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Tuesday Teaching Ideas: Best Book Shoppin' Buys for Daily 5

Teach Junkie Creative Ideas

Welcome back for another Tuesday Teaching Idea!  Are you using Daily 5 in your classroom?  Have you wondered what you should use for your kiddos' book shopping baskets?  Today's Tuesday Teacher Tip is all about your different options and the pros and cons of each (with photos)!

Meet the Contenders:

Storage Tote (Dollar Tree), Sterilite Ice Cube Bin (Target), Plastic Magazine Holder (Big Lots), FLYT Cardboard Magazine File (IKEA)
Not Pictured: Mainstays Ice Cube Bin (Walmart)

First, let's do a price point comparison!

Yellow Dollar Tree Storage Tote: $1.00 (*Note that you can only exchange at Dollar Tree, not return)
Sterilite Ice Cube Bin from Target: $3.99
Big Lots Plastic Magazine Holder: $3.00
IKEA FLYT Cardboard Magazine File: $1.99/5 pack (*Best Value!)
Mainstays Ice Cube Bin: $1.88

Now let's do a book weight test!

Total Fail Walmart!

The Dollar Tree yellow storage tote starts getting off balance at about 8 books.  The more books you add the more stable it gets- however, this is book shopping, so your kiddos will probably only have 8-10 books.

The Sterilite ice cube bin from Target is very stable!  Much better than the Walmart Mainstays brand!  You can also comfortably fit around 15 books.

The IKEA magazine files are actually surprisingly durable, especially considering that they're made from cardboard.  It comfortably holds about 12 books.

The Big Lots magazine holder is also incredibly stable and can comfortable hold up to 20 books.  The bonus?  It's the only one that can fit bigger sized books!  :)

So, which do you choose?

Well it depends.  Do you want something that already fits into your color scheme?  Do you want to do a little decorating?  How many books do you think your kiddos will shop for?  How much money do you have to spend?

I really wanted the yellow baskets because I thought my kiddos would look so cute shopping for books that way, but the instability thing really turned me off.  (Now what the heck do I exchange 16 baskets for at Dollar Tree?)  I have a ton of the FLYT magazine files already- think I'll keep those to organize my teacher read alouds!  I'm really debating between the Big Lots magazine holders and the Sterilite ice cube bins!  I love the potential for decorating the plain white bins... plus I could only round up 12 of the turquoise magazine holders... hmmm...

Need More Options?

Christi at Mrs. Fultz's corner has a great post comparing book bins from Really Good Stuff and Steps to Literacy.  Check it out here!

You can also browse my Pinterest board exclusively devoted to Classroom Setup Ideas- click on the picture below!


  1. HI, I linked up with Teaching idea Tuesday too. I love your options. I have the ones from Really Good Stuff. Our school had an auction and I had some parents donate baskets. when they sold I got the money for my classroom--so I invested. they are very durable. My teammates have also gotten the cardboard version from the online site--School Specialty/Classroom Direct.
    Tales of a First grade Teacher

    1. That's great, glad you were able to get your hands on some!

  2. Jessica, I am so excited to be working with you (I can tell we are going to get along great)! I was in your interview (I teach 2nd grade). Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need anything. I'll be at school everyday the week of Aug. 5th teaching Math Camp for Girls. I'll be available after 11:30 if you want to meet.
    So happy to have you as part of our team!

    1. Thank you Jane! I'm the most excited! :) Thank you again for everything, I can't wait to get to know everyone better. See you soon!

  3. I'm a new blog follower and I absolutely loved this post. How clever to do a book bin comparison! I mean really, we see tons of bins for books, but how do we know which one would be best? What a great idea! I always buy my book bins at dollar tree. They have my favorite bin, but they ONLY have it right before school starts. I start stalking Dollar Tree between now and mid September looking for them. I can never have too many!

    Creating & Teaching

    1. Thanks Erin! I am always running into that problem as a new teacher- what works best?! I think I know the book bins you're talking about, I've been stalking my Dollar Trees but they're all out! Thanks for following!

    2. P.S. I love your blog! I've been following you forever!

  4. Hey Jessica, cute blog, I'm a new follower! My son is starting kindergarten this year (homeschool) so I am looking forward to getting great ideas from here!


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