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  #1  
Old 10-31-2018, 10:03 AM
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Default What Would You Buy?

If you got a free $1000.00 to spend on your daycare, what would you buy?
I was considering a "light table", does anyone have any opinions on those for ages 2 and up? and what else would you buy?
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Old 10-31-2018, 10:29 AM
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Do you have magna tiles? Single most played with toy in my daycare for years. Lakeshore Learning has jumbo size magna tiles that I’ve been eyeing, but they’re 300 bucks for one set.
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Old 10-31-2018, 11:06 AM
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Do you have magna tiles? Single most played with toy in my daycare for years. Lakeshore Learning has jumbo size magna tiles that I’ve been eyeing, but they’re 300 bucks for one set.
I got an off-brand set (Picasso Tiles) of 180 for $67 on sale on Amazon ($80 sale price, $85 regular price on Amazon and an additional 15% off coupon deal that they have going on right now). I've had them for 3 days and NOTHING else has gotten played with except those tiles, I love them. I've had them on my wishlist forever and finally took the plunge. LOVE LOVE LOVE and they feel just as sturdy as the Lakeshore, Magna Tiles ones do.

As far as what I would buy with $1k, I'd spend it on the sturdy preschool-grade shelving and tables and other furniture. I'd love to have sturdy furniture, I just can't afford it. I have champagne taste on a beer budget
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Old 10-31-2018, 11:51 AM
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Do you use magna tiles with the light table?
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Old 10-31-2018, 12:46 PM
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oh yea magna tiles they have them all around they have them at target too.
duplo blocks are a favorite, i only have one set id get more because one kid can build a whole tower out of them.
Id get a folding kid sized picnic table for my Little to eat at so my kitchen table can have a chance
or maybe laminate floors put in my daycare rooms
Maybe a bunch of curriculum for a whole year for all my kids
maybe a koala care changing table. I've always wanted one to save space but they are a little pricey
at least 10 new baby board books maybe giant ones and some with black and white picture
maybe a mobile for every crib (i only have two right now)
it can go so quick i spent 2500 on stuff for this home daycare when i moved to this house and it was basically just matching durable furniture i wanted to last me years and a coulples.
daycare is expensive.
you can use it for necessity or fun. Choose wisely
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Old 10-31-2018, 12:53 PM
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I personally would buy a couple more bikes/trikes etc as that has been our biggest hit lately or finally finish up the dress up corner I’ve had planned in my head for years.

My kids also love magna tiles. We have the Picasso brand that someone mentioned that I got on a groupon and an excellerations brand that I don’t care for as much.
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Old 10-31-2018, 01:02 PM
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Check out IKEA if you’re looking for cheap, sturdy child-sized furniture and toys without buttons. They ship at much cheaper prices now. I just redid my daycare last year and changed almost everything and IKEA saved me a lot of $.

The kitchen,doll bed, child sized chairs and table chairs in the dramatic play center, the sensory table and stools, easel, dollhouse and child sized storage units on the walls and ground and the “stairs” leading to the egress are all IKEA. Some of the wooden toys are also IKEA. Each ground storage unit is a different center.

I have a light table that is a much cheaper light box on top of an IKEA storage unit. IKEA also has a small see through light box with lights inside. As far as manga-tiles you can’t go wrong with those!
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Old 10-31-2018, 01:02 PM
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I'd go with this:https://www.discountschoolsupply.com...&Category=6655
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Old 10-31-2018, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nanglgrl View Post
Check out IKEA if you’re looking for cheap, sturdy child-sized furniture and toys without buttons. They ship at much cheaper prices now. I just redid my daycare last year and changed almost everything and IKEA saved me a lot of $.

The kitchen,doll bed, child sized chairs and table chairs in the dramatic play center, the sensory table and stools, easel, dollhouse and child sized storage units on the walls and ground and the “stairs” leading to the egress are all IKEA. Some of the wooden toys are also IKEA. Each ground storage unit is a different center.

I have a light table that is a much cheaper light box on top of an IKEA storage unit. IKEA also has a small see through light box with lights inside. As far as manga-tiles you can’t go wrong with those!
Wow great thanks for the tip with IKEA I never thought of that.
One thing I know for sure I need right now is nap mats and I need a new rocking chair (for me) I got one a few years ago at walmart and it was garbage so any tips on that too would be great. I will definitley be searching the Ikea website.
So I'm still a little confused withe the tiles, are those for the light tables or are they just tiles? I have tons of mega magnets that are the most played toy in my daycare and it has been that way since I bought them 5 years ago, I keep adding to those because they are expensive.

At a class I went to others in it just really raved about these light tables and I had never heard of them before
https://www.amazon.com/Whitney-Broth...itney+brothers
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Old 10-31-2018, 01:15 PM
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I just figured out that I have a lot of the magna tiles, I didn't realize that was the name of them, I thought they were just magnets, so I'm pretty good on those.

This is so hard, I didn't realize how hard this would be lol
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Old 10-31-2018, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nanglgrl View Post
Check out IKEA if you’re looking for cheap, sturdy child-sized furniture and toys without buttons. They ship at much cheaper prices now. I just redid my daycare last year and changed almost everything and IKEA saved me a lot of $.

The kitchen,doll bed, child sized chairs and table chairs in the dramatic play center, the sensory table and stools, easel, dollhouse and child sized storage units on the walls and ground and the “stairs” leading to the egress are all IKEA. Some of the wooden toys are also IKEA. Each ground storage unit is a different center.

I have a light table that is a much cheaper light box on top of an IKEA storage unit. IKEA also has a small see through light box with lights inside. As far as manga-tiles you can’t go wrong with those!

I have a large walk in step 2 kitchen, I kind of want to down size this so I can get other stuff, I like the wood kitchen that IKEA has but is it durable, does it dent easily with kids banging and such?
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Old 10-31-2018, 01:41 PM
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I have a large walk in step 2 kitchen, I kind of want to down size this so I can get other stuff, I like the wood kitchen that IKEA has but is it durable, does it dent easily with kids banging and such?
It has been durable so far! We’ve had it for over a year with no problems, it still looks good as new and is played with all day every day.
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Old 10-31-2018, 01:43 PM
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Great thanks for the information
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Old 10-31-2018, 02:31 PM
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I got almost $5,000 in a grant a little over a year ago. Bought a ton of stuff. Lots of it, the kids have zero interest in which is disappointing. The magna tiles are a huge hit, but you already have those. I did buy a light table and honestly I thought they would love it. They play with it sometimes, but not often. I bought 2 really sturdy trikes and they love those. Also a playhouse for outside, that they play with daily. My biggest love is I bought a quad stroller from Walmart! Love love that.
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Old 10-31-2018, 02:41 PM
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I got almost $5,000 in a grant a little over a year ago. Bought a ton of stuff. Lots of it, the kids have zero interest in which is disappointing. The magna tiles are a huge hit, but you already have those. I did buy a light table and honestly I thought they would love it. They play with it sometimes, but not often. I bought 2 really sturdy trikes and they love those. Also a playhouse for outside, that they play with daily. My biggest love is I bought a quad stroller from Walmart! Love love that.
I wanted to add that I bought the trikes from constructive playthings. They're called
Constructive® Sure-Ride Trike and are $160. They are so sturdy, you will never be able to kill them.

Also, I bought an entire wall of storage shelves from Ikea. Love those too!
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Old 10-31-2018, 02:51 PM
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Wow $5000 that's awesome. I have $1000 and I want to spend it wisely.
That's exactly what I'm worried about is spending money on stuff they wont play with. I've been there many many times, it's frustrating. I think in my whole 20 years of daycare the top 3 played with is the magna tiles or I have other magnets, matchbox cars and bucket of dinosaurs.
There were a few daycare providers in my class here that highly recommended the light table, they said it's played with constantly, I showed my hubby and he didn't see the hype in it but he's not a kid lol, well he kinda is (dont tell him I said that haha). One thing about the light table is it a durable surface or does it scratch easily?
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Old 10-31-2018, 03:39 PM
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Wow $5000 that's awesome. I have $1000 and I want to spend it wisely.
That's exactly what I'm worried about is spending money on stuff they wont play with. I've been there many many times, it's frustrating. I think in my whole 20 years of daycare the top 3 played with is the magna tiles or I have other magnets, matchbox cars and bucket of dinosaurs.
There were a few daycare providers in my class here that highly recommended the light table, they said it's played with constantly, I showed my hubby and he didn't see the hype in it but he's not a kid lol, well he kinda is (dont tell him I said that haha). One thing about the light table is it a durable surface or does it scratch easily?
I think it's pretty durable, but honestly they haven't played with it enough to tell. I also bought a microscope with a bunch of slides that I thought my after school kids would love. Used it once.
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Old 10-31-2018, 03:44 PM
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I have to agree on the light table. While mine is a light box on top of a child sized table the children don’t really use it and when they do it’s usually because I direct them to it. When using it they’d be just as happy using the light table supplies (and we have lots) on the floor or table surface without the light.
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Old 10-31-2018, 04:23 PM
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That's good to know, then I just may pass since it's so expensive.
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Old 11-01-2018, 09:53 AM
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Do you use a rocking chair or some sort of a chair for you to sit in? and if so what do you recommend?
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Old 11-01-2018, 05:27 PM
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I work in a center in a toddler room. I have a light table in my science area and we use it daily! Some favorite activities: Translucent Legos for building, discovery bottles, rainbow window blocks, coloring on white paper with markers (looks really cool while coloring!), I have had this table for at least 6 years, never had to replace the lights yet, no scratches, very easy to clean, lots of storage underneath. My kiddos love it!

There are so many cool things you can do with a light table depending on the ages of your kids.

The picture I attached is close to what the one I have looks like.
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Old 11-02-2018, 09:34 AM
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Thank you, that sounds like fun. Thank you for sharing with me.
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Old 11-02-2018, 11:32 AM
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I work in a center in a toddler room. I have a light table in my science area and we use it daily! Some favorite activities: Translucent Legos for building, discovery bottles, rainbow window blocks, coloring on white paper with markers (looks really cool while coloring!), I have had this table for at least 6 years, never had to replace the lights yet, no scratches, very easy to clean, lots of storage underneath. My kiddos love it!

There are so many cool things you can do with a light table depending on the ages of your kids.

The picture I attached is close to what the one I have looks like.

I just have a small light table that sits right on the floor, and a toddler set of things to go with it. But I looked on pinterest and the ideas you can find are simply amazing. It's like most everything else, you need to keep it updated with different activities, to entice their interest. My dcks love it and I keep it stored in our puzzle/game/extra crap goes in there room. If it gets forgotten for awhile, we drag it out and it stays 'new' for quite awhile again.

If I had $1000 to spend...wow, I'd love to revamp my outdoor space. Been saying that for years.
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Old 11-02-2018, 11:51 AM
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I'd split it into about 4-5 sections like puzzles, manipulatives, dolls/ animals....... and buy a bunch of simple stuff rather than something big.
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Old 11-02-2018, 11:53 AM
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If I had $1000 to spend...wow, I'd love to revamp my outdoor space. Been saying that for years.
One of my big complaints about grants is most won't let you submit materials lists. For what a simple wooden swing/ playhouse kit costs I can build something twice the size with a ton more features and still have $ to buy a bunch of stuff to play with outside. Same thing with furniture and things like light tables.
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Old 11-02-2018, 11:59 AM
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One of my big complaints about grants is most won't let you submit materials lists. For what a simple wooden swing/ playhouse kit costs I can build something twice the size with a ton more features and still have $ to buy a bunch of stuff to play with outside. Same thing with furniture and things like light tables.
Oh I completely agree! And for those who shop sales(yard, garage or otherwise lol). We used to get free 'fun for dc money' to spend but it had to be spent through Lakeshore. LS can be nice, but IMO way overpriced and I've had a lot of their stuff break.
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Old 11-02-2018, 01:20 PM
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I agree, I could make the money go so much further if I could thrift it.
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Old 11-02-2018, 01:54 PM
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One of my big complaints about grants is most won't let you submit materials lists. For what a simple wooden swing/ playhouse kit costs I can build something twice the size with a ton more features and still have $ to buy a bunch of stuff to play with outside. Same thing with furniture and things like light tables.
It KILLS me buying things with grant money sometimes because we are usually limited to DSS, Kaplan or Lakeshore. It takes me forever and things are in and out of the cart as the “I can get this SO much cheaper at Walmart/Target or second hand” mindset sets in.
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Old 11-02-2018, 03:30 PM
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One of my big complaints about grants is most won't let you submit materials lists. For what a simple wooden swing/ playhouse kit costs I can build something twice the size with a ton more features and still have $ to buy a bunch of stuff to play with outside. Same thing with furniture and things like light tables.
Right?!

Every year we can apply for a service grant and last year I wanted to get a toddler play ground set for outside.

Menards, Home Depot and Lowes want a ridiculous amount of money for them....my DH literally flips every time we even discuss buying one.... so when we apply for our grants we have to know what we want to buy before we're awarded the grant so I submitted a request for one of those toddler playset from Menards and once I got approved for it, I requested that my DH be able to build it himself instead of us buying it. They actually said yes!

My DH was thrilled because you are right, the wanted almost $500 for it at Menards but my DH did it for less than $150. His time was all that he had to invest after buying materials. We now have the exact playset I wanted but for a lot less money.
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Old 11-03-2018, 03:30 PM
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1. wall-mounted changing table
2. wall-mounted soap and instant hand sanitizer
3. wall-mounted paper towels & bulk paper towels
4. new infant and toddler toys. Mine are VERY well-loved.
5. arts and crafts supplies
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Old 11-04-2018, 08:22 AM
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I've re-opened a FCC but over the past year I searched weekly two Goodwill Stores, a church thrift store, and a bit on FB marketplace for wooden toys as I'm going almost 100% wood toys.
Still keeping a few well loved plastic toys!

In doing that I need so little! I have really scored well!

I've really been lucky finding wonderful things. I also kept a decent amount of things ( even tho I sold 75%) I thought I couldn't easily replace when I closed my FCC in 2013 like my cute IKEA moose rocker I got for $3.00 in perfect condition.

If I end up with grant money I will get

Manga tiles which you have

A wooden doll high chair

quad stroller or one that Seats six

Some more M&D food-I do have the grocery store or I'd get that.

The tall wooden fire station. Not sure of the company.

Oh, I saw someone who made a light table from a long storage bin and two camping lights. The kind that are disk shaped. How easy would that be?
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Old 11-05-2018, 04:41 AM
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Oh, I saw someone who made a light table from a long storage bin and two camping lights. The kind that are disk shaped. How easy would that be?
I would probably use a string of LED Christmas lights instead of the camp lights. Maybe even use the ones that you can change the color on. Even building one out of wood and Plexiglas or Lexan would be fairly simple.
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Old 11-06-2018, 08:30 AM
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If I had the money and I were you.I would go for quality nap mats.I would get bedding too.I would buy a sturdy rocker ,I had a swivel rocker.It was so comfortable I could feed an infant and swivel to see the others without disturbing the baby.Any leftover money I would just add to the sets I have,like more blocks ,puzzles ,little people or more things for say housekeeping area ect.The chance that the group wouldn't be into the light table would make me not choose it.Have fun shopping.
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