Tips for Donating School Supplies (scissors, craft supplies, and more!)

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My son started Kindergarten almost a month ago. It doesn’t seem possible. I’m now trying to juggle Mommy & Me events for my little one, and PTA meetings for my oldest’s new school. The school is fairly new – it has been around for 4 years – but much of the staff this year is new. Brand new. My son has a freshly-minted Kindergarten teacher. This man (yes, he’s got a male teacher), not only has to navigate a morning and afternoon class of 25 Kindergarteners each, but also 50 sets of parents!

Not only does he not come with years of experience, but he also doesn’t come with a classroom loaded with supplies collected across decades. It was important to me to let him know that I’m a parent who wants to support my child, and my child’s school. That’s why I was super excited to be selected to participate in this Fiskar’s Champions for Kids Campaign. Fiskars sent me money to buy school supplies that I could donate to my son’s new classroom!

tips for donating school supplies

From this experience, I want to share with you some tips for donating school supplies.

1. Ask – Ask the teacher what they need. For a new teacher like ours, the answer might be “everything!” Ask specific questions. Maybe the teacher has a project coming up that could use certain supplies? One of the things we picked out was a class set of Fiskars safety scissors. There are 25 kids in a class, so we picked out 28 pairs (you always need a few extras) of scissors. This will last our rookie teacher for years! We also picked some Fiskars wooden rulers that were both inexpensive and will stand up to a room full of Kindergarteners, year after year.

classroom set of scissors

2. Variety – Some things we know every teacher needs – pencils, paper, erasers. Think beyond the everyday. We chose a set of colorful dry erase markers. Our classrooms are equipped with large dry erase boards, and there is nothing as wonderful as having a nice, fresh, dry erase marker to write with!

bin of school supplies

3. Storage – Especially for a new teacher, storage is important! Though a teacher will never turn away a grocery bag filled with school supplies, it helps to think ahead. Once those 28 sets of scissors are taken out of their packages, where will they be stored? Giving the school supplies in plastic bins means the supplies will have a place to go after they are opened. Using clear bins means that it is very easy for the teacher to see what is inside, and find what he needs.

 

4. Duplicates – At the beginning of the school year, each student was sent home a list of basic supplies. Things like glue and crayons that they will need this year. If a student wasn’t able to bring these in, or if they run out, having duplicates on hand will help the teacher focus on the more important things – like the lesson he is teaching. I made sure to include extras of things like markers and crayons.

two bins of school supplies

5. Specialty Items – Do you remember being in school, and there was something special you couldn’t wait to play with? So you’d finish your work as fast as possible so that you could go play with that toy? Think of fun extras you can donate. I chose a giant set of 50 Crayola Pipsqueak markers that telescopes into a tower. The teacher can set these on a table for kids to color with after finishing their work, as a fun reward.

6. Get others involved – Do your part, but then encourage others to join in as well. Set an example for the community, and your family. I made sure my son was involved, so that he could see the impact these supplies have on his classroom.

get kids involved

7. Have fun! – Donating school supplies is giving a gift that will continue to have an impact in the lives of children, potentially for years. That makes it fun. But, I chose to have a little more fun, and I picked up a few things for myself to make a little fun something for my son to bring to school. I’ll share that with you here below.

 

When L goes to school, he misses us. It is only for 3 hours a day, but he’s still adjusting to the new building, the new kids, and the new routine. And it is hard. When I saw this little “lucky” book on the Fiskars website, I was inspired to make something similar to attach to my son’s backpack, so that he could bring a little reminder of his family to school each day.

supplies for photo tagsSupplies:

Tags
Photos
Fiskars Trimmer
Fiskars Scissors
Elmer’s Glue Stick
Elmer’s School Glue
Elmer’s Glitter Glue
Elmer’s Boarders
Metal Ring
Assorted Ribbons
Paintbrush

 

Start by trimming your photos smaller than your tags. The original album uses chipboard, but I wanted something smaller and lighter to hang on my son’s bag, so I went with the tags. Put a border on each tag, trim off the excess with scissors, and then glue the photo in place with the glue stick.

prepare tags

Put school glue on top of the photo, and brush an even coat with the paintbrush. This protects the photo, and seals everything in place.

coat in Elmer's School Glue

I did the same thing with glitter glue.

coat with glitter glue

Put everything aside to dry.

sealed with glue

Tie the ribbons onto the metal ring. To help keep the knots secure, add a couple drops of school glue to the knots.

glue knots in place

Then just hang it on your child’s bag, so they can take a little love with them to school each day!

backpack love tags

For more information, check out Champions for Kids and  Champions for Kids on Facebook.

#cfk  #Fiskars4Kids #shop

Comments

  1. What a great program! We’re homeschoolers but I still sympathize with the needs facing many teachers. And those tags are just too freakin’ cute, I’m thinking of making some for Christmas gifts!

  2. I love those tags, what a great idea for sending your kids off to school! And how awesome that Fiskars helped you donate school supplies! That has to be super helpful for the teachers and the school!

  3. Such a great topic! As someone who doesn’t have little ones in elementary school anymore, I’m kind of clueless about donating stuff. We’ve also been homeschoolers for a long time and the last time I gave school supplies to a public school for my own kids classes was in the 90’s and while I’m sure many thing stay the same, I have no doubts that things change. We made a school supply donation this year to a kindergarten teach and while I don’t think we did bad, after talking with her, I realized we missed the mark on some of our items (she was still VERY appreciative). So asking them is a GREAT tip. Love your project too…love the way you used that Elmer’s Glitter Glue!

  4. This is fantastic! I love those tags! I try to donate a lot to my boy’s schools and these are awesome tips!

  5. That’s so smart to give the school supplies in a tub! I would have never thought of it myself but it makes so much sense. Thanks for the tip!

  6. What an awesome idea! I LOVE those tags, I mean LOVE them. My kids are older now but boy would these have been cool back in the day! Very generous of Fiskar as well. I dig this! We still do donate school supplies every year.

  7. What an awesome campaign, the tips are great for helping out. You are right teachers wasting time worrying about which child does not have supplies is wasted time, much better spent teaching our children!

  8. What a great cause and I love the tags! I think those would make for some nice personalized Christmas gifts.

  9. That is so great that you were able to bless his classroom! Love the tips and the bag tags!

  10. Way to go, L! And way to go, Mama! I’m certain teachers everywhere are happy with this post, as it really does contain some great info to help parents help teachers. Oh, and how adorable are those tags?! Too too cute!

  11. Loving both your i.d. tag project, as well as your tips for putting together a classroom donation. Shining a light on the needs of students and teachers is so important. I love the Fiskars Champions for Kids campaign and you did a beautiful job of showcasing it!

    Jenn

  12. Our twins just started 1st grade and one of their teachers puts post it notes on her door of her wish list of supplies so when we go in we can grab one and fulfill it! I love it – I buy 2 sets of everything figuring the other teacher is in need as well, just isn’t asking 🙂

  13. Fabulous idea and those school supplies are the ones kids REALLY need. Congrats to your little man in K!

  14. The tags are adorable! Such a great idea that I want to do for my daughter. Thanks for sharing.

  15. still can’t believe that L is in kindergarten already!!! hes so handsome!!

  16. Great tips! I love those tags!

  17. Great tips Carolina!

  18. It’s great to expose kids to the idea of donating school supplies as this helps them to appreciate the ones they have and be encouraged to take care of their own supplies.

    I love your tags! 🙂 They’re really cute. I’ll try this over the weekend. Thanks for sharing!

  19. Love love love these great tips for donating – I never would have thought to include storage for them (and I’m a former teacher!). The craft project you made is so perfect for a little one not used to going to school yet too.

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