Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Preparing for the end ......... of the school year.

The End is NEAR!!!!  The end of the school year that is.  There are lots of things you can start doing to prepare for the end of the school year without waiting until the last few days and panicking!
  • Make a list
    • Just get started by walking around your space and making a list of things that might need to get done before school ends and everyone goes home for the summer, or your space gets used for a summer camp.
  • Vetting Process
    • Go through some of your games and toys to see if you have lost pieces or things are broken.  If they aren't worth keeping, toss 'em.
    • I am super thrifty, so I rarely throw out things I think might still be usable.  If I have a game with missing pieces, I will email other sites in my network and ask if they need pieces, or have extras.  I always keep a bag with extra generic movers and dice, and left over pieces to popular games like Sorry, Monopoly, and Trouble.
    • Have the kids played with this this year?  If not, it doesn't mean your new friends next year won't want to play with it, but if it's from an out of date character or show it might be time to let it go. 
      • Characters such as Hannah Montana, High School Musical, Power Puff Girls have lost their luster with most kids and no matter how fun it is, they probably won't be touched. 
      • Consider trading unplayed with items with another site.  It's free, but the items are new and fresh to your students.
      • In the future, don't buy the newest, hottest characters and games.  The old standards stand the test of time if you need games and toys to last for years to come.
  • Fix Stuff Up
    • Books and game boxes can be taped up to last another year.  Games should be cleaned organized and have all pieces put into a baggie within the box for safe keeping. Damaged toys fixed.  Dirty toys and equipment cleaned.
  • Supplies
    • Have students go through all markers and check to see if they are still good.  Toss the bad ones and make a note of how many you will need for next year.
    • Sharpen colored pencils.
    • Marry bottles of glue and throw out the bottles with bad tops.
    • Sharpen a set of new pencils to get ready for the new year.  Why wait until the end of summer?  Get all supplies ready for the new school year that you can.
  • Inventory
    • When you are done cleaning and organizing, do a good inventory of your supplies, games and equipment.
    • This will help you when you hit a good garage sale this summer!  It also helps you determine what supplies and equiment need to be purchased for next year. 
My BEST ADVICE is to be a scavenger!  If you are located in a school building, talk to the secretaries and teachers about taking left over supplies.  Used markers, bottles of glue, colored pencils, and other supplies get thrown out at the end of the year.  Classrooms get shiny new supplies each year, but you can save your program some cash for more fun stuff, by reusing equipment that still has some use.  Let teachers know that you are willing to take things and you will end up getting little surprises all throughout the school year!  I once had a teacher bring me 15 unused board games.  I've gotten a garbage bag FULL of markers, brand new glue sticks and bottles, hundreds of sharpened but unused pencils and LOTS of other usable items.  I never say no.  If I can't use an item I offer to another site, families of my students, or donate to Goodwill.  Once you start saying no, the items you get is reduced. 

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