Thursday, December 10, 2009

It's a Sickness

A few days ago, in the supermarket, it became official. I am a sick man. I have D.S.D.D.

A few years ago I was asked to lead a conference at a preschool leadership event: "Teaching from the Dollar Store and Dumpster." The conference focused on making your own teaching resources from inexpensive or recyclable materials. I have always made resources or repurposed items for use in my preschool or kindergarten classroom. But this particular conference has sent me on a journey to D.S.D.D. or Dollar Store/Dumpster Disorder. I now look at any item and begin thinking "How could I use that in my classroom? What could my kids do with that?" It happens with pieces of laminate or the odd packing piece in a shipping container. It happens in the kitchen gadget section of any store. It happens a lot in Walmart and at random sites online.

In the grocery store the other day I saw a kitchen sink drain strainer (or whatever you call it). I immediately began thinking: "What could we do with that? What if we put that on a piece of paper and painted over it? What if we dipped that into paint and pressed it on a piece of paper?"

And that's when I realize it. I am a sick man.

This photo from is similar to what I saw in the store. (Now you can have your own fantasies of using it in a classroom!)


  1. I'm with you, man! I'm a fellow sufferer.

    Luckily, I have a wife who makes me take everything into the school so it doesn't wind up filling up all our closets. =)

  2. I think we all suffer from D.S.D.D.! It is the unending search to bring something new and different into the clasroom experience without going broke in the process:)

  3. My wife is very patient with me. And lets the cars stay outside so I can keep stuff in the garage.

  4. but sick in a good way. : )

    i can totally relate.

  5. I am like that with outdoor materials. We have no budget. Nothing. And so it takes a lot of creativity to find things to make life more interesting - so every time I walk or drive by a construction site, I 'm sand? free logs? free wood? free rocks........

  6. Hey I am so with you! I have it too. My thing is leaves, gum nuts (I'm an Aussie ;) ) seeds, sticks, seed pods, rocks, sand, feathers etc!!! You are not alone!

  7. i actually had to study a class on "making Resources" recently . it had me sewing stuff :( i have 7 years of surviving in center with a very little budget ..op shops , garage sales , kerb side trash , dumpsters and local industry donations . I tried to tell my lecturer she should rename the class "being resourceful " and give me an automatic pass .lol. i passed and two days later my handsewn bean bags broke at home ..i so would have saved money elsewhere and bought real bean bags (or asked a local grandparent to sew them for me) .DSDD is embarrassing to my own older kids , but great fun .