Early Learning and Entertainment
I had a children’s book themed baby shower back in July, and we asked attendants to bring a children’s book instead of a card to start Molly’s home library. This was by far the best thing we did (along with a diaper raffle) because it gave us such a great variety of literature. Among the books we received, my grandma gave us two Usborne books, Noisy Farm and Wipe-Clean Dot to Dot Farm. My parents started a farm, Mini Mac, my senior year of high school and currently work it. My grandma (GG) thought it was the perfect opportunity to give Molly her first farm related book.
Today, I want to share some information about the Wipe-Clean collection from Usborne. These books are really cool in so many ways. The book and pages are thick and glossy, and aren’t that easy to rip, bend, or fold. A special pen comes with the book, making it convenient to use. These books can help kids with practicing pen control, numbers, letters, and numbers, and also provide entertainment.
Two words that best describe these books are versatile and portable. The Wipe-Clean books can be used as an independent activity or with a buddy/parent. It can be transported anywhere because all you need is the book, pen, and something to wipe with (tissue, paper towel, sleeve, etc.). There is no charging required, so you don’t need to worry about cords and outlets. They are thin and lightweight, and they fit easily into almost any type of bag.
Book Suggestions for Teachers and Parents
For preschool age kids, I would recommend using Wipe-Clean 1,2,3, Writing Numbers, Alphabet, and First Letters. Usborne also makes Wipe-Clean cards for learning the alphabet and numbers that are also great for this age group. For kindergarten students, I would suggest using Wipe-Clean Capital and Lowercase Letters, Common Words to Copy, First Math, and First Words. For early elementary students, I recommend Wipe-Clean Starting Times Tables, Telling the Time, and Action Words to Copy. Depending on the student’s needs, you may need to differentiate with lower level or more advanced level books.
The activity books come in great themes and can be used from preschool through early elementary. There are also some engaging sets meant for helping kids get ready for school, which would be a great summer activity.
Here are some great ideas on using these books for parents and teachers of preschool-early elementary kids.
- Center Activity. When I taught sixth grade, I would do a variety of center activities with my students. Mine didn’t look as appealing as elementary centers because of lack of space and resources. However, I always felt like I used the same ideas over and over (online games, videos, etc.). These books are awesome because students can work on them independently and they are easy to check. There is also minimal set up because all you need are the books, pens, and a tissue or paper towel.
- Remedial or Enrichment activities. As teachers we are always told to differentiate, and these books are PERFECT for doing just that. I suggest using these during math and/or reading instruction because that is where they would fit the curriculum best. Also, if you have ICS or pull out, these books would be perfect to use during those times as well.
- Extra Practice or jumpstart skills. As a parent, you can use these books however they work best for your child. They start at basic skills (pen control, learning the alphabet and counting, and common words) and continue into harder concepts, such as times tables and telling time. Again, it’s up to you as a parent to determine to use these books for fun, extra practice, or to jumpstart skills that will be taught in school.
- Independently. Over the years I have had parents ask me what they can do at home to help their kids with skills. Some parents want to be able to give their kids worksheets to do on their own, and these books can work the exact same way.
- Buddy Work (Parent). Similar to how some parents like independent work, others like to do practice work with their kids. One great strategy could be you do one page and talk about your thinking process aloud, then have your child do the same on another page. This allows kids to hear and see how an adult works and when they imitate an adult, it gives the parent a chance to understand their child’s thinking.
- Buddy Work (Sibling, relative, friend). Kids love to do activities with someone else. These books are a great opportunity to have your child interact with a sibling, relative, or friend. For the activity books, your child can do a part and their “helper” can do another. For instance, in the Dot to Dot books, there are dots to connect and words to write on each page. Depending on what the child wants or needs, they do that part and the “helper” would do the other.
- Fun activity books. While it’s great that these books can be used for writing and math skills, they are also meant to be fun and entertaining. As mentioned above, they are easy to transport and require little to no set up and clean up. Kids can complete mazes, dot to dots, and theme activities like dinosaurs and pirates.