Thursday, November 6, 2014

NAEYC Expo Highlights




Yesterday was wet and gross in Dallas, so I spent most of the day hanging out in the Convention Center, but the real fun didn't start until the Expo Hall opened! I have a bunch of photos to share with you, some are of the great freebies that we got, and some are of awesome products that I was introduced to. I am going to do my best to highlight the exhibitors that wowed me on the first night. The one thing that I love about the opening of the NAEYC Exhibit Hall is the atmosphere. The room is full of genuine appreciation for teachers, which is absolutely amazing!

The first booth that really jumped out at me was Hedstrom. This is a company that not only has sensory products, but they have really gone a step further with their products. I have wiggle seats at school that we use as stepping stones, Hedstrom actually has sensory stepping stones. At school we have multiple sets of bumpy balls, Hedstrom has the bumpy balls, they also have scented bumpy balls, bumpy balls with different noise makers inside, and bumpy shapes! I was really impressed with their pricing, teachers and parents can absolutely afford these products, and their catalog is going home with me!




The Scholastic booth is always a must visit. I love Scholastic as an organization, and I have always appreciated that they understand teachers' needs, and have created incentive programs to help teachers earn materials for their classrooms. Scholastic has made a tradition of appreciating teachers by providing bags for attendees that are not only useful, but oh so cute! This is a bag that I will use for the rest of the year, thank you Scholastic!



How cool are these?! (I know, the picture is terrible, I'm sorry!) They're from Bare Books - a company that makes blank books with blank covers . They are great for the classroom - children can "publish" their own books with their own artwork, which would be perfect for holiday gifts or end of the year projects. These are also great for all of the crafters out there, and would make great keepsakes for teachers at the end of the year. plus, they are super affordable and they come in different sizes and cover options.



Here are a couple of great items from Harrison and Company. I am in love with the natural balls. We have a ton of these, but the ones that we have are from craft and decor stores, they are made of natural materials - which is a plus - but they aren't exactly durable. The version from Harrison and Company are amazing, they're made of a sturdy, somewhat flexible material (it's similar to yarn) and they come in a much larger variety of colors and sizes than the ones that I've bought at craft stores. The chair in the picture below is so cute, but what I really love about it is that it looks like something you would have in your own home. 




This makes up a very small sample of what is available in the Expo hall, but these are the things that stood out to me, mostly because they represent that there are manufacturers who are really paying attention to trends in Early Childhood Education and making products that teachers want and need!

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