Book up!

Be the first to comment

Early years settings test resources to make the book corner comfortable and alluring to users aged from nought to five for Sue Hubberstey COZY TWO-SEATER SOFA AND COFFEE TABLE

Early years settings test resources to make the book corner comfortable and alluring to users aged from nought to five for Sue Hubberstey

COZY TWO-SEATER SOFA AND COFFEE TABLE

MORLEYS

AGE RANGE: 3- 5

PRICE: 128 (SOFA) 53.75 (TABLE)

CONTACT: 01869 320320 www.morleys.co.uk

These are part of the Cozy Seating, made-to-order range exclusive to the company. The sofa is made from beech, melamime-faced panels with red/blue loose cushions and has a seat height of 28cm. It features an underneath shelf for storing lightweight books. The table measures 51(w) x 34(d)x41(h) cm.

Tested by Castle Montessori Nursery, Berkhamsted, Herts 'These help to create a bright and welcoming environment. The table made the children feel "grown up", as well as providing a suitable place to display some of our resources. Both items are very sturdy and well made.

The one disadvantage is that the cover for the cushion is not removable and kept slipping, but we managed to resolve both issues. It would not put us off buying the sofa for our nursery, as it is so well made and attractive.'

*****

GIANT FLOOR CUSHION (TED)

LFC

AGE RANGE: 2-5

PRICE: 91.99

CONTACT: 08458 506507

www.lfc.co.uk

There are five characters in this range. The cushions are of heavy-duty cotton with large Velcro openings for easy access to the waterproof inner liner, which has a safety zip. Designed to accommodate two or three children.

Tested by St Hilda's School Nursery, Harpenden, Herts 'We didn't find this suitable for our book corner because it didn't encourage our children to sit and look at books. Instead, they just wanted to jump on it and the area was quieter without it. It is a lovely product for one child to relax on, but as everyone wanted to use it, we often had to put it away. You would need more than one in most nurseries.'

**

SNAIL AND AEROPLANE BOOK ENDS

LETTERBOX

AGE RANGE: 3-5

PRICE: 12.99

CONTACT: 0870 6007878

www.letterbox.co.uk

These are made from replenishable natural wood and stand 15cm high.

Tested by the Aviary Children's Centre, Eastleigh, Hants 'They are very attractive but don't really have any essential function and would not be a priority unless we had lots of extra money to spend.'

**

SPACIO 3 BOOK RACK

ASCO

AGE RANGE: under-twos

PRICE: 45

CONTACT: 0113 2707070

www.ascoeducational.co.uk

This consists of three large plasticised pockets mounted on a low frame, designed to give the smallest children easy access to books. It measures 76 x 30.5 x 51cm. A larger version at 76 x 40.5 x 74cm (59.95) is available for older children.

Tested by Child First Nursery, Aylesbury, Bucks 'We liked the idea of giving our youngest children free access to books and tried it out with an age range from 16 months to two years. However, it isn't very sturdy and fell over a couple of times, so there are safety issues here. For that reason we wouldn't recommend it. We also thought it over-priced for a plastic item.'

*

PLAIN AND BRIGHT CUSHIONS

THREE BEARS PLAYTHINGS

AGE RANGE: 2- 5

PRICE: 76 (set of four)

CONTACT: 01669 620315

www.threebearsplaythings.co.uk

These are a set of cushions with polyester twill covers in royal blue, red, green and yellow. Each one measures 70 x 70 cm.

Tested by Holy Cross Playgroup, New Malden, Surrey 'We loved these. They are so bright and inviting and they would enhance any book corner. All the children found them comfortable, and they are also very practical - the covers are easily removable for cleaning. They are a reasonable price, too.'

*****

FIRE STATION BOOK CASE

JOHN CRANE

AGE - 3- 5

PRICE: 99

CONTACT: 01604 774949

www.johncranetoys.co.uk

The book case is 40.5 (h) x 80 (w) x 10.5 (d) cm and is made from environmentally-friendly Thai rubberwood.

Tested by Bolsover Infant and Nursery School, Chesterfield 'This unit really needs to stand against a wall, because of its height and the narrowness of the base - not something that's always possible in a nursery - so we were concerned about its safety. It's also true that young children can't stack books on book shelves like this. We used it instead to display our listening games, which need a CD player and headset. It is a very attractive, colourful piece of furniture, which the children appreciated, and they enjoyed sitting near to it when listening to the tapes. This does have potential, but it would be a bit too big for many nurseries.'

**

FOOTBALL BEAN BAG

LETTERBOX

AGE RANGE: 3-5

PRICE 39.99

CONTACT: 0870 6007878

www.letterbox.co.uk

A bean bag with a football design and a seat height of 56cm. It features a carry-handle on top and has a removable, washable cover.

Tested by the Aviary Children's Centre, Eastleigh, Hants 'We have a range of bean bags already, but this was something different and there was great excitement when it arrived, particularly from the boys. I do think it encouraged them to spend a little longer in the book corner than they would normally. This bean bag has an inner lining, which is something we always look for, as it makes cleaning so much easier. We would certainly consider buying one of these.'

***

TABLE TOP STORAGE ORGANISER

JOHN CRANE

AGE RANGE: 3-5

PRICE 36

CONTACT: 01604 774949

www.johncranetoys.co.uk

This measures 17 (h) x 76 (w) x 16 (d), features three separate compartments and is made from Thai rubberwood.

Tested by Bolsover Infant and Nursery School, Chesterfield 'There is nothing eye-catching about this and it is not a practical shape.

Our tables are small and it took up all the work space. We tried it both lengthwise and upright and it didn't work either way and isn't accessible to young children. It's a well-made, solid piece and it could possibly work better with older children, but we found it very limited.'

*

Star rating

***** Excellent

**** Very good

*** Good

** Satisfactory

* Less than satisfactory

BEST BUY

For Gillian Livings and the rest of the staff at Mayfield Kindergarten, Ilfracombe, Devon

'One of our most successful purchases has been the shaped cushions we bought from a local store.

'We have heart shapes and star shapes in a variety of colours and they have lasted and lasted. I am keen on recycling and we also have a large floor cushion and back cushion which I rescued from my old settee and recovered in bright fabric. Other large cushions used in the babies' book corner were discovered in a charity shop. We always make sure everything is very easy to clean - we find a steam cleaner is the most effective way to maintain the cushions.

'We have two book cases for the older children, but in the babies' room, books are stored in a small plastic box on the floor so that they are easily accessible.

'A large teddy always sits in the book corner and the children like to put him on their knee and read to him. We have decorated the walls with photos of some of our favourite books, which has proved very effective.'

blog comments powered by Disqus