Welcome to my blog about my experiences working in early childhood. I have called it Nurturing Forests because I believe that raising children is not a isolated activity but takes a whole community.

As early childhood professionals, we are actively involved in this process but we also need to work closely with the children, parents, community as a whole and other allied professionals.

I hope you enjoy my site. I also have a facebook site of the same name where I provide links to useful sites for teachers, parents and others interested in the early childhood: www.facebook.com/nurturingforests

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Wrestling with the budget....

Is it just me or does every 'educational' catalogue seem to charge completely unreasonable prices for basic resources?

I am trying to work out my priorities for my may budget (which has just had a hundred shaved off it to pay for the cleaners) my wish list has been rapidly culled.

I started off with an aim to focus spending on maths and science resources this month. But as most of those cost more than my budget. I have reprioritised to spreading the spending over a few curriculum areas and hope that in the mean time - buttons, milk caps and other odds and bobs will work.

So I thought I would mine the wonderful resource that is my readers and see if anyone can point me in the right direction for the following resources ( I am aiming for quality sustainable resources that can withstand two year olds but still challenge preschoolers)

- a scale
- mobilo instructions -is there a website?

Is there some fantastic ( read here cheap) place where I can get the following:
- more mobilo
- geoboards ( I do remember blogs about making your own but I'm not that keen yet)
- unifix cubes

Or are there any great maths and science resources that you would recommend?

Posted by Wendy

"the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy" -Martin Luther King


  1. Wendy-
    There is a great way to make geoboards- or a giant one by just using pegboard and nuts&bolts! Other than getting your pegboard cut (which some home improvement stores will do for you), They are super simple to put together, and the children can get some great practice with nuts & bolts too if they help you put them together. The best part of trying to DIY with the children is that they have the opportunity to make something useful AND they love to help and are so engaged in the use of the product because THEY made it :). I know it can me intimidating at first, but once you get over that hump.... it is so worth it!

  2. Wendy - it is not just you at all - mostly what is in those catalogues is completely out of our league. We troll the opp shops and council cleanups for a lot of our resources, and also put out 'wish lists' for our parents. It is amazing how much we get when you put the word out there about the things you are looking for - there always seems to be someone who knows someone who has something they don't need anymore.

    Scales - we got ours at Vinnies (the kitchen variety and bathroom variety though). We use a lot of natural resources for weighing, as well as everyday things such as things in their lunch boxes, toys etc.

    Mobilo - Ebay?

    Geoboards - we did make ours, and they were easy. Irresistible Ideas for Play Based Learning has a great post on how they made theirs.

  3. Wendy, I worked in a preschool for 11 years (now I'm a nanny) and when I went to my classroom, I found wooden blocks and dinosaurs. I had to fill it myself as the budget was not on my side :) I haunted Goodwill stores, yardsales, dollar stores, Craigslist, Walmart, and Target. Walmart and Target have educational sections and mark down items. I have seen the same items in those catalogs in Target and Walmart. Also, there is a book called "Beautiful Stuff" - I love it. What about using items from nature, sticks, twigs, rocks, pebbles. Also, you contact certain companies, and tell them that you will feature their products on your blog, you might get FREE items. Good luck!

  4. Hi Wendy,
    I used to work in a center where we did make a lot of materials for our kids.
    One of my favourite books featuring teacher created learning materials is "Workjobs", by Mary Baratta Lorton(1972).
    I still have workjobs I made and sometimes use them. My dream is to have some extra time to spend creating enough workjobs to have a whole shelf for my mchildren to use, and enough to rotate weekly.

    However I realize that time is limited, and you are looking for specific learning items, but just thought I'd mention this resource.

    I have 2 geoboards I purchased for $5.oo each at a teaching store. I actually have a post about them just now on my blog, if you want to take a look.

    I have seen a lovely couple of handmade geo boards, which were sanded, and rounded, and very nice. Perhaps you have a parent, or grandparent in your daycare community who could make some?

  5. I'm afraid I won't be able to help you. All I can say is you're doing a great job. Bless you!