Lakeshore Lovin’

It’s not what you’re thinking.

I neither went to the lake nor got some lovin’, but I do have some new educational materials from my favorite store!

For my money, Lakeshore Learning has the best quality products for children of all ages and skills (babies and toddlers all the way up to children in fifth and sixth grades). They have really expanded their inventory from mostly arts and crafts supplies, bulletin board materials, and math manipulatives to everything you need to teach in today’s active, hand-on classroom. One of their most brilliant moves (besides selling their products exclusively in their own stores and on their website) is to take one concept and apply it to different subjects and skills.

Exhibit A:

A couple of years ago, I started to see these awesome science-game-in-a-can products. They were inexpensive ($10.95, if I am remembering correctly) and my students loved them. There are three categories of cards, a top that doubles as a spinner, and disks or tokens the children earn when they answer a question correctly. The questions are multiple choice, and there is an answer card, so one child in the game can be the checker or the role can pass from child to child. Basically, science questions/worksheets in the form of a game. I started with this one:

And eventually acquired the whole set. Some of the spinners are missing, the answer cards are bent and, in some cases, scotch-taped together, and some of the games are missing tokens, but these games never fail to engage even the most reluctant science student.

Exhibit B:

Just when I thought I had a full set of Can Do! games, Lakeshore went and applied the same idea to science concepts like magnetic force, color and light, sink and float – in handy-dandy, all-inclusive mini-centers:

Ingenious! The disks have pictures of activities the kids can do with the materials. Easy-peasy! (They are, in fact, a little too easy for my advanced group of second graders, but do not underestimate how much fun a group of advanced second graders can have with a flashlight, some plastic bears, and a mirror!) So, of course, I had to start collecting these. A little pricier, but they’re self-contained, space-efficient, independent (no reading necessary), and I think they’ll be perfect for beginning second graders (who are really still first graders.)

Exhibit C:

{Shakes fist in air like Jon Stewart}

Damn you, Lakeshore!

I bought it to use with two of my tutees who are learning how to read.

Of course, there are others:

Then there are these helpful educational products:

Let’s see, if I tutor for three hours a day, every day for the rest of the summer….

{I am thinking about doing a series of blog posts (after I finish the ones on Nurture Shock – gotta get back to that) on my recommendations for products, books, etc. for certain age groups/grade levels. Would this be helpful to those of my readers who are parents of young children?}


{Disclaimer: I am not a paid spokesperson for Lakeshore Learning (although I could be and am willing to entertain any offers!) I just like their stuff!}



4 thoughts on “Lakeshore Lovin’

    1. I went to Lakeshore with a friend today and made sure she got the schedule for July-September at the Post Oak store. Her 4 3/4 year old will love the crafts!

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