Inside: Teachers are on a budget but need classroom supplies. The solution? Thrift stores and garage sales! Check out this collection of ideas that includes a free printable list.
One of the hardest parts of building classroom supplies is the cost. Some teachers are given a budget while others must pay for everything out of their own pocketbook.
I was in this situation when I first started teaching and was very thankful for garage sales and thrift stores. I found so many wonderful items for my classroom at a fraction of what they would have cost brand new.
While I know what I’m looking for when shopping for used classroom supplies, I decided to ask other teachers in my Facebook support group. Check out their answers below!
Note: Make sure to scroll down and pick up my free printable classroom supply list to take with you on your next shopping trip!
Favorite Classroom Supplies from Thrift Stores and Garage Sales
When I asked teachers what their favorite thrift store purchases were, I jotted them down here.
I’ve included photos of my recent finds, too!
Did we miss anything? Make sure to add your favorites in the comments!
Watch the video:
- flower vases
- wooden items for loose parts play
- wooden toys
- kitchen gadgets
We love using salad spinners at the art table! Read about the process here.
- musical instruments
- dress up clothing
Wood bowls are perfect for storing materials at the table.
- bulletin board borders
- building materials
- sensory bin materials
- storage containers
- small bowls
- hand puppets
We use muffin tins for dramatic play, playdough and for sorting. We’ve even used them in the sensory table!
- muffin tins
- pots and pans
- book holders
I love to display books all over the classroom, often propping them on top of shelves.
- lazy susan
- play kitchen items
- pretend food
- oven mitts
- wood puzzle boxes
- wood spools
- items to count and sort
- sorting bowls
- writing tools
- writing materials
- beads from old necklaces
- multi-cultural materials
- board games
- Disney figures
- Fisher Price little people
- plastic animals
Blocks are an everyday activity for our toddlers and preschoolers!
- Mr. Potato Heads
- View Finders
Free Printable Classroom Supply List
Click on the photo below to get your free pdf download: