View Full Version : Free Resources

Sal Onions
03-07-2012, 08:06 PM
As a long term childminder I know and understand how difficult it can be to get resources and how expensive it can be when restocking. So here is a few suggestions on how to get some free or really cheap resources.

1. Art and Craft materials - It is always a really good idea to join a local scrap store you usually have to pay a small fee for joining but can get a car full of resources to last all year long. I use my local one and it is amazing what items they get in. I have had paint, papers, corks, scissors, I even got a load of ready to paint plates so go online for nearest one.

2. Toys - The local sure start centers have toy libraries which you can borrow resources from that cover different themes. You need to be a member of the sure start to borrow but great news is membership is free!!

3. Baby items - Some times you can be offered a baby out of the blue and not always have the items or money to purchase the items needed there and then. One thing I have done over the years is joined my local freecycle. It is free to join, people list things they no longer want or need likewise you can do the same, you can also request items you need. Over the years I have had a cot, toys, clothing for spares, books, a computer with printer, prams, high chairs and stair gates, etc.. So its worth a try.

4. Freebies - I have registered to most of the freebies sites available - you simply log in every few days and apply for free samples of things - I have had cook books, wipes, toys, books, and recently a free jigsaw. Simply type in 'freebies' in any search engine and have a go.

5. It is always worth going directly to sites to see what they are offering - I went directly to cadbury world and they sent me loads of samples, planning sheets, history of chocolate etc.. Kleenex and domestos also have good freebies. Heniz do a good range of things as well as Mcvities. So have a look around - Dont be afraid to ask the worst that can happen is a company says no.

6. Role play area - This one may seem expensive but actually you can create a great looking area very cheaply or completely free. Ask local fast food places in your area for freebies - boxes, menus, chopsticks, hats. Supermarkets have loads of free stuff they give away including advertising posters, leaflets, and Asda even gives balloons and flags. Doctors surgeries give leaflets - mine also gave me stickers saying I visited the doctors as well as mouth sticks and an old eye test. My local vets gave me some big posters while my local zoo gave me a box full of old stuff they were discontinuing in there shop. Never be afraid to ask for things places no longer want.

7. Make use of local schools - Let them know you are a childminder and that you are looking for storage or resources they no longer want. My local school over the last 2 years have given me x3 sets of school cupboards complete with plastic draws, a large art cupboard, toys and games, books, and a small cooking set.

8. Ebay - this is a great site to get cheap resources - you can purchase individual items or job lots simply type in the word childminder or EYFS and loads comes up.

9. Jumble sales, carboots and charity shops - All of these places are havens for treasures. I spend years collecting nik naks and putting them together in story sacks, resource and theme boxes. You never know what you can find!!

10. Lastly why not try simply swopping - Connect with other childminders in the area and ask them what they have and no longer need and swop with something you have that you no longer want or need.

I hope this lot was of some use for you
Kindest regards

03-07-2012, 08:39 PM
Some great ideas there Sal, thanks for sharing

Miffy xx

03-07-2012, 09:22 PM
Great ideas for resources there :thumbsup:

3 of us from our childminding group are off to our local scrapstore on Saturday, there's only a few of us but we put £1 per week to buy resources for our group, it all adds up. We're trying to get things together for the summer hols so it doesn't fall on the same people to supply the stuff all the time.

Carol xx

03-07-2012, 09:57 PM
some really great idea's...I completely underestimated how much it would cost to buy resources when I started childminding and freebies are always a big bonus......Thank you :clapping:

04-07-2012, 06:51 AM
thats lovely thank you for sharing, money is so tight at the moment but but plenty of helpful hints there, so will be googling freebies later:)