Category: Early Literacy Kits

Parenting Packs: Manners

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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 and resource guide amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

Itemized List

  • Carrying Tote ($15.99) — The Container Store
  • Be Polite and Kind by Cheri J. Meiners ($10.95) — Baker & Taylor
  • Emily Post’s The Gift of Good Manners by Emily Post ($19.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Excuse Me! A Little Book of Manners by Karen Katz ($5.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Manners Time by Elizbeth Verdick ($7.95) — Baker & Taylor
  • Time to Say “Please”! by Mo Willems ($16.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Golly Geepers Manners Flash Cards ($12.99) — Amazon
  • Playskool Picnic Basket Manners Game ($16.95) — Amazon
  • Vinyl Bag ($2.99) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets & Resource Guide ($3.00) — created in-house

Total: $97.80

I wanted to have a variety of kid-appropriate titles for caregivers to use. I went with two board books: Manners Time (which has caregiver tips at the end of the book) and Excuse Me!. Both of these titles work well for the younger crowd and will help toddlers navigate beginning manners. For the older kids who might be using this Pack, I included Be Polite and Kind and Time to Say “Please”!. Be Polite and Kind is very much a “teaching” book. With Time to Say “Please”!, I hoped that including a favorite author’s take on manners would help kids engage with the material.

For the caregivers, I choose Emily Post’s The Gift of Good Manners. It took me some time to find a caregiver book that specifically addressed teaching children manners as opposed to adult manners. I could have easily have selected a book on grown-up manners and etiquette, but that didn’t seem productive in the Pack.

I found the Golly Geepers Manners Game very quickly on Amazon and I was impressed with the quality of the cards and the customization for families. I also liked that this was a game to play DURING a meal together. What a great way to encourage manners and family together time!

The Playskool Picnic Basket Manners Game was another purchase from Amazon. I think this one appeals more to children because of the brightly colored pieces and the picnic basket and tablecloth game board. It encourages polite manners and turn-taking during gameplay.


The Manners Pack has been checked out six times since debuting five months ago. (That’s pretty much on par for the Parenting Packs average circulation. I find that these kits stay out for the full two weeks since there’s so much information and lots of materials in them.)

Book Bundles: Patterns

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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

  • Backpack ($7.39) — 4Imprint
  • The Game of Patterns by Herve Tullet ($8.95) — Baker & Taylor
  • Spotty, Stripy, Swirly: What Are Patterns? by Jane Brocket ($26.65) — Baker & Taylor
  • Too Purpley! by Jean Reidy ($7.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Lakeshore Learning Bead Sequencing Kit ($39.99) — Lakeshore Learning
  • Lakeshore Learning Texture Rubbing Plates ($14.99) — Lakeshore Learning
  • Vinyl Bags (2) ($4.98) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total: $113.49

I’ll be honest: finding books on patterns was hard! But I’m pretty pleased with all three of the choices offered in this Book Bundle. The Game of Patterns is a really fun interactive book that encourages one-on-one reading and play with a caregiver or older sibling. Spotty, Stripy, Swirly: What Are Patterns? clearly defines patterns for young children. And Too Purpley! is a board book that many children can relate to.

The Bead Sequencing Kit from Lakeshore Learning might be one of my most favorite things that I’ve ever purchased for the Bundles. I love that the kit comes with patterns for kids to replicate and build, but I also love that it allows for creativity as kids can create and match their own patterns.

And Texture Rubbing Plates! We have another Bundle that has rubbing plates in it (Animals) and that item has been a big hit with our patrons. I thought that having a second Bundle available with rubbing plates would be a good idea and the Patterns Bundle made perfect sense once I found the Texture set!


This Bundle has gone out eleven times since it was originally released five months ago!

Book Bundles: Opposites

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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

  • Backpack ($7.39) — 4Imprint
  • Animal Opposites by Petr Horacek ($15.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Eric Carle’s Opposites by Eric Carle ($7.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Elmo’s World Opposites ($9.99) — Amazon
  • The Learning Journey Opposites Puzzles ($11.99) — Amazon
  • Melissa and Doug Soft Activity Book ($12.99) — Amazon
  • Vinyl Bag ($1.99) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total: $70.88

Ahhh, Animal Opposites is such a wonderful book that I can *never* have in the regular collection because of the flaps and pop-ups. We have it in our storytime collection and the kids really enjoy it whenever we take it out. So, it made sense to put it in a Book Bundle! Eric Carle’s Opposites is one of the better board books I found when I was looking for one on opposites.

I tried not to have too many Bundles with DVDs in them, but I couldn’t resist for this one. (Finding manipulatives on opposites is hard!) “Elmo’s World Opposites” is part of the Elmo’s World collection and a big patron favorite at my library.

The Learning Journey’s Opposites Puzzles were perfect for this kit. I did not include every pair of opposites though, as I thought some of them weren’t illustrated in a way that made sense and I wanted to have some back-up pairs for when some of these go inevitably missing.

And the Melissa and Doug Soft Activity Book gave a sensory component to the Bundle. I can also imagine that it is the favorite item for the younger side of patrons using the kits. And it’s machine washable!


The Opposites Bundle has circulated thirteen times since debuting five months ago!

Book Bundles: Family

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

  • Backpack ($7.39) — 4Imprint
  • Families by Shelley Rotner and Sheila M. Kelly ($7.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Families, Families, Families! by Suzanne and Max Lang ($16.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • The Family Book by Todd Parr ($8.00) — Baker & Taylor
  • Learning Resources All About Me Family Counters ($22.99) — Amazon
  • My Family Builders ($84.95) — My Family Builders
  • Mesh Bag ($3.99) — The Container Store
  • Vinyl Bag ($1.99) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total: $156.84

It was really easy for me to choose quality books about being a family. You’ll notice that all three books: Families by Shelley Rotner and Sheila M. Kelly, Families, Families, Families! by Suzanne and Max Lang, and The Family Book by Todd Parr include a lot of different kinds of families. It was important to me that all kids could see their family reflected in this Bundle and I didn’t want any specific family to stand out. So, while there are many great family books, most of them focus on one family at a time which isn’t what I was going for.

[If I was making this Bundle right now, I would include We Are Family by Patricia Hegarty, published in 2017. It’s an English illustrator, which means I can talk about it as it’s ineligible for Caldecott.]

Honestly, I knew immediately that I wanted to use the My Family Builders set as the interactive tool for this Bundle. It is simply fantastic and I would recommend it to any family or library. Great quality, really fun and interactive. I brought the Bundles to our Farmer’s Market over the summer as a “sneak peek” and the kids would not stop playing with the My Family Builders.

I also liked having the All About Me Family Counters which really provided opportunities for kids to build their extended family (and to include babies and pets!).


This is the most popular kit of the recent editions, circulating fifteen times in five months!

Book Bundles: Construction

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

  • Backpack ($7.39) — 4Imprint
  • The Construction Crew by Lynn Meltzer ($15.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker ($18.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Crystal Climbers (48 pieces) ($24.99) — Lakeshore Learning
  • Hardwood Construction Vehicles (6 pieces) ($29.99) — Lakeshore Learning
  • Wooden Tool Belt Set (6 pieces) ($17.99) — Amazon
  • Vinyl Bags (3) ($8.97) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total: $126.86

For this Bundle, I took advantage of the fact that a favorite book was being re-released in a new format — Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site is now glow-in-the-dark! So I added that to the Bundle rather than re-buy it for the collection. And I got to write some pretty fun activities to go with the glow-in-the-dark aspect of the book. I also wanted to include a book that has not only racial diversity, but gender diversity as well. And that book was The Construction Crew.

The Crystal Climbers were a lighter option to building blocks and I like the opportunities that it provides to build something a bit more unusual that kids may not have seen before.

Hardwood Construction Vehicles were a great choice since I knew that I wanted to have actual vehicles in this Bundle. I love the weight of these vehicles — much better quality than plastic vehicles.

And the Wooden Tool Belt Set was something that I just couldn’t resist to buy for this kit. I’m always interested in providing dress-up clothes at the library, but I’m often concerned with germs. This wooden set allows for disinfection without needing any clothes to be washed.


This Bundle has circulated twelve times in the past five months!

Book Bundles: Clothes

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

  • Backpack ($7.39) — 4Imprint
  • Let’s Get Dressed by Caroline Jayne Church ($7.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Maggie and Michael Get Dressed by Denise Fleming ($17.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Alex Toys One Two Tie My Shoe! (2 shoes/laces & instructions) ($14.99) — Amazon
  • Lakeshore Learning: The Jacket I Wear in the Snow & Book ($36.98) — Lakeshore Learning & Baker & Taylor
  • Lakeshore Learning Lapboard ($9.99) — Lakeshore Learning
  • Melissa and Doug Teddy Wear Plush ($19.99) — Amazon
  • Vinyl Bags (2) ($4.98) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total: $122.85

For the books in this Bundle, I knew that I wanted to include a board book for the younger kids and a picture book for the older ones. I found the perfect picture book in Maggie and Michael Get Dressed. I read this in preschool storytime and the kids just laughed at Michael dressed Maggie. And Let’s Get Dressed! is simple and has the pages tabbed out for little hands.

The Alex Toys One Two Tie My Shoe! is a great way to learn how to tie your shoes and it’s a toy that we have in our Family Center as well. I only included two shoes in the Bundle so I’ll have replacement laces or shoes if needed.

I made a whole kit of The Jacket I Wear in the Snow that includes the book, a lapboard, and the Lakeshore Learning puffy cloth pieces to re-tell the story.

And the Melissa and Doug Teddy Wear Plush is perfect because it has some different kinds of closures (snaps, Velcro, ties, zippers, and a buckle) and is non-gender specific!


The clothes Bundle has been very popular and has circulated eleven times since releasing five months ago! It was the fastest one out of the gates, circulating four times in the first month.

Book Bundles: Calendar

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

  • Backpack ($7.39) — 4Imprint
  • All Year Round by Susan B. Katz ($17.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Today is Monday by Eric Carle ($16.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • A Year With Friends by John Seven ($15.95) — Baker & Taylor
  • H.U.M. All Year Long by Carole Peterson Stephens ($14.99) — Amazon
  • Lakeshore Learning Weather/Seasons ($29.99) — Lakeshore Learning
  • Little Smartie All About Today Board ($50.00) — Amazon
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total: $155.85

I wanted to provide a lot of different options in this kit: days of the week, months of the year, and seasons. The books really accomplish that. All Year Round focuses on the months of the year and shapes; Today is Monday does the days of the week, and A Year With Friends does both the months and the seasons.

The CD that I chose: “H.U.M. All Year Long” is one that I use in storytimes a lot and have noticed that the kids really enjoy dancing to it. I hope that families will enjoy it at home as well!

The Lakeshore Learning Weather/Seasons kit was a great find to help kids sort out the different activities and clothes we use in different seasons. I only included half of the kit in the Bundle, so I have replacement pieces if they are necessary!

The Little Smartie All About Today Board just barely fits inside the backpacks that we use for the Bundles, but it fits! I like that this board is made of wood and covers so many of the topics that I wanted the Bundle to focus on! It also has a clock on it for those that might have enjoyed the Time Bundle and want more practice!


This kit has circed twelve times in the last five months!

Book Bundles: Bedtime

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

  • Backpack ($7.39) — 4Imprint
  • Bedtime by Elizabeth Verdick ($7.95) — Baker & Taylor
  • A Book of Sleep by Il Sung Na ($6.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton ($9.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Dreamland: World Lullabies by Putumayo ($13.98) — Amazon
  • Laurie Berkner Lullabies by Laurie Berkner ($9.99) — Amazon
  • Bedtime Alphabet Flashcards (32 cards) ($5.99) — Amazon
  • Melissa and Doug Sunny Patch Blaze Firefly Flashlight ($7.99) — Amazon
  • Learning Resources: Story Cubes ($12.99) — Amazon
  • Vinyl Bags (2) ($3.98)– The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total: $89.79

There are so many wonderful bedtime books out there! Since we have a huge collection of bedtime books (shelved by subject) in the library, I decided to focus on bedtime board books in this Bundle. Board books in our library are shelved in bins and can be difficult to browse for a specific subject. I chose Bedtime because that featured photographs of babies sleeping, A Book of Sleep because it had animals sleeping, and The Going to Bed Book because it’s fun and inventive.

I chose two CDs to add to this Bundle. “Laurie Berkner Lullabies” was because she’s a favorite here at the library. And “Dreamland: World Lullabies” is a great way to incorporate multiple languages, sung by native speakers.

The toys were really fun finds, both chosen to be used by a caregiver/child pair before bed. The alphabet flashcards and flashlight make the dark fun for a child that may be frightened of it. It also promotes literacy and vocabulary! And the Learning Resources: Story Cubes are my nod to traditional storytelling. I love that it also promotes narrative skills and helps stretch this Bundle to be used with older kids as well as younger.


It’s been five months since this Bundle was released to be checked out and it has circulated ten times already!

Parenting Packs: Visiting the Doctor

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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 and resource guide amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

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Itemized List

  • Carrying Tote ($15.99) — The Container Store
  • ABC Doctor by Liz Murphy ($15.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Doctor Ted by Andrea Beaty & Pascal Lemaitre ($17.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Froggy Goes to the Doctor by Jonathan London ($6.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • I’m Getting a Checkup by Marilyn Singer ($16.00) — Baker & Taylor
  • Medical Kit by Fisher Price ($16.99) — Amazon
  • Melissa and Doug Doctor Role Play Costume ($29.99) — Amazon
  • Activity Sheets & Resource Guide ($3.00) — created in-house

Total: $122.94

This Pack is the only Pack that just has books for the kids. I couldn’t really find any parenting books on the subject and that makes sense. I provided four books with a variety of storylines: ABC Doctor is an alphabet book about the doctor, Doctor Ted is a book about a bear being a doctor, and both Froggy Goes to the Doctor and I’m Getting a Checkup are traditional books that explain the doctor visit procedures.

The Fisher Price medical kit and Melissa and Doug costume are excellent ways for families to play doctor at home before their visit. Showing the child was some of the equipment they’ll see looks like may help to ease fears.


It’s the end of May and the Visiting the Doctor Parenting Pack has gone out 8 times since launching at the end of November! As a former child who was very scared of the doctor, I hope this Pack has provided some comfort for the kids!

Parenting Packs: Staying in the Hospital

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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 and resource guide amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

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Itemized List

  • Carrying Tote ($15.99) — The Container Store
  • Can You Make Me Better? by Ann de Bode & Rien Broere($10.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Do I Have to Go to the Hospital? by Pat Thomas ($6.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Harry Goes to the Hospital by Howard J. Bennett ($14.95) — Baker & Taylor
  • What About Me? by Allan Peterkin ($9.95) — Baker & Taylor
  • Your Child In the Hospital by Nancy Keene ($14.95) — Baker & Taylor
  • Melissa & Doug Magnetic Human Body Play Set ($12.99) — Amazon
  • Stethoscope ($19.00) — Amazon
  • True Life X-Rays ($29.99) — Amazon
  • Vinyl Bags (2) ($5.98) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets & Resource Guide ($3.00) — created in-house

Total: $144.78

For the kids books: Do I Have to Go to the Hospital? addresses many of the fears a child may feel prior to going to the hospital. Both Can You Make Me Better? and Harry Goes to the Hospital detail different situations — one talks about surgery and the other title is only about being sick. And very important to me was to also include a book for siblings of children who need to stay in the hospital and What About Me? was the answer to that question.

For caregivers: I found one great book to help caregivers prepare for a child’s visit to the hospital. It talks about so many things that I didn’t even think of like getting doctor records, talking with insurance, arranging tours, and obviously helping the child through the experience. It was an excellent addition to this Pack.

Since there are a lot of different reasons a child might need to stay in the hospital, I wanted to include anatomically correct human body models that addresses organs, muscles, bones, etc.. Luckily, there was the fabulous Melissa and Doug magnetic set that does all the different systems in the body.

I wanted to include real medical equipment and that was done very easily with the stethoscope and x-rays. The x-rays were laminated to keep them from getting scratched up and messing the film. The stethoscope is kept in a vinyl bag to protect it while in the Pack.


It’s the end of May and the Staying in the Hospital Parenting Pack has gone out 3 times since launching at the end of November! I’m happy to see that its circulation is low because I hope that very few of my families will need the Pack.