School Tools are teaching materials and interesting objects for learning and play. Visit the catalog to see which toolkits are available now or come browse the display in the Children's Room of the Central Library!
You must come to the Children's Room of the Central Library to check out a School Tool, or you can call 401-943-9080 x4 with your library card number ready to reserve a toolkit and have it sent to any Cranston Public Library location for pick-up. School Tools cannot be picked up at libraries outside of Cranston.
Schools Tools can be checked out for 3 weeks and must be returned to a Cranston Public Library location. If the toolkit you want is checked out, please call 401-943-9080 x4 for more information.
Please fill out this form to request books to go with any of the toolkits.
Homeschooling? We also have an updated collection of books for you: Click here to see the list.
SCHOOL TOOLS: ARTS
Action Plates Toolkit
This kit includes rubbing plates and a holder for creating superhero comic characters.
Use it to develop characters, think about texture in art, and practice drawing the human form.
It pairs well with the storytelling kit.
This kit includes musical tubes tuned to the C scale, plus a book of simple songs.
Use it to learn the scale and introduce music theory--or just have fun making musical sounds!
It pairs well with the roll-up keyboard.
Flower Press Toolkit
This kit includes a flower press, tweezers, and scissors.
Use it to study the parts of plants, life cycles, and seasons, or just to make some beautiful stationary!
It pairs well with the easel kit if you want to paint en plein air as well.
This kit includes a wooden loom and accessories, plus some yarn.
Use it to teach patterns, descorative arts, and traditional crafts.
It pairs well with materials that can be woven--try collecting grasses, scraps of fabric, chenille stems, and rope for interesting textures.
Mini-Movie Making Toolkit
This kit contains a clapper, tripod, simple video camera, and table top spotlights.
Use it to make movies with toys or even life-size videos, though the lights are perfect for toys and table top sets. Use the still photo setting to make stop motion movies!
Puppet Theater Toolkit
This kit contains a puppet theater with two backdrops and a roll-up curtain, as well as a small selection of puppets.
Use it to retell stories, learn about stagecraft, and put on a show!
It pairs well with the sewing kit if you want to sew your own puppets.
Roll-up Keyboard Toolkit
This kit includes a roll-up keyboard with 50 rainbow-colored keys and a power cord.
Use it to teach the relationship between tones, such as whole and half steps, scales, and chords.
It pairs well with the Blue Moo book and CD--play along by ear!
Tabletop Easel Toolkit
This kit includes a table top easel, plastic palette, chalk, and paint brushes.
Use it to teach art concepts like line, space, shape, and color, or to explore the life and work of painters like Frida Kahlo and Vincent van Gogh.
It pairs well with picture books about art appreciation, like these.
SCHOOL TOOLS: LIFE SKILLS
This kit contains four 3D puzzles.
Use it to work on memory, concentration, and logic.
It pairs well with long car rides and other things you have to sit through quietly.
This kit contains a compass, pace counter, and three topographic maps of Cranston.
Use it to teach map reading, cardinal directions, and using a compass.
It pairs well with the Binoculars Toolkit.
Laces and Fasteners Toolkit
This kit contains laces, beads, and a "busy board" with different fasteners.
Use it to work on small motor skills and "practical life" skills like getting dressed and tying your shoes.
It pairs well with craft projects like making necklaces with cereal or using a hole punch to make your own lacing cards.
Obstacle Course Toolkit
This kit contains cones, rings, and bean bags.
Use it to create your own obstacle course or pair it with items you have to build a mini "golf" course, set of carnival games, or relay races.
It pairs well with the Time Toolkit.
Play Cash Register Toolkit
This kit includes a play cash register with play money and a toy credit card. The cash register is a working calculator and the play money includes pennies, nickles, dimes, quarters, and one, five, ten and twenty dollar bills.
Use it to teach money, budgeting, and adding and subtracting with decimals.
It pairs well with the balance scale kit for grocery store simulations.
Play Food Toolkit
This kit includes play fruits and vegetables, baskets for sorting, and a My Plate game with place settings, spinner, and pictures of food.
Use it to teach food groups and meal planning--it's also helpful for teaching colors.
It pairs well with the play cash register if you want to play Farmers Market!
Sewing Machine Toolkit
This kit contains a small sewing machine, thread, craft scissors, pins, a measuring tape, and some fabric. You may use as much of the fabric and thread as you like!
Use it to practice sewing in a straight line, cutting and tracing shapes, and measuring and folding.
It pairs well with our puppet theater toolkit. Sewing a hand puppet is a great beginner project!
This kit contains a clock with moveable hands, a write & wipe clock, a stopwatch, and some activity cards.
Use it to teach time of day, elapsed time, and routines.
It pairs well with the obstacle course kit and the balance scale kit.
SCHOOL TOOLS: LITERACY
3D Alphabet Tooklit
This kit incudes an ABC puzzle, large magnetic letters, and alphabet rubbing plates.
Use it to teach recognizing and writing the letters of the alphabet and putting the letters in "ABC order."
It pairs well with ABC books.
Letter Sounds Tooklit
This kit incudes a letter sound puzzle, the Anomia card game, and a board book with sandpaper letters.
Use it to teach letter sounds, writing upper case and lower case letters, and matching sounds with letters.
It pairs well with ABC books.
Phonics Beginner Word Cubes Tooklit
This kit incudes connectable cubes with the letters of the alphabet and cards with three letter words to build.
Use it to teach letter sounds, spelling, and sounding out words.
It pairs well with the books in the Flip-a-Word series.
Phonics Intermediate Word Cubes Tooklit
This kit includes connectable cubes with vowels, consonants, and blends, as well as cards with three- and four-letter words to build.
Use it to teach blends and digraphs and build vocabulary (literally).
It pairs well with spelling lists and dictionaries.
Rhyming Words Toolkit
This kit contains two games: Fox in a Box and Snap it Up! Word Families.
Use the components of the two games to find and make rhyming words, match words and objects, and learn about "word families."
This kit pairs well with the Beginner Phonics Cubes Toolkit and I Spy books.
Sand Tray Toolkit
This kit contains a sand tray with wooden stylus and "eraser," flash cards with prewriting skills, and a bag of fine sand.
Use it to have children practice writing straight and squiggly lines and other shapes--or have them start practicing their letters.
This kit pairs well with the 3D Alphabet toolkit.
Spinning Letter Blocks
This kit contains five Montessori-style toys with 3-letter words and flashcards with words and pictures.
Use it to teach letter sounds and rhyming words.
It pairs well with the rhyming words kit.
This kit contains a magnet board and magnetic "poetry" kit with words and phrases that make funny stories, plus Rory's Story Cubes, which is a set of 6 picture dice.
Use it for oral storytelling games and creative writing prompts, to talk about the parts of a sentence (subject, verb, object) and a story (beginning, middle, end).
It pairs well with car trips and creative writing groups.
SCHOOL TOOLS: MATHEMATICS
100 Bead Counting Frame
This kit contains a 100-bead Rekenrek or "counting frame" and flashcards with the numbers 1-100.
Use it to teach number recognition, subsitizing, two-digit addition, and single-digit multiplication.
It pairs well with the Numbers Bingo Toolkit.
Base 10 Blocks Toolkit
This kit contains blocks representing the ones, tens, and hundreds place, as well as one block representing 1,000.
Use it to teach place value and visualize operations.
It pairs well with A Visual Guide to Math.
Fraction Formula Toolkit
This kit contains game pieces in shape of gradulated cylinders and tubes that represent different fractions of the cylinders.
Use it to teach fractions, building equivalency, and adding and subtracting parts of a whole.
It pairs well with the balance scale toolkit.
This kit contains three 6"x6" geoboards and three 9"x9" geoboards, plus lots of elastic bands in different sizes, and cards with patterns to recreate.
Use it to teach shapes, perimeter, and area.
It pairs well with the Dash Robot with Sketch toolkit.
Geometric Doodling Kit
This kit contains a Spriograph kit, multicolored pens, a compass, a protractor, and 3 shape stencil rulers.
Use it to teach the properties and measurement of circles, curves, and angles.
It pairs well with the Geoboard kit.
Numbers Bingo Toolkit
This kit contains the game "Zingo 1-2-3," a bingo game with 6 double-sided bingo cards and a "Zinger" that dispenses number tiles.
Use it to teach number recognition and simple addition.
It pairs well with the Number Pegs Toolkit.
Number Pegs Toolkit
This kit includes 100 stacking pegs and boards with the numbers 1 to 10.
Use it to teach number recognition, counting, and subsitizing.
It pairs well with the Numbers Bingo toolkit.
Pattern Blocks Toolkit
This kit includes pattern blocks in 6 different shapes and little cards with pictures you can make.
Use it to teach shapes and patterns--even fractions if you're creative!
It pairs well with the Geoboard toolkit. Can you recreate the pictures using the geoboard and rubber bands instead of pattern blocks?
SCHOOL TOOLS: SCIENCE
Anatomy Model Toolkit
This kit contains a model of a human torso and major organs.
Use it to teach about the human body.
It pairs well with the book X-Ray Me!
Animal X-Ray Toolkit
This kit contains a lightpad and 14 x-rays of animal skeletons, as well as regular photographs of the animals.
Use it to teach the taxonomy of animals. The lightpad is also good for drawing and tracing activities.
It pairs well with the Geometric Doodling toolkit.
Balance Scale Toolkit
This kit contains a see-inside bucket balance scale, a set of gram weights, liquid measuring cups, funnels, measuring tapes, and a set of measuring spoons.
Use it to teach weights and measures, the scientific method, the metric system, and estimating and counting.
It pairs well with a bag of dried beans and a book like Ton.
This kit contains binoculars and a book of birdsongs.
Use it to observe wildlife, look at treetops, watch outdoor events from far away, star gaze, and practice your spy skills.
It pairs well with the Weather Toolkit if you want to expand the range of what you observe.
Bug Viewer Toolkit
This kit contains a magnifying bug viewer and some specimens in resin marbles.
Use it to teach about taxonomy, insects and arachnids, and wildlife observation.
It pairs well with the binoculars toolkit.
Dash Robot with Launcher Toolkit
This kit contains a Dash robot with charger and Lego adapter, activity cards, and a catapult kit. Please note: you will need to download a free Wonder Workshop app to your own device to program the robot.
Use it to teach basic coding and engineering tasks and even simple machines. Play basketball, storm a castle, or hit a target built with Legos!
It pairs well with ping-pong tables and Legos.
Dash Robot with Sketch Toolkit
This kit contains a Dash robot with charger and Lego adapter, activity cards, and a Sketch kit with markers you can attach to the robot. Please note: you will need to download a free Wonder Workshop app to your own device to program the robot.
Use it to teach drag-and-drop coding, including conditionals and loops, or just work on linear directions and geometric patterns.
It pairs well with Legos and a giant sheet of paper.
This kit includes magnets in many different shapes: horseshoe, bar, ball, ring, wand, post, triangle and square. It also includes colored chips with metal rings and a magnetic car base.
Use it to teach magnetism, polarity, and construction and to test what materials are metallic.
It pairs well with the Magic Tricks Toolkit (coming soon!).
This kit includes a 6-inch microscope that magnifies up to 900x, 24 slides of plant and animal matter, and equipment to make your own temporary slides.
Use it to teach about structures in biology and the scientific method.
It pairs well with the Ultimate Guide to Your Microscope and things you find in nature like leaves, pollen, and a bit of pond water.
This kit contains 2 small robots that follow lines drawn on paper, as well as markers and instructions for color codes that make the robots do different things.
Use it to teach basic coding, logic, and problem solving.
It pairs well with the Scratch Jr app and coding cards.
Rubberband Car Toolkit
This kit contains two large cars that are powered by rubberbands and two small cars with rubberband launchers. It also contains rubberbands, tape for marking starting lines, and two measuring tapes.
Use it to teach potential and kinetic energy, friction, velocity, and measuring distances, and to extend lessons on simple machines (wheels and axles!).
It pairs well with the time toolkit to measure how quickly the carts travel, as well as the distance.
Snap Circuits Toolkit
This kit contains the components of a circut (battery, wires, switches, fans, lights, and buzzer) in the form of plastic pieces that clip to a baseboard.
Use it to teach the parts of a circuit, postive and negative charges, and simple aspects of electricity.
It pairs well with the classic lemon battery science fair project.
Solar System Model Toolkit
This kit contains a motorized solar system model that you put together. The sun in the center is also a constellation projector.
Use it to teach the features of the planets and how orbits and revolutions affect seasons and what we see in the sky.
It pairs well with the Globe Tookit.
This kit contains a tabletop telescope, redlight flashlight, and star chart.
Use it to teach astronomy, stargazing, seasons and phases of the moon.
It pairs well with the Solar System Model Toolkit.
This kit contains an emergency weather radio, weather lab with thermometer, rain guage, and anemometer and a weather tracker.
Use it to teach about temperature, precipitation, wind, and clouds.
It pairs well with the binoculars Tookit.
SCHOOL TOOLS: SOCIAL STUDIES
Community Helpers Toolkit
This kit contains a puzzle road map and blocks of people, vehicles, and buildings. It also contains Community Helper storytelling cards with pictures of characters, places, and events in the community.
Use it to teach about community helpers, careers, and traffic safety.
It pairs well with the blocks and toys you have at home--build a whole city!
This kit contains 24 hieroglyph stamps, ink pads, and paper, plus an activity book with the activity sheets laminated so you can do them with a dry erase marker.
Use it to teach about ancient Egypt, archeology, and translating.
It pairs well with the book The Shipwrecked Sailor.
Election Night Toolkit
This kit contains the tabletop boardgame Election Night, which is recommended for ages 8 & up.
Use it to teach about the Electoral College and U.S. Geography and to practice math skills--there's an addition and a multiplication version!
It pairs well with the U.S. Geography toolkit.
Legendary Inventors Toolkit
This kit contains the tabletop boardgame Legendary Inventors, which is recommended for ages 10 & up.
Use it to teach about famous inventors, the history of technology, and the importance of collaboration in scientific discovery.
It pairs well with biographies of inventors like Lives of the Scientists: Experiments, Explosions, and What the Neighbors Thought and makes a great jumping off point for choosing an invention or inventor to study in more detail.
Passport to Culture Toolkit
This kit contains the board game, Passport to Culture.
Use it to teach geography and etiquitte in different countries.
It pairs well with the Globe Toolkit.
U.S. Geography Toolkit
This kit contains a U.S. Map puzzle, a how to draw the states book, and a Guess in 10 card game with a trivia card for each state.
Use it to teach geography, memorize state capitals, or learn about making maps.
World Globe Toolkit
This kit contains a hands-on teaching globe, a deck of Geocards with the outline of 50 different countries, a measuring tape, a magnifying glass, and a toy car and plane.
Use it to teach continents, latitude and longitude--even seasons and weather if you're feeling ambitious!
It pairs well with the Solar System Model Toolkit.