Thrift Shopping

I always think of the line from Friends when Monica talks about how excited she gets on Saturdays when her People Magazine comes. I usually feel the exact same way when a new teacher catalog comes in the mail. It is so crisp, clean, colorful and just begging to have pages that are dog-eared and scribbled over with WANT THIS or NEED THAT or THIS WOULD BE PERFECT. Unfortunately, my budget could never allow me to buy EVERYTHING I think I need.

But I discovered a solution. Thrift shopping.

This group is working on a Melissa & Doug Space puzzle I purchased from Good Will for $0.99. The shelves also show items I have bought from thrift stores.


I don't know what kind of thrift stores are near your home/school but I have found some of the BEST ones for school manipulatives and supplies is Good Will. These are just a few of the items I have bought over the years for less than $2.00 for my classroom:
  • books (chapter books, picture books, encyclopedias, and so many more!! Almost all of the books for my classroom student library have come from the thrift store.)
  • bins/containers
  • puzzles (I'm talking Melissa and Doug and Leap Frog puzzles)
  • flashcards
  • Games (I have bought everything from Battleship, Operation, Monopoly, Clue, Guess Who to math, science, and literacy games for centers. Many times the pieces are already separated into baggies ready for you to use!! YAY!!)
This group is playing Operation. The sound does NOT work but the light does so it is a WIN WIN for me!! Quiet but fun!

I have found that in order to find something you have to walk into the store with the mindset that you are NOT looking for something in particular. Recently, I have been finding pre-school and kindergarten games and resources for my boys at home. In the last 2 weeks I have gotten about a dozen puzzles and games and spent less than $15. Who can pass up an I SPY puzzle for $0.99?? I mean I cannot walk into the Dollar Store and get that type of quality.

My kiddos did an entire unit on Dinosaurs and we finished money so this was a great way to have them practice their money skills while playing Dinosaur Monopoly at the same time. It is time consuming but they loved it!

So before you fire up the credit card and start ordering things for next year, try hitting up your local thrift stores. The best times are when people are clearing things out for garage sales. (Spring/Fall)
This was a great way to practice building words off of each other. They even got creative with book titles!!

This group is working on a Leap Frog puzzle of the United States.
Here are some shots of my kiddos using some of our games as a reward for the end of the school year. They are thrilled that the games they have stared at all year are finally allowed to be pulled off the shelves!! I would love to hear what you find at bargain prices for your classroom!!
I rescued this Guess Who game from a garage sale. It doesn't hurt to say you are a teacher!!


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