Books by Dave Whitaker

Check out Toolbox Training books and more at or David L. Whitaker's author page at

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Book: 100 Cooking Activities for Kids

These 100 activities are focused on food. While they have been collected under the banner of “cooking,” one of the criteria is that these projects do NOT require an oven or stove. In some cases, a microwave, fridge, or freezer may be necessary. Activities are divided into the following categories: drinks, frozen treats, gelatin, fruit, toppings/spreads, snack mixes, meat & cheese, desserts, campfire cooking, animal creations, other creations, and play dough. 136 pages. Catalog number: CKBK1111; Price: $9.95

Also available from

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Product Spotlight

Many of the activities featured here on the blog are taken from the activity card sets available from Toolbox Training. These activities include:

·         Art
·         Construction
·         Cooking
·         Drama
·         Games
·         Music
·         Nature
·         Science

Each activity card set contains 100 activities on 8 ½” x 5 ½” cards with quick-glance material checklists and easy-to-follow directions. Each set sells for $15.00.

Toolbox Training is slowly reformatting these card sets into book format as well. Check out the three which have been done so far:

§          100 Game Activities for Kids
§          100 Music Activities for Kids
§          100 Science Activities for Kids

Keep an eye on the website (, blog, and Facebook page for more upcoming titles!

Holidays and Events Today:
  • Cream-Filled Doughnut Day
  • National Anthem Day
  • Eat a Hoagie Day

Check out the full September calendar or get more ideas from books and activity card sets at

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Book: 100 Art Activities for Kids

Art is always a popular activity for kids, but offering a variety of ideas can be a challenge. With this book TOOLBOX TRAINING offers 100 different art activities in ten categories: drawing, paper, paper plates, paper bags, tissue paper, painting, printing, fabric/sewing, string, and jewelry. 128 pages. Catalog number: ATBK0911; Price: $9.95

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Saturday, September 3, 2011

September 3-5: Labor Day Weekend

a Toolbox Training workshop in progress

Here’s a product spotlight for the Labor Day weekend. Holidays for Sept. 3-5 are listed below and specific activity ideas will resume on Tuesday, September 6.

With child care providers and parents facing a new school year, finding appropriate discipline methods is high on lists of priorities. Toolbox Training offers two workshops on discipline. The first focuses on preventing problems while the second focuses on solving them. Toolbox Training workshops are two hours long and offered for up to 30 participants. See the workshops page at the website for more details.

Discipline with Dignity I: Preventing Problems

·         Learn the 4 C’s of encouraging positive behavior
·         Master the rules on making rules
·         Understand how to use three I’s to prevent possible problems
·         Apply “the stoplight” to be sure to react properly when it looks like a child might be misbehaving
·         Recognize how to send children the right messages with body language
·         Distinguish between words and phrases that encourage vs. those that discourage
·         Use scenarios to practice how to deal with discipline situations

Discipline with Dignity II: Solving Problems

·         Distinguish punishment from discipline
·         Identify reasons why children behave the way they do
·         Implement a 5-step process for getting children to identify problems
·         Learn 3 ways to get kids to think through what they’ve done
·         Learn 3 ways to get kids to “recreate” what they’ve done
·         Implement a 6-step process for getting kids to develop and implement a solution to a problem
·         Use scenarios to practice what you’ve learned

All Toolbox Training workshops are also available as do-it-yourself training packages which you can order and deliver on your own to your staff. Check out the training packages page on the website for details.

September 3-5 Holidays and Events:
  • Skyscraper Day (Sept. 3)
  • Newspaper Carrier Day (Sept. 4)
  • Roll film camera – Kodak – patented in 1888 (Sept. 4)
  • Be Late for Something Day (Sept. 5)

Check out the full September calendar or get more ideas from books and activity card sets at

Saturday, August 27, 2011

August 27-28: Weekend Product Spotlight

Instead of posting activities over the weekend, when most programs wouldn’t have access to them anyway, Toolbox Training will use weekend posts to focus on various products.

Activity Cards

For those who have followed Toolbox Training’s daily activity posts since August 1, you know that the concept is to post an activity each day which relates to a holiday or event from that day. Many of these are unfamiliar and unusual celebrations. The activities used to celebrate these events are generally pulled from Toolbox Training’s activity card sets.

Activity Card Sets:
·         Art
·         Construction
·         Cooking
·         Drama
·         Games
·         Music
·         Nature
·         Science

A ninth set, focused on language activities such as reading, writing, and storytelling, will hopefully be completed before the end of 2011!

Each activity card set offers 100 activities divided into various categories. The activities have been compiled with school-agers in mind, but are often easily adapted to younger ages as well. Each set is $15.00. Check the Toolbox Training website under the activity card link for more information.

Also – check the books page. The game, music, and science activity sets have been reformatted into book form as well and only cost $12.95.

Thanks for following Toolbox Training’s daily activity posts!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Child Care Materials Catalog Guide

Detailed on this page are descriptions of and contact information for various catalogs which offer child care materials.
Discount School Supply:

I’m not really sure what the website address has to do with the Discount School Supply catalog. You’re better off ordering the print catalog. In the catalog, materials are offered in a wide range of areas including paint, watercolors, paper, arts and crafts, dramatic play, sand & water, active play, block play, furniture, manipulatives, puzzles, music, language, math, science, storage, carpets, and resource materials.

Discount School Supply • P.O. Box 7636 • Spreckels, CA 93962-7636
1-800-627-2829 (toll free phone) • 1-800-879-3753 (fax) (web site)

For Kidz Only:

This catalog focuses on developmentally appropriate furniture for early childhood and school-age. If you click on “Products” on the home page, you will get categories such as active play, activity centers, art products, block play, cubbies/coat lockers, educational carpets, lofts, manipulative play, mats and cots, portable classroom furniture, room dividers, science, sensory products, soft play, storage, and tables & chairs. (website)

Free Spirit Publishing:

This is a book publisher not specifically targeted to child care, but they sell materials for children and those who work with them. After clicking on the “Catalog Search” on the home page, you can search for resources by keywords, age groups (from preschool to age 18), or categories (e.g. self-help for kids, self-help for teens, gifted and talented, learning differences, creative learning, etc.).

Free Spirit • 217 Fifth Avenue North, Suite 200 • Minneapolis, MN 55401-1299
1-800-735-7323 (toll free phone) • 612-338-2068 (phone) • 612-337-5050 (fax) (email) (website)

Gopher Sports:

Gopher Sports is not specifically targeted to kids, but is the parent company of Play-with-a-Purpose, which physical development products for young children. The latter’s website was not up as of 1/15/01 and suggests you visit Gopher Sports instead. That site lists kinds of materials in the sidebar (e.g. aerobics, aquatics, archery, badminton, balls, baseball, basketball, bean bags, bowling, cones and markers, fitness, flying discs, foosball, football, games, golf, gymnastics, hockey, hoops, juggling, jump ropes, mats, paddle games, playground, rhythm activities, scooters, soccer, softball, storage, table games, tetherball, volleyball, etc.).

Gopher Sport • P.O. Box 998 • Owatonna, MN 55060
1-800-533-0446 (toll free phone) • 1-800-451-4855 (fax) (website)

High/Scope Educational Research Foundation:

In addition to providing resources to those working in the early childhood field, High/Scope does research, training, and curriculum development. Their philosophy is based on Jean Piaget’s constructivist theory of child development. On their home page, if you click on “Catalog” then you can access publications for preschool education and child care, elementary education, or adolescent education.

High/Scope Educational Research Foundation • 600 North River Street • Ypsilanti, MI 48198-2898
734-485-2000 (phone) • 734-485-0704 (fax) (email) (website)

J&A Handy-Crafts, Inc.:

Their print catalog offers materials in categories such as animals, Native American crafts, posters, fabric, sports crafts, candles, shellcraft, leather projects, basketry, braiding and embroidery, foilcraft, mosaics, sand art, wall hangings, beads, yarn, woodcraft, clay and plaster, specialty papers, scissors and other tools, sponge painting, paint supplies, markers, and lanyards.

J&A Handy-Crafts, Inc. • 165 S. Pennsylvania Avenue • Lindenhurst, NY • 11757-5058
1-888-252-1130 (toll free phone) • 1-631-226-2400 (phone) • 1-631-226-2564 (fax) (email) (website)


KidzLit, created by Developmental Studies Center, focuses on the after-school setting and how children can get more enjoyment out of reading. 100 books, chosen for the values and diversity they reflect, are coupled with guides that offer suggested activities and methods for sharing the book with children.

Developmental Studies Center • 2000 Embarcadero Suite 305 • Oakland, CA 94606
1-800-666-7270 (toll free phone) (email) (website)


From the home page, you can click on categories including hands on, brainteasers, early learning, building toys, puzzles, educational, or games.

MindWare • 121 Fifth Avenue NW • New Brighton, MN 55112
1-800-999-0398 (toll free phone) • 888-299-9273 (fax) (email) (web site)


From their home page, click on “Educational Materials.” That brings up a menu including topics such as arts and crafts, early childhood, health education, math, physical education, science, and special education.

Nasco • 901 Janesville Avenue • Fort Atkinson, WI 53538-0901
1-800-558-9595 (toll free phone) • 920-563-2446 (phone) • 920-563-8296 (fax) (email) (website)

U.S. Toy Company/Constructive Playthings:

Constructive Playthings is a division of U.S. Toy. On the home page of the website, you can access categories such as active play, after school games, books, block play, furniture, health & nutrition, language, manipulatives, mathematics, Montessori, music, pretend play, science, software, and teacher supplies.

U.S. Toy Company/Constructive Playthings • 13201 Arrington Road • Grandview, MO 64030
1-800-841-6478 (toll free phone) (email) (website)

Zany Brainy:

Home page includes headings on toys, books, music, software, videos, and video games. You can browse by ages and stages (6 categories, starting with 0-12 months and ending with 12+years), by category (e.g. arts and crafts, building and constructing, dolls, electronics, games, music and instruments, pretend play, puzzles, room d├ęcor, science and nature, sports, stuffed toys, etc.), by brand name (e.g. Crayola, Disney, K’Nex Lego, etc.), or by favorite character (e.g. Blue’s Clues, Harry Potter, Madeline, Rugrats, etc.).

Zany Brainy Headquarters • 2520 Renaissance Boulevard • King of Prussia, PA 19406
614-396-4915 (phone) (website)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Kids love all kinds of games, but can get stuck playing the same ones over and over. With this book TOOLBOX TRAINING offers 100 different games in nine different categories: tag games, dodge ball games, variations on sports, relays, active running games, active non-running games, circle games, guessing games, and table games. Each activity has a simple checklist of materials you’ll need and basic directions. There are also suggested variations and some games made up by kids. Want more? Check out the information below for other books, activity cards, and more. 130 pages. Catalog number: GMBK0711; Price: $9.95

Also available from

Monday, July 18, 2011

Product Spotlight: 100 Music Activities for Kids

TOOLBOX TRAINING makes music activities simple, even for those who think they are musically challenged, with 100 music activities in nine categories: Resources, Music Appreciation, Musical Elements, Singing, Instruments, Movement, Performance, Games, and Activities. Each activity has a simple checklist of materials you’ll need and basic directions to guide the kids through the activity. 128 pages. Catalog number: MSBK0411; Price: $12.95

Also available from

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Book: 100 Music Activities for Kids

TOOLBOX TRAINING makes music activities simple, even for those who think they are musically challenged, with 100 music activities in nine categories: Resources, Music Appreciation, Musical Elements, Singing, Instruments, Movement, Performance, Games, and Activities. Each activity has a simple checklist of materials you’ll need and basic directions to guide the kids through the activity. 128 pages. Catalog number: MSBK0411; Price: $9.95

Also available from