More Bang for Your Book-Buck

Monday, July 19, 2010

Fitting Imagination, Reading, and Play in Your Carry-On

With so many folks traveling in the summer (myself included) I like to share tricks I’ve learned for keeping my preschooler busy whether it’s in the back-seat, on an airplane, or in the living room waiting for guests to arrive. Top That! Publishing has a huge selection of magnetic play and learning books that I love! We own On the Farm, Wild Animals, and Let’s Build, Each includes a story on board book quality magnetic pages as well as a fold out scene for imaginative play and an attached case to hold the 20 play scene magnets.
Wild Animals Magnetic Story & Play SceneOn the Farm Magnetic Story & Play Scene 
Let's Build Magnetic Story & Play Scene
Fantastic Features of These Books:

  • Wordless 3-panel play scene encourages imaginative, open-ended play that does not require direct adult participation for non-readers.
  • Magnetic pages allow play on the move (though they’re not super strong – if you drop them on the floor of the car, the magnets will fall off).
  • Text of stories introduces contextual vocabulary, and then matching magnets help children identify and interact with new words.
  • Manipulation of magnets and placement in scenes encourages physical dexterity and fine-motor-skill development.
  • All pieces can be neatly stowed in attached case, helping to prevent loss and frustration.
I’m starting to feel like this review is bordering on sounding like an advertisement, which it’s not. I have no connection with Top That! I did go check out their website to look at some other products, but my links are my normal Amazon affiliate links. I’m hoping the reps at Top That! enjoy my review and might send me something else to share with you, but that may be wishful thinking...

Your Child Makes the Story Complete

In each book, the text of the story identifies where items or characters are located and the actions that are taking place. Your child uses the magnets to complete the illustrations so that the pictures correctly illustrate the text. That’s not to say you couldn’t add whatever magnets looked nice, but B is in a stage that he has realized text has meaning, and he’s emphatic that I read it carefully with him and make sure we choose the correct pieces. When I’m not able to participate closely (i.e., I’m driving) he can open up the play scene and make up his own story. Sometimes he narrates has he goes, and sometimes he creates the scene then describes it for me afterward.


Myriad Possibilities

I usually try to limit our packing to one play set when we travel, but at home they sometimes come out all at once. The wild animals have visited the farm and a cow has shown up on the building site – that’s part of the creativity! The Funny Faces series looks adorable and I’m intrigued by the Play and Learn Series, which includes text and magnets that introduce concepts such as shapes, numbers, colors, and first words. I may have to order a new one before our next trip, because as we know, something new is twice as entertaining!

Appropriate for: toddlers (if they’re supervised and past the stuff-in-mouth stage), preschoolers, primary grades.

Don't forget: Feed Me Books Friday will be hosted HERE at Little Sprout Books this week! I hope you'll come back and link up!

Linking Up With:


The Sunshine Crew July 20, 2010 at 2:55 AM  

The travel bags look like fun...thanks for sharirng. Found your blog thru the We Play Link ups. Hope that you will come check out my blog, too.
We have two little avid readers in our home...they love books and so do their parents:)
Colleen July 20, 2010 at 7:10 AM  

My self, my sister & her children, my daughter & her children, my son & daughter-in law & their children and my daughter who has no children are all lovers of books! I guess pretty much our whole family loves to read and the ones who can't read yet love to be read to. Your post was great and we pack books wherever we go too. I think we are of the same spirit. Come over and visit our blog because we post great children's literature(giveaways every week). Thanks for the post. :)

amandab July 20, 2010 at 4:26 PM  

What great books, and so many different ways to keep little minds engaged! Princess would be a stickler for putting the right magnets on the page, but the text-less pages would keep her active imagination going too :)

Raising a Happy Child July 22, 2010 at 4:05 PM  

Thanks for joining WMCIR! We also have a couple of magnetic books, and I agree - they are great on the road. Anna is now at the stage when she loves mixing all magnets (or felt pieces) together and create her own stories.

Christie - Childhood 101 July 26, 2010 at 3:54 AM  

I love the creativity which magnet books and felt stories add to the story telling.

Jackie H. July 1, 2011 at 7:11 PM  

Cool. We don't have any magnet books. I think I'll put these on my "I want" list. I'm sure my husband will be really happy to see that is longer. ;)

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