o practica corecta, nici sustenabila, nici economica). Am incercat pe cat posibil sa nu ii cumparam jucarii luminoase, galagioase, prea stimulante (in general cele cu baterii) insa cumva am ajuns sa avem saci de astfel de jucarii primite. Am vrut sa ne axam pe jucarii educative, din materiale cat mai naturale, care sa ii stimuleze creativitatea si care sa il determine sa construiasca, sa isi dezvolte abilitati, sa simta texturi, sa reinterpreteze jocul in fel si chip, fara sa il uitam in fata vreunei jucarii pe baterii care il captiveaza asemenea televizorului. Suntem impotriva tabletelor, televizorului si a filmuletelor pe telefon, si chiar daca primim tot felul de avertizari din jur ca nu vom reusi sa il tinem departe de ele, ne propunem ca macar pana la doi ani sa nu aiba niciun fel de astfel de interactiune cu ecranele. Nu va ramane in urma cu tehnologia pentru ca nu a umblat inca pe tableta si nu va fi marginalizat la gradinita pentru ca nu stie cine e Peppa Pig (nici eu nu stiu) sau alt erou de desen animat. Este insa fascinat de Mickey Mouse, fara sa il fi vazut vreodata in desene animate sau orice fel de animatie, si asta pentru ca i l-am prezentat intr-un mod cat mai dragut si mai atragator. Pana la urma, noi, parintii, suntem cei care le starnim interesul pentru astfel de jucarii/personaje foarte comerciale. Ca de altfel orice joc. Cu cat ne jucam mai mult cu ei si cu cat exploram mai mult creativitatea lor, cu atat devin si ei mai interesati. Si chiar suntem norocosi ca exista moda aceasta a jucariilor-carticele pentru copiii nostri, incepand cu cele senzoriale, apoi cele cu primele cuvinte si ajungand pana la cele mai complexe, cu stickere, flaps-uri ori pur si simplu carti de povesti. Copiii mici sunt niste mici bureti care absorb atat de usor informatiile pe care le prezentam lor. Este atat de important felul in care vorbim cu ei, ce le spunem, cum ne jucam si mai ales ce ne jucam cu ei.

EN: We wanted to write this article from the very first moment when we started using the Muki book, but then we thought that it might be better to use it at least a couple of months before coming back with a complete review about this product. Because in the end, the market is simply invaded by all sort of toys, books, cards and in general anything that could captivate children’s attention. We often buy impulsively just to have a spare toy at hand (we also do that, even though we know is not correct, sustainable or economic). We tried as much as possible to avoid buying him illuminated, noisy, over stimulating toys (in general those battery toys), but somehow we received tons of this kind of toys. We wanted to focus on educative toys, made of natural fabrics, that stimulate his creativity and determine him to build, to develop abilities, to feel textures, to reinvent the game in different ways, without forgetting him in front of a battery toy that captivates him as well as the TV. We are against tablets, television and movies on the phone and even though we are constantly warned that we will not be able to keep him far from these, we really hope that at least two years he will not have any kind of interaction with the screens. He will not be behind technology because he did not play with the tablets yet and he won’t be marginalized because he doesn’t know who Peppa Pig is (I don’t know either) or any other cartoons character. However, he is fascinated by Mickey Mouse, without ever seeing him in the cartoons or any kind of animation and that’s because we presented him in a cute and attractive way. In the end, us, the parents, are the ones who make our children interested in such commercial toys/characters. As well as any other game. If we play more with them and explore their own creativity, they will become more and more interested. And we are truly lucky that we are living in an era where books for children, starting with the quiet books, then with the ones describing the first words and in the end the complex ones, with stickers, flaps or bedtime story books are all so appreciated nowadays. Small children are like tiny sponges that easily absorb the information that we present them. It is so important the way we talk to them, what we tell them, how we play with them and especially what we play with them.Β  Mukibooks_3
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RO: Asa ca inainte de a incepe articolul acesta despre Mukibooks si a vorbi despre produsele lor, voi incepe cu faptul ca ce mi-a placut inca din primul moment la ei este faptul ca promoveaza un produs pe care copilul sa il poata folosi ani de zile. Nu este o jucarie cumparata acum, cu care copilul se va juca de doua ori, apoi va zace undeva intr-un colt al camerei. Ci dimpotriva, este un produs care poate fi reinventat, jocurile pot fi schimbate, adaptate, modificate. Pe masura ce copilul creste gaseste singur alte oportunitati de joaca cu carticica Muki, iar lucrul acesta mi se pare extrem de important. Si ca sa incepem cu inceputul (desi am vorbit atat de mult despre aceasta carte in social media, ca pare putin redundanta urmatoarea precizare), carticelele Muki sunt niste carti senzoriale pentru copii (incepand cu sase luni), prin care acestia pot descoperi texturi, culori, materiale diferite, jocuri si activitati. Cei de la Muki recomanda cartea de la sase luni pana la 4-5 ani insa in cazul nostru carticica a fost de maxim interes in perioada in care a implinit un an. Desi o aveam cu cateva luni inainte, nu a fost la fel de captivat ca la 1 an sau mai mult (si acum o foloseste cu foarte mult interes). Si sincera sa fiu, eu as recomanda-o indeosebi pentru toddlers, care sunt mai activi, mai implicati in joaca, inteleg mai usor jocurile si sunt interesati mai mult de fiecare activitate in parte. Bebelusii isi pierd in general concentrarea foarte repede (nu doar cu aceasta carticica, ci cu orice alta jucarie), insa intre 1 si 3 ani pot deja sa mentina focusul pe o activitate chiar si 15 minute daca le place un joc anume.

EN: So before starting this article about Mukiboos and talk about their products, I will start with what I liked the most about them from the very beginning. And that’s the fact that they promote a product that the child can use for years. It is not a toy that will be used several times and then it will be forgotten in a corner of the room. On the contrary, it is a product that can be reinvented, the games can be changed, adapted, reinvented. As the child grows he can find new playing opportunities with the Mukibook and this is extremely important for me. And we will start by saying that the Mukibooks are some quiet books for children (starting six months) through which they can discover textures, colors, different fabrics, games and activities. Actually we talked so much about these books in social media that this mention seems a bit redundant πŸ™‚ Muki team recommends the book from 6 months to 4-5 years but in our case, the book was extremely used when Alexei turned one year. Even though we had it several months before, he was extremely fascinated by it once he turned one year or even more (he is still using it a lot).Β  And to be completely honest, I would recommend this book especially for toddlers, because they are more active, more involved in playing, they can understand the games easily and they can be interested by each of the activities. Babies usually loose their focus very fast (not only with this book, but with any other toy) but between 1 and 3 years they can keep focused on one activity even 15 minutes if they like it.Β  Mukibooks_15
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RO: Ceea ce mi se pare mie extrem de interesant si util la aceasta carte e faptul ca poate cuprinde mai multe jocuri la un loc. Ceea ce pentru noi in calatorii este o mana cereasca. Am folosit-o luni de zile in avion, in aeroport, in masina in timp ce statea in scaunul de masina, in autocar, la restaurante, la plaja, seara la hotel. Am incercat sa nu facem abuz de ea, insa am folosit-o constant de cand o avem. Si inca nu s-a plictisit de ea. Si un alt lucru care mi se pare demn de mentionat despre aceasta carticica senzoriala este faptul ca este un produs sigur pentru bebelusi si copii mici. Un produs certificat. Cand mi s-a zis prima oara acest lucru, am trecut peste aceasta informatie fara sa ii acord foarte multa importanta. Ulterior, cand am primit mai multe explicatii de la cei de la Muki despre aceasta certificare (si anume un mail luuuuung, cu multe detalii si informatii utile) am inteles ca nu este deloc usor sa faci un produs pentru copii, conform normelor europene. Voi incerca sa sumarizez toata informatia primita. Toate jucariile trebuie sa aiba marcajul CE care demonstreaza ca acestea indeplinesc toate normele de securitate si testare. Unul dintre teste este cel de rezistenta, prin pur si simplu se trage de fiecare componenta a jucariei cu o anumita forta (copilasii sunt extrem de puternici si pot desprinde parti din carte si apoi sa o inghita). Rezistenta cartilor Muki e realizata prin cusaturi puternice. Niciun element nu este lipit (lipiciul nu ar rezista unui astfel de test, cel mai probabil s-ar desprinde imediat, nu mai vorbim de faptul ca este toxic). De asemenea, componentele mici trebuie sa aiba o anumita dimensiune, ca sa nu poata fi inghitite de un copil. La fel si snururile, nu trebuie sa depaseasca 21cm pentru copiii de peste 6 luni sau 28cm pentru cei de peste 18 luni, pentru ca altfel le pot pune in jurul gatului si se pot strangula. Si bineinteles, nu trebuie sa existe parti ascutite (cum ar fi spre exemplu jocul cu sarma de rufe pe care l-am vazut in alte carticele – carligele se pot desface iar copilul se poate rani cu arcul ascutit al carligului). Al doilea test este cel de flamabilitate – toate materialele trebuie sa aiba o anumita rezistenta la foc, in caz ca jucaria ia foc din greseala, copilul sa aiba timp suficient sa o lase jos. Iar ultima testare ar fi toxicitatea – toate materialele trebuie sa poata fi atinse de gura copilului fara sa se transforme in substante toxice. Iar cartea Muki indeplineste toate aceste conditii si testari, prin urmare este un produs extrem de sigur pentru copiii nostri.

EN: What I consider extremely interesting and useful about this book is the fact that it can have more games in only one place. Which for us is a godsend in our travels. We used it for months in the airplane, in the airport, in the car while he was staying in the baby car seat, int he bus, at the restaurants, at the beach, in the evening at the hotel. We used it constantly but not all the time so that he will not get bored of it. And he still hasn’t. And another thing that is worth mentioning about this book is the fact that this is a safe product for babies and small children. A certified product. When I heard this for the first time, I didn’t pay too much attention to this detail. But then, after I received more explanations about this certification from Muki team (meaning a really looooong email, with lots of details and useful information) I finally understood that making a product for babies, according to the European legislation, is not easy at all. And I will try to summarize the entire information that I received. All the toys should have the CE marking which prooves that these are produced according to all the security and testing standard. One of these tests is the resistance one, through which each component is pulled with a certain force (children are very powerful and can detach parts of the book and then swallow them). Mukibooks are resistant thanks to their powerful sewings. No element is glued (glue would never pass this test, most probably the components woudl immediately detach, not to mention the fact that it is toxic). Besides, the small components need to have a certain dimension, so that they cannot be swallowed by the child. As well as the strings, they should never exceed 21cm for children above 6 months and 28cm for children above 18 months, because they could place them around their neck and eventually strangulate. And of course, there should not be any sharp parts (for instance the clothes line – the pegs can easily be broken and the child can hurt himself with the sharp spring of the peg). The second test is the flammability test – all fabrics need to be fire resistant, in case the toy accidentaly catches fire, the child shoudl have enough time to drop it. And the last test would be the toxicity test – all fabrics should be toxed by the child’s mouth without transforming into toxic substances. And the Mukibook complies with all these conditions and testings, so it is an extremely safe product for our children. Mukibooks_21
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RO: Cat despre costurile unei astfel de carti, ei bine da, sunt mari. Poate ca mai mari decat a altor carticele senzoriale intalnite pe piata. Insa mi se pare un cost justificat, avand in vedere toate cele mentionate in paragrafele anterioare. Insa este un produs bine realizat, sigur, de calitate, care are nevoie de foarte mult timp pentru a fi realizat (fiecare componenta e cusuta, de mai multe ori chiar, pentru a fi rezistente, ceea ce implica foarte mult timp, fiind lucrate la masina, pe rand – o carte intreaga Muki se realizeaza in… 15 ore!) si in final un produs pe care toti copiii mamicilor cu care am discutat il folosesc cu interes chiar si dupa cateva luni. Si in final… la cate jucarii cumparam impulsiv luna de luna, cu siguranta ajungem la bugetul unei carti Muki. Am oferit insa feedbackul acesta legat de pret celor de la Muki si desi nu ma asteptam absolut deloc la o astfel de idee, la scurt timp au introdus testarea carticelelor. Practic cartea poate fi comandata iar parintele poate vedea daca exista interes pentru copil. Daca nu pare incantat de carticica, se poate returna fara probleme. Si bineinteles, exista si varianta de a lua doar cateva pagini cu jocuri, si nu intreaga carte (cea mai mare carte are 12 pagini), pentru a reduce costul. In plus, ceea ce mie mi se pare fabulos e faptul ca daca se pierd piesele din jocuri, sunt inlocuite gratuit. Chiar ar trebui sa facem si noi in curand comanda de piese pierdute, am asteptat doar sa se adune mai multe sa facem o comanda de mai multe.

EN: As for the costs for such a book, oh well, yes, they are high. Maybe higher that other quiet books on the market. But I truly think this is a justified cost, considering everything we mentioned above. It is a good product, a safe product that needs a lot of time to be created (each component is sewed, many times actually, so that they can all last more, which involves a lot of time of machine sewing – an entire Muki book is created in… 15 hours!) and in the end it is a product that babies are using even after many months of usage, at least that’s the feedback I got from the mothers I talked to. And in the end… we buy impulsively so many toys that for sure we go over the budget we would need for a Muki book. Anyways, we contacted the team from Mukibooks and offered them the feedback related to the high price and even though I did not expect a solution, they soon came back with a great idea: free testing of the books. Basically the book can be ordered and the parent can verify if the child is interested by it. If the baby is not enjoyed the games and activities, the book can be returned without any problems. And of course, there is always the option of choosing less pages for the book, not the entire one (the biggest book has 12 pages), to reduce the cost. Besides, what I find really cool is the fact that all the lost parts of the book can be replaced without any additional cost. We should also order some of the parts lost, but we just waited so that we can have more items to replace and order them all at once. Mukibooks_26
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RO: Iar in finalul articolului vrem sa spunem cateva vorbe despre promotia de Craciun a celor de la Muki (wow, deja vine Craciunul, ireal!). In perioada lunii noiembrie (pana pe 20 noiembrie mai exact) cei de la Muki au o reducere de 15% la toate produsele lor atunci cand folosim codul MUKI15la checkout (si pentru carticelele senzoriale, si pentru rucsacele cu pagini care se despart). Si cu aceasta ocazie au lansat si o pagina pe site-ul lor in care vorbesc despre cadouri sustenabile de Craciun, despre cum sa evitam risipa pe care obisnuim sa o facem cu totii cand cumparam cadouri pe fuga de sarbatori si un mic ghid de ales cadouri pentru cei micuti πŸ™‚ Important este sa invatam sa judecam ce inseamna un produs bun, de ce exista anumite costuri pentru produse certificate si de calitate si de ce uneori filosofia “buy less, choose, make it last” a lui Vivienne Westwood ne poate ajuta sa facem alegeri intelepte pentru copiii nostri.

EN: And at the end of this article we want to say just a few words about Mukibooks Christmas promotion (wow, Christmas is already close, that’s surreal!). In November (until 20th of November to be more precise) Mukibooks has a 15% discount to all products when using MUKI15 code at checkout (for quiet books as well as for travel play packs with pages that are not sewed together). And they also launched a nice page on their website where they talk about sustenable gifts for Christmas, about how we can avoid the waste when buying gifts on the run and a small guide for choosing presents for our little ones πŸ™‚ It is important to learn how to identify a good product, why there are certain prices for quality, certified products and why sometimes Vivienne Westwood’s philosophy, “buy less, cjoose, make it last” can help us make wise choices for our children.Β 
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