Lakeshore is Big Brother

img_161607I have a long-standing love hate relationship with the Lakeshore store.  If you’ve never been to Lakeshore it’s the Mecca for early childhood teachers everywhere.  Their never-ending aisles of  high-quality (and high-priced) toys and manipulatives draw teachers like moths to a flame.   The smell of lamination in the air is like perfume to a teacher’s nose.   I get light-headed just walking through doors and anticipating all the great stuff I’m going to find, but then comes the big let-down…   As I walk the aisles picking up every item and examining it like I’m shopping for fruit, the inevitable happens, I discover a new Lakeshore product that is EXACTLY like something I have been making myself and using in my classroom forever!   This leads me to the conclusion that Lakeshore spies are lurking among us on the internet.  I’m convinced they are watching my every move and every time I post a new idea on my website a little red light starts blinking and a siren starts blaring somewhere deep in the bowels of the Lakeshore headquarters in California.  I imagine the employees in their royal blue jumpsuits emblazoned with the Lakeshore logo on the breast (very Dharma Initiative-esque) jumping up from their desks and running over to the blinking red light to make a new discovery.   As they stand over the computer monitor saucer-eyed they record my ideas in their little notebooks with their cute Lakeshore pens that have the multicultural kids on the end.  The rest is history, they spend months turning my cute and inexpensive ideas into products that they charge $24.95 or more for.  See examples to prove my point below.

 

Counting Books

Counting Books

  lakeshore2   
 
Flower 1:1 Game  lakeshore1
O.K., so they’re not identical but they’re close enough.   With the Lakeshore gems game you roll the dice and then put the corresponding number of gems into your treasure chest.   In my 1:1 games you roll the die and put the corresponding number of items on your FREE, printable mat.  I like my idea better because students are learning number sense, counting, and 1:1 correspondence, in the Lakeshore version they are just getting number sense and counting.
In the Lakeshore math stamping activity the students are just stamping and then writing in the number.  My number books require the students to actually stamp each item on the page which is more engaging than just stamping once.   My idea also turns this activity into a book which the students can put in their browsing boxes and read, this gives the activity more purpose and meaning for the students. 
 
Beep, Beep, Beep…what’s that?  It must be the siren going off in Lakeshore headquarters again, all hands on deck!  
P.S. If the Lakeshore spies are reading this I am open to offers to become a product developer.  Operators are standing by to take your call now!
P.S.S. Yes, I know I am addicted to Lost and yes, I know I sound like a paranoid conspiracy theorist, it’s part of my charm, get over it.
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9 Responses

  1. You are very generous to share all your wonderful ideas with us. We thank you very much!
    Besides…I like your “stuff” better than Lakeshore!!!!

  2. You are so generous and in turn improve so many teachers! Thanks for all your do for teachers and children!

  3. LOL! Love your writing! You are absolutely right. I have seen stuff from my site, too, as well as things teachers have posted on teachers.net. The Mailbox is just as bad.

  4. thank YOU for continuiing to inspire us 🙂

  5. I like to buy some of their products. However, I like to look through their catalog and come up with ways to make or implement something myself. So I guess it could be a reverse concept. When I want something that costs $40, I try to make something similar with my own supplies and materials that I have.

  6. Thanks everybody, I honestly wasn’t looking for sympathy or an ego boost, I was trying to be funny like by blog idol Mrs. Mimi 🙂 I guess I will have to withdraw my application to Last Comic Standing now (that was another attempt at humor).

  7. OMG!! You are too funny! But I quite agree with the other readers. I LOVE YOUR products much more!!. Thanks for all that you do!!

  8. Oh, I heart Lakeshore. Now my husband? He hates it! Lol! Doesn’t want to go near that store with me and certainly doesn’t want my debit card going along either!

  9. your ideas are awesome and available to us. They have nothing on you!

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