Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The day job.

During the day I am a junior primary teacher. I have a class of 23 lovely five-year-olds and thrifting actually becomes very useful for when you are working with children. I obviously have a class budget and can order things for my classroom but garage sales help provide extra fun things for the room.
We recycle all our fruit boxes (we can get 10c per fruitbox) and this provides a budget for getting new things- although sometimes I find too many fun things and spend a bit of my own dollars too.

1. Toys/Games
When you have a group of five year olds, a school day seems quite long and often I let earlier finishers have the chance to play with a variety of different things. I love garage sales for quality literacy and maths activities as well as fun toys just to play and enjoy.
2. Books
Books are so expensive and while the school library is fantastic it's great to have some of our own books too. I was given some books by my mother in law but have thrifted lots of books. Our vinnies op shop often has 5c books so I have stocked up and rotate them often. This way too I'm not precious with the books and and occasional accidental rip isn't terrible.

3.Prize box
Although places like cheap as chips and go lo have some great inexpensive prizes often I find the best ones on garage sales for a fraction of the cost. While things might be $2 at a cheap shop, they can be less than 20c at a garage sale.

4. Costumes
In our class we love dressing up. Sometimes it's for drama, sometimes it's for play based learning activities like trying to have a class restaurant and sometimes it's for performances. Children's costumes aren't all that cheap but thrift shops and donated costumes are the best or you can use thrifted items to make your own.

 Thrifted stethoscope. Doctors costume made from white t-shirt and red paint.
 Post office worker made from thrifted red tshirt, white and blue paint.
 Office boss made from old shirt, white and black paint.
 Enough costumes for a whole class performance of under the sea, using thrifted tshirts, caps and craft supplies.

5. Craft supplies
Craft supplies are usually pretty pricey, especially when you need enough for all the kids so garage sales have helped me find lots of amazing supplies, very cheap.
I also use the craft supplies myself to make things for the class, like these thrifted pompom balls that I turned into 'quiet critters'. Every now and then I give the kids all a quiet critter and if they can complete their work without talking, they get to keep the quiet critter on their desk. If they chat, I take it away. If they still have their quiet critter left at the end of the lesson, then they get two stars on their star chart. Works a treat !:)

These are some simple ways I stretch our class budget and these can be useful for pretty much anyone who works with kids on a regular basis. What do you thrift for if you've got kids or work with children often?

Lisa x
P.S I'm linking up with Coastal Charm, Making mondays marvellous, Frugal Treasures Tuesday, I heart naptime, the thrifty home and southern lovely.


  1. You are actually amazing Lisa. So many clever ideas x

  2. I love this post and am going to share on my fb page for my blog.
    I thrift all sorts of things for the kids. Wooden toys and puzzles are always a score for next to nothing. Craft supplies, Lego to add to our collection, educational toys, puppets. A lot of the stuff you've listed I do to, I used to be a preschool teacher.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing my blog with others!
      it's so good to thrift kids things, although where I live lego is like the gold of all garage sale finds and I've only ever found a small set once.

  3. These are all absolutely brilliant ideas. Thank so much for sharing particularly love your fancy dress ideas would go down well on my baby budgeting.co.uk blog too! I'm over form family-budgeting.co.uk and found you through frugal treasures tuesday

    1. Thankyou! I would be happy for you to share my fancy dress ideas on your blog, or write a short post for you if you are interested. :)

  4. I would say books are probably one of the easier items to thrift. Most garage sales will have them for pennies on the dollar. Just wanted to stop by and thank you for visiting Posed Perfection today and leaving me a sweet comment about my Put on a Happy Vase post. I am your newest follower. I hope you'll visit again and maybe even follow me back. Have a great week!

  5. Great ideas for teachers, babysitters and home schooling! Also, fun to make for spending time with grandkids!
    Thanks for sharing and linking up at Frugal Treasures Tuesday party.