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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Creating your daycare space on a budget
nanglgrl 01:56 PM 03-16-2013
After reading the post about daycare spaces I thought it might be nice to have somewhere providers can go to get help with creating their space with little or no money. This is a post where you can list free or cheap ways to create learning activities, centers or a daycare space in general.

I will just start it off with a few things off of the top of my head.

Boxes: can be used for so many things and you can often get them free from places like Wal-Mart and appliance stores. You could create an entire town with boxes, a play kitchen, a car, a doll center, boat, train..etc.

Material: It can be something to dance with, a costume, a tent or even an ocean.
nanglgrl 01:57 PM 03-16-2013
nanglgrl 02:00 PM 03-16-2013
I've used cereal boxes and old wrapping paper to make storage for different lesson plans. Similar to this:
countrymom 06:34 PM 03-16-2013
paint. If you have a one floor house, I really recommend painting your daycare room the same color for balance, I did this and omg what a huge difference it made. It looks clean.

speaking of clean, its amazing how just by wiping down toys makes a difference.

thrift stores, yard sales.....need I say more

I know some people write things out for the parents that they need for the daycare, so sometimes if the parent is throwing it out they will donate it to you.

buy on sale, look at the ads, most run every couple of weeks.

shampoo the rugs, not only will it smell nice it will look nice.

I recommend cabinets with doors on it, not only does it clean but you can put stuff in it and the kids won't touch it.
Patches 10:36 PM 03-16-2013
I just went a home daycare closing sale yesterday and got sooo much good stuff for CHEAP!! I got three, count 'em, THREE pack n plays for $25---TOTAL!
Before I opened I went to an daycare closing auction and if you EVER see an ad for one....GO! You can get amazing deals
nanglgrl 11:08 PM 03-16-2013
Scrub and Bubbles and a toothbrush works wonders on used toys!
If you want to buy something new find a coupon. Lakeshore Learning, Scholastic, Constructive Playthings, Kaplan etc. always have coupon codes online. I never buy anything full price.
MrsSteinel'sHouse 09:01 AM 03-17-2013
Don't buy cheap junk for items your going to use regularly. It pays to wait and invest in good quality toys. I would rather have less of better quality than tons of cheap toys that break!
That said for seasonal items for my sensory bin or to add to a theme then by all means the dollar store
I also let friends know what I am looking for if they have small children that will be outgrowing items.
MNMum 12:33 PM 03-17-2013
I try to cut costs by cutting down on disposable things. I make my kids old clothes into cloth napkins. Take 2 8x8 pieces of material and sew together(I have no sewing skills, anyone can do this, really) . My kids love seeing their old t-shirts, etc, years later. No need for napkins or paper towels. I try to have enough to do one load of wash per week.
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