Category: Early Literacy Kits

Book Bundles: Dinosaurs

bookbundlesparentingpacks

For an overview of the Book Bundles and Parenting Packs early literacy kits, please visit the original post. The cost listed is the list price of each item, regardless of whether or not we got it on sale/discount. The activity sheets amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

Itemized List

  • Inside-Outside Dinosaurs by Roxie Munro ($17.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Touch and Feel Dinos by Scholastic ($6.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • We are the Dinosaurs by Laurie Berkner ($17.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Discovery Kids Rumble With the Dinosaurs ($12.99) — Amazon
  • Melissa and Doug Dinosaur Dawn Puzzle ($10.99) — Amazon
  • Pretex Dinosaur Figures ($29.99) — Amazon
  • Mesh Bags (2) ($7.98) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total: $114.86

It occurred to me shortly after launching the Animals Book Bundle that I had only included still-living animals. I had missed dinosaurs! Lucky for me, there’s more than enough material to create an entire dinosaur themed Bundle.

I wanted to have a non-fiction book, a picture book, and a board book in this Bundle and made my decision easily once I went to the shelf to see which books were in the worst condition and needed replacements. (That means they’re the most loved!)

When it came time to decide what toys, I knew that I wanted to include a noisy, frustrating toy that caregivers might only want to have in their homes for a short while. And that was the Discovery Kids Rumble With the Dinosaurs. I can just imagine kids pressing all the buttons simultaneously to hear ALL the dinosaur sounds at once.

Patrons often request more circulating puzzles and I was happy to include the Melissa and Doug puzzle in this Bundle. It’s larger than any of the puzzles that we have here in the library and definitely more challenging for older preschool kids/early school-age kids.

I also wanted to encourage imaginative play and I thought that the dinosaur figures from Pretex were perfect. I hope that they are being constantly used at home, with lots and lots of roaring along.


This Bundle has gone out five times in the two months since it was released.

Baby Bundles: Zoo

For an overview of the Baby Bundles early literacy kits, please visit the original post. The cost listed is the list price of each item, regardless of whether or not we got it on sale/discount. The activity sheets amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

Itemized List

  • Tote Bag ($6.89) — 4Imprint
  • My Heart Is Like a Zoo ($7.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Peek-a-Boo Zoo by Joyce Wan ($6.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Melissa and Doug Jungle Friends Jumbo Knob Puzzle ($9.99) — Amazon
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total Cost: $34.41

Confession time: I actually started with toys while I was creating Baby Bundles. Since baby/toddler toys are a relatively small market compared with children’s toys, it seemed like I should get a list of toys that were appropriate for circulation before I picked out themes. Luckily, the toys lent themselves to natural themes and I still have a list of toys that I may use for future kits!

One of the biggest requests from patrons is if we circulate puzzles. (We don’t on their own.) So naturally, I wanted to have a puzzle toy available in the Baby Bundles, like I do in Book Bundles and Parenting Packs. The large knobs from the Melissa and Doug My First series were perfect for this kit.

Two great zoo books in both My Heart Is Like a Zoo and Peek-a-Boo Zoo. My Heart Is Like a Zoo has such a great rhyming scheme and it works very well for both babies and toddlers. And Peek-a-Boo Zoo is part of a great series.


It’s been ten months since the Baby Bundles debuted and this Bundle has circulated seventeen times.

Baby Bundles: Things That Go

For an overview of the Baby Bundles early literacy kits, please visit the original post. The cost listed is the list price of each item, regardless of whether or not we got it on sale/discount. The activity sheets amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

Itemized List

  • Tote Bag ($6.89) — 4Imprint
  • Cars Go by Steve Light ($9.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Zoom, Zoom, Baby! by Karen Katz ($6.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Melissa and Doug Pull-Back Vehicles ($24.99) — Amazon
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total Cost: $51.41

Confession time: I actually started with toys while I was creating Baby Bundles. Since baby/toddler toys are a relatively small market compared with children’s toys, it seemed like I should get a list of toys that were appropriate for circulation before I picked out themes. Luckily, the toys lent themselves to natural themes and I still have a list of toys that I may use for future kits!

Ahhhhh, I love these pull-back vehicles. They are machine-washable (!!) and kids just absolutely adore them. I just found out that Melissa and Doug also have these in construction vehicles and you can bet that those were added to my list of new toys for new Baby Bundles.

Cars Go and all of the Steve Light transportation books are fantastic board books. But their irregular shape doesn’t always work for board book collections. It was a perfect fit to include in our Baby Bundle though and it will be read more often than the ones we have on oversized display. And you cannot go wrong with Karen Katz, so Zoom, Baby, Zoom was perfect.


It’s been ten months since the Baby Bundles debuted and this Bundle has circulated seventeen times.

Baby Bundles: Sounds

For an overview of the Baby Bundles early literacy kits, please visit the original post. The cost listed is the list price of each item, regardless of whether or not we got it on sale/discount. The activity sheets amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

Itemized List

  • Tote Bag ($6.89) — 4Imprint
  • Baby Sounds by Joy Allen ($6.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Hi! by Ethan Long ($7.95) — Baker & Taylor
  • Fisher Price Easy Stack ‘n Sounds Blocks ($8.00) — Amazon
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total Cost: $32.38

Confession time: I actually started with toys while I was creating Baby Bundles. Since baby/toddler toys are a relatively small market compared with children’s toys, it seemed like I should get a list of toys that were appropriate for circulation before I picked out themes. Luckily, the toys lent themselves to natural themes and I still have a list of toys that I may use for future kits!

I love these Stack ‘n Sounds Blocks. These were another purchase based on a niece/nephew of mine adoring this set. I think that in addition to making a sound and being fun that way, these are also a great grasping toy for younger kids who are just starting to play. That being said, the sounds are not 100% unique — two of the blocks sound very similar to each other. I don’t think kids care at all, but I wanted readers to be aware of that!

Baby Sounds is a wonderful board book that talks about the sounds that babies may hear throughout the day. I chose it for the fact that it talked about sounds that a majority of babies would be very familiar with. I chose Hi! by Ethan Long because I wanted to include an animal sounds book as well.


It’s been ten months since the Baby Bundles debuted and this Bundle has circulated seventeen times.

Baby Bundles: Shapes

For an overview of the Baby Bundles early literacy kits, please visit the original post. The cost listed is the list price of each item, regardless of whether or not we got it on sale/discount. The activity sheets amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

Itemized List

  • Tote Bag ($6.89) — 4Imprint
  • Animals Shapes by Little Bee Books ($6.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Shapes by DK Braille ($14.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Melissa and Doug Match and Roll Shape Sorter ($19.99) — Amazon
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total Cost: $51.41

Confession time: I actually started with toys while I was creating Baby Bundles. Since baby/toddler toys are a relatively small market compared with children’s toys, it seemed like I should get a list of toys that were appropriate for circulation before I picked out themes. Luckily, the toys lent themselves to natural themes and I still have a list of toys that I may use for future kits!

I had to have a shape sorter, right? That is a staple of baby/toddler toys. I went with the Melissa and Doug Match and Roll Shape Sorter since it came with many different opportunities for play. In addition to being a shape sorter, it can also be rolled and you can match based on color instead of shape. It’s also got that great durability associated with Melissa and Doug products.

There are lots of shape books and both of my choices are excellent examples of them. Shapes by DK Braille might be one of my favorite board books of all time though. I love the raised and indented illustrations so that people with low vision can feel the illustrations and shapes featured in the book.


It’s been ten months since the Baby Bundles debuted and this Bundle has circulated EIGHTEEN times. It is our most popular Bundle!

Baby Bundles: Pets

For an overview of the Baby Bundles early literacy kits, please visit the original post. The cost listed is the list price of each item, regardless of whether or not we got it on sale/discount. The activity sheets amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

Itemized List

  • Tote Bag ($6.89) — 4Imprint
  • Fifteen Animals by Sandra Boynton ($6.95) — Baker & Taylor
  • My First Pets by DK Kids ($5.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Hape Walk-a-Long Puppy ($24.99) — Amazon
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total Cost: $47.37

Confession time: I actually started with toys while I was creating Baby Bundles. Since baby/toddler toys are a relatively small market compared with children’s toys, it seemed like I should get a list of toys that were appropriate for circulation before I picked out themes. Luckily, the toys lent themselves to natural themes and I still have a list of toys that I may use for future kits!

The Hape Walk-a-Long Puppy is the most expensive toy that I purchased for the Baby Bundles. But it is such a great, well-made toy. The pull string encourages grasping tools for good fine-motor development. And the fact that it is a pull-along toy encourages gross motor movement at home. I would love to have these kinds of toys available in the library, but the one that I did try to put out was broken within a week with the constant use. I was glad to be able to add a pull-along toy to the circulating Baby Bundles.

I really wanted to include books that showcased a lot of other pets since my toy choice was a specific pet. I also wanted to include a photo-illustrated book to show a different perspective. It was easy to choose my illustrated title though —
Fifteen Animals is my favorite Sandra Boynton book ever. It’s funny and makes a great flannelboard too. And then I added My First Pets to the Bundle to complete it.


It’s been ten months since the Baby Bundles debuted and this Bundle has circulated twelve times.

Baby Bundles: Peek-a-Boo

For an overview of the Baby Bundles early literacy kits, please visit the original post. The cost listed is the list price of each item, regardless of whether or not we got it on sale/discount. The activity sheets amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

Itemized List

  • Tote Bag ($6.89) — 4Imprint
  • Peekaboo Morning by Rachel Isadora ($7.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Peek-a-Who? by Nina Laden ($6.95) — Baker & Taylor
  • Melissa and Doug Peek a Boo Panda ($7.99) — Amazon
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total Cost: $32.37

Confession time: I actually started with toys while I was creating Baby Bundles. Since baby/toddler toys are a relatively small market compared with children’s toys, it seemed like I should get a list of toys that were appropriate for circulation before I picked out themes. Luckily, the toys lent themselves to natural themes and I still have a list of toys that I may use for future kits!

This is definitely a younger toy for sure (the manufacturer age says 9+ months), but I wanted to have a variety of ages represented in the toys that I chose for the collection. Since this is a very simple toy, it made sense to me to include it, as this is one that I can see some children growing out of very fast, but entranced by it for a brief period of time. (The reviews on many sites seemed to indicate that as well.) I also love the fine motor work that kiddos will work on.

But these books! Oh, these are some of my favorite board books in the entire world. I love Peekaboo Morning for its everyday diversity. It’s a great read for young toddler classes as well. And all of Nina Laden’s Peek-a-Boo books are pretty awesome. My favorite is Peek-a-Who? (and its the one with the most natural rhymes since its the first of the series).


It’s been ten months since the Baby Bundles debuted and this Bundle has circulated nine times. It is the lightest Baby Bundle, just for fun trivia facts!

Baby Bundles: Ocean

For an overview of the Baby Bundles early literacy kits, please visit the original post. The cost listed is the list price of each item, regardless of whether or not we got it on sale/discount. The activity sheets amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

Itemized List

  • Tote Bag ($6.89) — 4Imprint
  • Deep Sea Dive by Salina Yoon ($7.95) — Baker & Taylor
  • You Are My Baby: Ocean by Lorena Siminovich ($8.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Melissa and Doug Flip Fish Baby Toy ($16.99) — Amazon
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total Cost: $43.37

Confession time: I actually started with toys while I was creating Baby Bundles. Since baby/toddler toys are a relatively small market compared with children’s toys, it seemed like I should get a list of toys that were appropriate for circulation before I picked out themes. Luckily, the toys lent themselves to natural themes and I still have a list of toys that I may use for future kits!

The Melissa and Doug Flip Fish Baby Toy was one of the true baby-friendly toys that I found online. Since we have a washing machine here in the library, I decided to circulate some of these soft toys knowing that we can clean them after circulations. This toy is also one that will grow with children, because you can play an almost memory-like game with the scales on the fish.

Both Deep Sea Dive and You Are My Baby: Ocean are books that have a part that make them difficult to have in the main collection of board books. Deep Sea Dive‘s clear blue piece would get scratched up easily and all of the “You Are My Baby” series wind up splitting the little board book’s spine from the big board book’s spine. I am hopeful that having these in the Baby Bundle will still let caregivers and children enjoy these great stories.


It’s been three months since the Baby Bundles debuted and this Bundle has circulated five times.

Baby Bundles: Make Music

For an overview of the Baby Bundles early literacy kits, please visit the original post. The cost listed is the list price of each item, regardless of whether or not we got it on sale/discount. The activity sheets amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

Itemized List

  • Tote Bag ($6.89) — 4Imprint
  • The Babies on the Bus by Karen Katz ($7.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • If You’re Happy and You Know It illustrated by Annie Kubler ($4.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Hohner 4-Piece Baby Band ($19.99) — Amazon
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total Cost: $42.41

Confession time: I actually started with toys while I was creating Baby Bundles. Since baby/toddler toys are a relatively small market compared with children’s toys, it seemed like I should get a list of toys that were appropriate for circulation before I picked out themes. Luckily, the toys lent themselves to natural themes and I still have a list of toys that I may use for future kits!

Oh, the joy of the Hohner 4-Piece Baby Band! Such great instruments in an adorable carrying case. I really wanted to make sure that our patrons had opportunities to have their own version of our music programs at home. Some of our most popular items in storytime have been the music makers and the Baby Bundle is a great way to allow caregivers to take those instruments home. I did read one review online that mentions that these instruments can become choking hazards if they are split open. Staff members and volunteers carefully look over the Bundle when it comes back to the library and have been instructed to pull this Bundle if any of the instruments are starting to look worn.

I wanted to have books that would encourage caregivers to sing to their child and both selections — The Babies on the Bus and If You’re Happy and You Know It — absolutely encourage singing. I always wanted to highlight a more traditional song and show caregivers how that could be expanded, which both books do as well. These are easy songs for caregivers to add their own verses to!


It’s been three months since the Baby Bundles debuted and this Bundle has circulated eight times. Music is one of our most popular requests!

Baby Bundles: Food

For an overview of the Baby Bundles early literacy kits, please visit the original post. The cost listed is the list price of each item, regardless of whether or not we got it on sale/discount. The activity sheets amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

Itemized List

  • Tote Bag ($6.89) — 4Imprint
  • My First Book of Food by Eric Carle ($5.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Yummy Yucky by Leslie Patricelli ($6.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Melissa and Doug Picnic Basket Fill and Spill Toy ($24.99) — Amazon
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total Cost: $47.41

Confession time: I actually started with toys while I was creating Baby Bundles. Since baby/toddler toys are a relatively small market compared with children’s toys, it seemed like I should get a list of toys that were appropriate for circulation before I picked out themes. Luckily, the toys lent themselves to natural themes and I still have a list of toys that I may use for future kits!

Another washable toy from Melissa and Doug! Each of the food items from the Picnic Basket Fill and Spill makes a sound when you shake the item — perfect for little hands to explore with. I did have one caregiver comment that they wished the lunch was healthy, but I interpreted the drink as juice and not soda.

I love Eric Carle’s My First Book of Food but it is a really difficult book to keep in good condition with the dual pages to turn. It works best in a kit. And Yummy Yucky is a food board book classic — a must-have for any collection!


It’s been three months since the Baby Bundles debuted and this Bundle has circulated six times.