Reading Buddies {and a Little Lakeshore}

This year I wanted to introduce reading buddies to my students.  I've seen baskets full of them on Pinterest, and I've read that reading to stuffed animals can actually lead to improved reading among littles.  I'll try anything to get my kiddos excited about reading, so I knew I had to pick up some buddies!
Do you notice anything about my little friends?  Here, take a closer look:
YUP!  My reading buddies are actually shower puffs!  Haha!  It makes me giggle when I think about it, but they are seriously cute, and they were seriously cheap!  Best of all, my firsties get a kick out of them, too, and love reading to them!

When I was on the search for reading buddies, every stuffed animal I picked up was $10 or more.  It wasn't in my budget to spend $50+ on this little addition to my classroom, so when I spotted these shower puff cuties at Pier 1, the wheels started turning!  They have six different puffs: zebra, giraffe, lion, elephant, turtle, and duck.
Each puff is $3, so I was able to fill my basket for $18 :)  Also, now that Christmas is coming {sort of}, Pier 1 came out with a few holiday themed puffs, like this adorable reindeer:
I will probably own him soon :)  Another plus: the fact that these guys are shower puffs makes them easily washable!  Maybe someday I will upgrade to real stuffed animals, but for now, I'm in love!

Something else I'm in love with:
These games from Lakeshore Learning!

Phonics Language Lacers will help your little ones match words to the correct sounds while using fun shoe-shaped activity boards.  This game has been great for my little firsties who are still struggling with this skill.  The Shape Sorting Magnetic Board comes with 8 shapes and 40 picture cards so your kiddos can practice sorting by shape.  My class is having a blast with these games during center time!  If you're interested in these products, or anything else from Lakeshore, be sure to use {THIS} coupon code for 25% off when you shop!!  The offer expires 11/01 :)

Disclaimer: A representative from Lakeshore Learning contacted me to do an honest review of these products.  The opinions expressed in this post are my own and were not influenced by the company or the incentive given.


Elizabeth said...

Shower puffs??? Who knew :)

I love it, Teri!


Fun in Room 4B

Shanyn said...

I LOVE the idea of shower puffs! Anything to bring down costs! The kids will love it :)

Coffee, Kids and Compulsive Lists

Diving Into Learning said...

I love the shower puff idea- that would be great to use in my pre-k classroom since we are constantly having to clean items and those would be easy to clean. I really like the reindeer one too.

~Diving Into Learning

Lovely Nina said...

I love your shower puff animal buddy readers! What a cute idea. Do you find that your Firsties really take them seriously or do they end up playing with them? Thanks for sharing!!!

Lovely Nina said...

I love your shower puff animal buddy readers! What a cute idea. Do you find that your Firsties really take them seriously or do they end up playing with them? Thanks for sharing!!!

Kimberly Santana said...

How cute are your puffs!?! Gotta love Pier1. I always grab the Khols Cares stuffed animals to go in my library. I love that they match the books, but $5 a pop can add up quickly. I'm slightly addicted ;)

The Learning Tree

Mrs. Nunley said...

Oh my gosh! I love your Reading Buddies idea! It reminded me that I have a bunch of beanie babies in storage that I can pull out and use for my classroom!


First Grade Magic

Lisa R. said...

Shower puffs! What an awesome idea! The littlest things are the ones that make the most sense. Love it!
Learning Is Something to Treasure

Stephanie said...

Holy moly are those shower puff critters a cute/smart/fun idea!! Love it!

❤ -Stephanie
Falling Into First

Amy Carpenter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy J said...

Genius! They are precious.

What Happens in First Grade

Kristen said...

This is so brilliant Teri!!! They are adorable AND washable, haha! How cool! :)

Sara Soucy said...

Good idea! Love the reindeer.

Sara :)
Smiling In Second Grade

Angie said...

LOVE the shower puff idea!! What a great idea! I've purchased the $5 Kohls ones throughout the years, but cleaning shower puffs would be soooo much easier like you said! It's so cute watching them sit and read to them, or just read and hold onto them. :)

Rulin' The Roost

Rachel Jones said...

This is wonderful! I love the idea of reading buddies...I'll have to look into it! Great post :)
Let's Talk Speech Therapy

Miss Squirrels said...

I have a dress that looks just like that reindeer's puff!
I swear it!

Going Nutty!

Michelle Griffo said...

I am testing the lacing game too! I have to wait until the end of the year to use it with my Kinders though :)

Laura said...

Such a great idea! the easy to clean part is the best! I always worry about germs in my room. My kids miss so many days for being sick, if I can help cut down some by keeping things clean I do.

I will have to try this when my kids start reading.

Carlyn Girl said...

Reading buddies are an excellent idea, I will keep that in mind when I become a teacher.

Cindy Calenti said...

Great idea for those shower puffs! I'm your newest follower and hope you can hop over to my blog sometime soon.

BTW- I LOVE your products!

Granny Goes to School

Casey Shreve said...

Absolutely LOVE your reading buddies! I'm in my reading clinical now, (I'll graduate in may with my Elem. Ed. degree) and I'm constantly looking for fun things to do with my kids! Thank you!

Miss Cosby said...

So when they're done with their phonics can they practice tying their shoes?! My kiddos need practice in both.

You Might Be a First Grader...

Jenelle Gibney said...

I love the idea of the bath puffs! It always amazes me what other teachers think of with you average items!

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Miss DeCarbo said...

Love the shoe tying!! Boy do I have kids who need both the phonics and the tying haha! :)

Love to Learn said...

Those shower puff reading buddies are so cute. You'll have to share if your students' reading improves due to the reading buddy presence.

Love to Learn

Traci said...

These are super cute. I just added a bunch of stuffed animals to my room and can't get over how much the kiddos LOVE them. You are definitely right; anything to get them excited about reading!

vicky1970 said...

Teri - those are very cute. I see you are from NJ...I was born there ( norther ) Ringwood ( Pompton Plains ). But raised in So. Cal...
I have to agree whatever gets them reading. I do reading buddies with 5th graders at our school but I also have quite a few stuffed buddies in my library too. :o)

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