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May 20, 2020

Heidi's Classroom Amazon Favorites

Have you ever seen one of my posts, and wondered where I got a certain item?  Well NOW we have a way for you to always be able to find it, on my own Amazon page!  On there, you will find a list of my tried and true classroom favs that I purchased from Amazon.  I highly recommend these products and have mentioned them on many occasions! However, if you log on and spend too much, that's on YOU!

1.  Beautiful, Bright Organizational Baskets

The first item I recommend is a set of these beautiful, colorful baskets!  Yes, they are a thing of beauty, and I've been using them for about two years.  I purchased two sets, and I just LOVE how bright and cheerful they are!  I organize instructional supplies in them, especially the pieces of art projects that my students need to create things.  For example, the piece for the duck's head goes into one basket, and the pieces for the feet go into another.  Then the kids just help themselves!  Nothing gets mixed up or lost (usually!)  LOL

2.  Play-Doh Alphabet Stamps

These play dough stamps are just the BEST!  I really like that they don't have any inner grooves or spaces that the dough can get stuck into.  That's because they are not really cookie cutters, but rather raised stampers.  I used them last year to have the kids stamp out their sight words in both play dough and Kinetic Sand!

This tray came with the magnetic letters linked below.  I just dumped out the letters and put in the stampers!

3.  Step-a-Logs

Full disclosure:  these stepping stone things are very similar to another product that I have that is no longer available, so this isn't exactly it.  But it's close!  I like to put these out when I take my students out for Motor Development, which is a fancy early childhood word for PE.  We have some tricycles, a balance beam, some walking "cups," and jump ropes, etc. for the kids to work on their large motor skills.  The kids LOVE this time, and any challenge that I can come up with is just heartily embraced by MOST of the children.  Sometimes, certain children are a bit afraid to try them, but they eventually all come around!

4.  Egg Candler
Do you ever hatch chicks in your classroom?  This is one of my FAVORITE activities, and the children just learn SO much!  Our chick unit was greatly enhanced by using this egg candler, because it allowed us to take a peek inside those eggs and watch the development of the chicks!  The only problem is that the room has to be VERY dark, so if you have lots of windows, this probably won't work well for you.  I had to go underneath a table and try to use it.  Then I videotaped what I saw inside the eggs and showed the children later on our large screen.  WONDERFUL!  By the way, the incubator I use is also linked on my Amazon page!  Not only that, you can purchase fertilized eggs on Amazon, too!

5.  Melissa & Doug Abacus
I picked up this tip from a teacher friend!  She uses an abacus to help the kids visualize how many days we have been in school.  So each morning when we look at the calendar, we slide over one more bead on the abacus, and secure it with a small clothespin.  Then I change the number on my 1-100 pocket chart, which is also linked.  We learned to count by tens also by using the abacus (and my Musical Math video as well, LOL!)

6.  Child-sized HEADPHONES!
I don't know what it was about my students last year, but I've never had so many children totally unable to use regular, adult-sized headphones!  So when the PTA gave each class some money to spend, I decided to purchase some headphones that were actually MADE for children!  I searched a long time until I found some headphones that the reviewers said were sturdy and worked well.  And you can see one of them below!  I bought them on Black Friday, when they went on sale for just $9.99 each!  Note:  Right now, they are $13, so if you need several, I suggest that you wait until there's a sale!

7.  Magnetic Foam Letters in Six Different Colored Sets
If there is any one item on this list that I get asked about the most, it's this set of magnetic letters!  I really had to spend some time searching to find one pack of letters with several complete sets of the alphabet in SIX colors!  This particular set has lowercase letters from A-Z in orange, yellow, light green, light blue, and dark purple, and light violet.  AND it has two more sets of capital letters- one in red from A-Z and another in dark blue from A-Z.

The benefit of getting sets of letters in so many different colors is that you can use them in small groups, giving each child a different color, and know that the children will not mix up their sets.  I actually purchased a different set FIRST with all of the consonants in blue and the vowels in red, and I discovered IMMEDIATELY that this was not going to work with my littles!  The children kept "borrowing" letters from each other, and by the end of the day, I had big MESS of letters that I had to sort out after school.  This took me about 20 minutes of my precious time, and I knew I had to find a different solution.  So that's when I went searching for the sets in different colors.

This is my calendar set up with the abacus enlarged in the inset.  Notice the small clothespin holding one bead apart to represent just one day of school.


8.  Construction Paper Organizer/Sorter This is DEFINITELY one my favorite purchases!  I absolutely despise having a drawer filled with random colors of construction paper, or even just having them all stacked up on the shelf.  So I looked everywhere until I found a reasonably priced storage solution for my construction paper!  This has been working GREAT for TWO FULL YEARS, and even though it is just cardboard, nothing has ripped, split, or broken!  I keep it in a closet, and yes, it actually fits in a standard school cupboard!  I have NO regrets spending money on this one!


9.  Lowercase Scrabble Tiles

There are so many things you can do with little wooden scrabble tiles, but I have always avoided it because I just didn't like the idea of having the kids practice spelling word all in capitals.  And then I happened on these lowercase Scrabble tiles on Amazon!  I never thought to even LOOK for them before, so this was a wonderful surprise for me!  I had parent volunteers Gorilla glue these onto some wooden clothespins, and now my kids can make words by clipping the letters onto a paintstick!  Fun!

Scrabble tiles on a paint stick!

9.  Favorite Pocket Charts

There are a lot more things on my Amazon page, but I wanted to include these because I have been asked SO MANY TIMES where I found them!  I use these two long, narrow pocket charts to display my Letter of the Week and Number of the Week cards.  I use one of the Pocket Chart Squares to display the Shape of the Week cards.  I usually use the blue one to display my Visual Schedule.  (It's editable!) Since there is a large, magnetic, whiteboard on my wall right at the front, I use magnetic clips to hold them up.  What I love about this is that I can easily remove them if I want to actually WRITE something on the board, lol.  I just lay them on a table.  Easy peasy!  By the way, I have never used the dry erase schedule cards that come with the purple one.  I think I gave them away...


I hope that this has been useful to you!  There are many more items on my Amazon list.  Just take a look!  :)

HeidiSongs is an Amazon affiliate.

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