1. Paper- I keep a box for scrap paper, junk mail, and old lists (nothing with sensitive information). Then, when the kids want to scribble, practice writing, or cut- they can get that paper.
2. Plastic jars (like mayonaisse jars)- these are great for storage, sorting, transporting, and so much more. I actually used a small one to hole activity popsicle sticks (more on that in another post).
3. Glass jars- they make awesome terrariums, flower pots, and so much more. We are saving some now for a project for Christmas presents to family members from friends.
4. Packing paper- you know, that brown craft paper that they use to buffer items in packages? That is the same stuff you get on a roll. We save this for crafts, but also to let Kodabug color on the floor with.
5. Bottle Caps- all kinds of bottle caps can be used. You can write letters and numbers on them, count with them, sort them, do crafts, and so much more.
6. Old board games- you can make up new rules, save the pieces, and so much more to add manipulatives to your classroom. I even pick them up occassionally in thrift stores when the game boards and pieces seem pretty generic.
7. Cookie Sheets- There are so many ways to use them.
8. Shoelaces- throwing out shoes? Save the shoelaces for lacing cards, weaving, measuring, and more.
9. Magazines- for letter/ sight word search, collages, and more.
10. Bottles- we used milk bottles from McDonald's to make maracas.
11. DVD cases- instead of thrwoing them out, I made several dry erase boards with them. I put a plain piece of paper behind the plastic and put a dry erase marker and old glove inside. I made them for our homeschool, for their backpacks, and some for friends' kids.
12. Dry beans make great counters
13. Old calendars are great for teaching months and days of the week. Cut them up and let your kids put them in order, tell you who's birthday is when, and even use them as flashcards.
14. Containers- organization is key. Instead of buying new containers, wash food containers (especially the square butter ones), remove the labesl, and label for your homeschool. Free organization.
15. Disposable table cloths- instead of throwing them out, make sure they are clean and use them as drip cloths.
16. Small bowls (like apple sauce , yogurt, and pudding containers) make great paint and water containers. you can also use them with a paintbrush for glue.
17. Toilet paper and paper towel rolls- the uses are endless- from painting, stamping, crafts, and even organizing cables.
18. Random buttons, outgrown small toys, legos, and so much more can be used for sorting, writing letters on, and so much more.
19. Home improvement supplies. From wallpaper, paint, extra ttrim and wood, paint swatches, paint stir sticks, extra carpet, leftover tile, and so much more can be used in different homeschool projects.
20. Old electronics- some of the electronics we have upgraded have been "donated" to our classroom for learning purposes only. For instance, one of my old tablets is a dedicated "reader" for the kids.
Before you throw away or donate, think about your homeschool classroom. It might benefit from keeping that item around.