DRAMATIC PLAY AREA

Bugs Puppet Pack Appealing insect puppets and the accompanying book invite children to practice oral language skills as they engage in conversations and pretend play about nature. You can also send the pack home for families to share, reinforcing the connection between home and school. A guide with activity suggestions is also included. Environments, $28. Age 1½ to 6.

LIBRARY AREA

A Cool Drink of Water With gorgeous full-page illustrations, this book gives a global perspective to the idea that water is basic to human life. Photographs depict people collecting, transporting, and drinking water. The text reminds readers that "everyone enjoys a nice cool drink of water." Colorful World, $17. Age 2 to 8.

OUTDOOR AREA

Mighty Magnifiers Mighty Magnifiers invite and encourage children to ask questions, look for answers, explore their world, and be aware of the wonders around them. Acrylic dual-viewing lenses let kids really zoom in, and easy-grasp handles are good for small hands. Environments, $17.45. Age 2 to 8.

MANIPULATIVES AREA

Animal Photo Card These easy-to-handle 4'' x 6'' cards are great for strengthening vocabulary, working on pronunciation, comparing and contrasting, classifying objects into groups, and much more. The set of 20 animals includes 5 each from 4 categories: farm, jungle, ocean, and domestic. The backs of the cards show the name and category of each object in English and Spanish. Discount School Supply, $5.50. Age 3 to 7.

Seasons & Weather Puzzle Chunky, easy-to-grasp, solid wood pieces make this puzzle perfect for learning gross motor skills. Familiar shapes depicting seasonal objects fit easily into board recesses, giving children many shapes to explore and concepts to learn. Environments, $18. Age 1½ to 5.

MATH AREA

Classifying & Patterning Insect Chart Let 100 plush bugs give your math lesson wings! Velcro attaches the bugs to this colorful classifying chart. Clear vinyl pouches allow you to store the insects when you're not using them. Includes 10 each of 10 different insects. Discount School Supply, $40. Age 3 to 7.

SCIENCE AREA

Mysteries & Marvels of Nature What sixth sense turns a shark into a deadly hunter? Why does snow sometimes turn red? Find the answers to these secrets and others with this intriguing book. Illustrations reveal a hidden world in which camouflaged plants and creatures succeed. Usborne Books, $20. Age 4 and up.

Basic Classifying Cards Bundle Use these 5'' x 7'' cards to sort and classify items in four different categories: Animals on the Farm, Animals under the Sea, Animals in the Wild, and Food and Nutrition. The cards feature color photographs on the front and key information written on the back. Animal cards show animals in their natural habitats. Each set includes 24 double-sided content cards, plus a teaching card. Learning Resources, $37. Age 4 to 5.