While we’ll always have a soft spot for raindrops on roses and crisp apple strudel, Book Nook’s favorite things center mostly around — you guessed it — literacy enrichment!
The educational terrain is always changing, and we want to ensure that we — as well as our little ones — are always on top and ahead of the game. Because of this, we are always on the lookout for new products and goodies to add to our classes and engage our little ones. Yet there are also some tried and true favorites that we know work and know are both fun and beneficial for young learners. We’ve compiled a list of books and products that are perfect gifts for the holidays — and also for you to have at home year round!
Hervé Tullet Books
Hervé Tullet books are perfect for keeping kids engaged while also incorporating some additional learning into their bedtime (or anytime!) story routine. These books ask little ones to engage by becoming part of the story itself. The books are often short but by involving children in a more active way, they help with expanding attention span and focus. We love all of Tullet’s books, but Press Here will always be a special favorite.
Mr. Potato Head
Mr. Potato Head has been a staple in toy boxes for years, but he never gets old! We incorporate him into class to help with fine motor development and also body awareness. By putting Mr. Potato Head together, little ones are learning where eyes, nose, and ears go — which will help with self portraits later on. This activity also boosts problem solving and teaches patience as well.
Book Nook’s teachers incorporate many different writing utensils in class to ensure our students are perfecting their grip across the board, but Pipsqueaks are a particular favorite. These markers are small and perfectly fitted for little hands, so children can grip naturally, without much effort or adjustment. Including these in a lesson early on helps with different grips later, like pencils and pens.
Building blocks are another classic, but we like to add a little twist for our students to keep things interesting and keep those brains working. Chalkboard blocks are the perfect tool for a wide variety of activities! Kids can make people (and sing the Mat Man song while doing it!), practice writing letters and building words, and more. We love adding these into a lesson to give kids a chance to explore their imaginations.
Wooden Train Tracks
Trains are popular among children of all ages, and we swear by these wooden tracks. Not only are they fun and engaging, they are another awesome tool for fine motor development and building attention span. Plus, it makes a great group activity — our small group classes often work together to build seriously amazing routes for their trains! It always warms our hearts to see such wonderful team work.
Dry Erase Markers
Like we said before, we love to incorporate different writing utensils into a class to keep writing fun and to work on different thicknesses and textures for grip. Dry erase markers are probably the most popular tool amongst our students. We often use whiteboards, but the kids also love to write and draw on our glass tables — and it’s perfect for us, too, because clean-up is a cinch! These are another great tool for working on letters, phonics, and blending in the beginning stages of reading.
Wind-up toys are our favorite play activity when working with our Lil Hoots and Early Hoots. They love watching the different creatures crawl across the floor — and we love working on fine motor development! In the beginning, our instructors demonstrate how to wind up each creature or vehicle until eventually our students feel confident enough to try on their own. It’s amazing to see how their fingers and hands become stronger throughout a school year — and this activity is a huge help with that!
Book Nook teachers use dot paints for a variety of our worksheets in class — for everything from ABCs to individual letter identification. Dot paints are also great for building patience as well, as in the beginning children are quick to go ahead and press the dot paint onto everything without waiting for instruction! However, as the routine becomes set and clear in their minds, they know to wait and seek letters, words, and images out individually. We love watching the progress take place, and these are perfect for at-home activities too!
Adding any of these items to your child’s at-home routine will help keep the literacy enrichment going even when they aren’t at Book Nook! Plus, it’s fun and engaging — so they’ll be playing and learning all once. It’s the best of both worlds. 🙂
The Book Nook Family wishes you the happiest of holiday seasons!
And, as always — Happy Reading!