Friday, March 16, 2012

Pay It Forward: Donate Everyday Items to Schools

Teachers; we'll use anything and everything to bring learning to life for young children. Where one might see an empty paper towel role, a teacher sees a puppet that can increase children's comprehension and love of reading. Have an empty tissue box? Oh, silly, that's not an empty box, it's a tool to teach children about predicting (and even adjectives). Without looking a child reaches into the box and feels an item. The child then describes the item to her/his peers and invites them to predict the wholesome goodness inside.

The list of everyday items like this goes on and on, and that's where you come in! To support the wonderful work of teachers (and yes, parents, guardians, babysitters, you fit into this too), we designed a handy, dandy "Wish List" of items that can be used to facilitate hands-on learning. To keep it fun and exciting, we've crafted the list in alphabetical order. Post this somewhere in your home, and next time you think about tossing out an empty egg crate, think twice. Drop these items off at a local preschool or elementary school as art supplies and you'll be an instant hero.

*NOTE: We're assuming some level of common sense in this list. Items should be clean, free of sharp objects, and not overly used (or not used at all (ex. q-tips)). Right? You get it. 

A: athletic rubber bands, aluminum cans, address book
B: bed sheets, bottle caps (non-alcoholic...I know, sorry), bubble wrap, bucket, buttons, books
C: coat hangers, cereal boxes, cardboard, coffee bag, carpet, cds (scratched) and cd cases
D: dried pasta, dry stamp pad, deck of cards (especially the deck you lost 1 or 2 cards from)
E: empty egg crates, eye dropper
F: film canisters (I know, they're ancient, but you might have a few around your house), fabric, felt, frames
G: glove (especially if you've lost the matching one), greeting cards, game pieces
H: hats, holiday cards
I: ice cream cartons, ice cream sticks
J: jelly jars, juice boxes, jar lids
K: kites, keys, keyboard, key rings
L: laundry baskets, laundry scoops, lamp shade
M: milk carton, magazines, magnets
N: news paper, nuts cans (just make sure its really clean because many children have nut allergies)
O: orange juice bottle,
P: paper towel role, paper plates (unused, of course), paper bags, pillow case, pipe cleaners, puzzle pieces
Q: quart-sized jars, q-tips
R: rubber bands, rope
S: scarf, shoebox, string, socks, straws, shoe laces, sponges
T: toilet paper role, two-liter bottles, tissue box, tins, toothpicks, thread, telephone books
U: umbrella
V: vases, valentines, velvet, vegetable containers
W: wrapping paper (and/or tube), water bottles, wall calendar
X: xrays
Y: yarn
Z: zippers, zoo brochures

Teachers, feel free to use this list as your beginning of the year "wish list" that you send home to parents. You never know what goodies might come your way! The alphabet offers more than phonics today!

Are you looking for a tangible reminder to see beautiful, or know someone who needs one? Check out our See Beautiful products (and feel good knowing a portion of proceeds from every purchase is donated to charity. This month a portion of all proceeds will be donated to Life Vest Inside. Click HERE.  


  1. Fabulous list! Reading through I realised it is so true many of these things are treasures for teachers or anyone working with children.........Happy to read your ideas always, there are bright and beautiful. 

  2. Great list!!  As a teacher, I cannot even begin to tell you how wonderful it is when students/parents bring items in.

  3.  Yes! Isn't it just the best?!? Who knew everyday items could make us so excited!?! Thanks so much for stopping by and seeing beautiful with us!

  4.  Oh, you're exactly right! They are just like tiny treasures to educators that hook children's interests and make learning come alive! Thanks so much for visiting and happy seeing beautiful!

  5. Every time a student brought in a little something... it was like the BIGGEST thing EVER! . We had a "Giving Tree" in the main hall and every season we would give a list and the parents would put them on a seasonal art design. A child and parent would choose a teacher and item....This was the best... but it was the unexpected ones that were so adorable. AND your child felt a tad like a hero in our eyes. (and they were). So.... you don't have to have a child in the schools OR give an item. A ten or five dollar gift to a teacher you know or just randomly pick a grade level in a neighborhood school and give them each a ten dollar gift card to the local School supply store, or anything.... even Chick fla A, as a treat.

  6. I'm a big public school advocate, and I applaud this post.  BEAUTIFUL!
    Peace and good.

  7. Sharing our extras with the schools is a great way to reach out and touch someone!  THanks for the ideas!..:)JP

  8. These are great ideas for donating to schools. I've been saving toilet and tower paper rolls as well as cardboard egg cartons. Your list is much more complete!

  9. Great idea! So good in fact that I've taken it one step further. I've hung the list on our fridge at home to remind us to save whatever we can. What I decided to do though was talk to my daughters principle today about it. She just happens to be related to us. She's been looking for ideas like this to reduce school costs. My daughters go to a Christian private school that only gets partial funding from the public system. We talked about organizing a "bring to school day". A letter could go out to all parents. So we figured this would be a great idea to bring down costs for projects and other things. As well the things they can't use could go to the local recycling facility and will raise them money to put towards whatever is needed. Time to put this plan into action!!

  10. I am willing to eat as much ice cream as possible to help out. hehehhe


Thank you for sharing your thoughts & helping others see beautiful too!