Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mixing Store-Bought and Recycled

Like most teachers, I'm a strong advocate of recycling and repurposing items. Last week, I looked at the materials I had out and noticed that we were mixing recycled/repurposed items and purchased items throughout the room.

I found some great instruments on sale and bought them. We mixed them with our homemade shakers (gravel in containers and taped closed); jingle bell bracelets (bells on chenille stems); and drum (oatmeal container covered with contact plastic).

Most of our collage materials are leftovers from previous projects, colorful outdated teaching items cut into pieces, and pieces of our recycled painting. Add paper cut into mountain shapes and glue sticks for lots of creative possibilities.

To count groups of 10, we used counting chips, 1-inch cube blocks, "jewels" (markers from an old board game), and drink lids. (Previous post about what happened with these.)

We made keychains for our fathers. Most of the wooden beads I bought for this project, but a few were leftovers from an old craft kit. The leather lacing was purchased for this project. The split rings were from a stock of old advertising keychains; we cut off the plastic advertisement and tied on the lacing.

As I look back through photos and plans, I note that we regularly mix both purchased and recycled. But rarely is the mix all over the room like it was this particular day.

The most important thing to remember - kids don't really care. They played both kinds of instruments equally. They mixed the lids and blocks to create. They glue pieces of all kinds of things to create collages. 

All that makes me happy that I save all kinds of crazy stuff. Maybe D.S.D.D. is not such a bad disease after all!


  1. Oh, it's a horrible disease Scott! One that drives the family crazy, but oh so useful and thrifty that they really can't complain too much.

    My first parent educator told me that ALL preschool teachers are "middle class bag ladies." I think she's right. I love trying to milk my budget with free and cheap items so that I can save to splurge on things worth splurging on like new tools! =)

  2. It is amazing how you really can turn the odd and simple things into art and other kinds of activities. Just have to learn how to think outside the box!