Every year I go to a local book fair at Holland Hall School.  I load up on the best stuffed animals and books for a very reasonable price.  I use them to make book buddies.  This year while piling up my stuffed animals – I had a great idea.  Why not buy tote bags and let each child have a book buddy in their cubby for reading time?  (Previously, I had sent the book buddies home on a rotating basis.)  I went to Oriental Trading and found the best deal on personalized totes!
Twenty-four personalized totes cost just $45.00 from Oriental Trading.

Every child has a book buddy bag hanging in their cubby.

Inside each bag is a special book “buddy” — a stuffed animal.

The children may bring out their book buddy to read with.  There is no “play” with the book buddy.  They are strictly a reading buddy.

The joy of one student as she greets her book buddy for the first time!

Oh, how this makes my teacher heart go pitter patter!  Reading everywhere!

Here's a few tips for making your own:

  • Find stuffed animals at thrift stores, resale shops and local book fairs.  They wash up quite well!
  • Better yet, ask parents to donate stuffed animals.  (You could team up with a colleague and trade stuffed animals so your students do not get their own!)
  • Use this bag as a Home Reading Program.  Include a reading log with the books and minutes per day recorded.