I find a lot at yard sales and thrift stores. Often, when people ask me where I got something my response is, "yard sale!" To which they inevitably respond, "I think I'm going to go to a yard sale."
I always cringe.
Not because I'm worried they'll get all the good stuff, but because their plan is to go to A yard sale... meaning ONE. My fear is they will get easily discouraged. Being a "yard sale teacher" is much more about having an open mind to recyclables and props and old things. It's about keeping a lot of pinterest & blog ideas in your head so that when you see old junk, you know just how to use it. It's also about stopping anytime you see a sale. It's about browsing the same thrift store again next month. It's about analyzing the side of the road as you drive.
Yard sales are almost never about finding what you are looking for, and they're USUALLY not even about finding anything at all. (A lot of yard sales are actually awful). BUT, if you are persistent with the yard sale "frame of mind" you will eventually start answering a lot of questions with, "Oh yeah, I just found that at a yard sale. Cool, huh?"
These are some neat things I've been lucky enough to stumble on:
|Thrift Store: Things for themed|
centers, like this pet carrier
|Yard Sale: Household things-|
like this lamp.
|Yard Sale: Table top manipulatives-|
like these ball and stick builders.
|A neighbor: A baby crib turned|
into my science center.
|Yard Sale: classroom things|
like this easel
|Yard Sale: Marble Run|
|Side of the road: furniture like|
this low bookshelf for display
|Thrift Store: Papisan Chair|
|Yard Sale: Dresser I converted|
to a dress-up station
|Side of the Road: Two child sized chairs!|
***Disclaimer: In honor of fighting the teacher tendency to hoard, I have a policy that I need to have a plan for my junk before I acquire it. "In April when we study bugs, that puzzle will be perfect." Or... "When my mom comes to volunteer we will use these wood blocks for painting."