Wednesday, September 9, 2009


My Dad is my new and permanent thrift store partner. He and I visited his local thrift store last week while my Mom and the boys took a nap. Not only were all toys and games half-off that day, but it was apparent that a teacher or homeschooling parent had recently offloaded quite a few materials. My Montessori Journey often blogs about her thrifting and I always love those posts. I'm sure not everyone will find this fascinating, but here is the rundown anyway. I spent $35 that day and this is what I came home with (books not pictured, and one of my most exciting purchases was a set of books!):

Math materials:

  • A set of Learning Resources Base Ten materials similar to this set. It has 13 flats, 10 rods and 30 units. $1.30
  • A set of 100 Learning Resources Math Links Cubes. $1.44
  • 21 more Math Links Cubes $ .44
  • Learning Resources Cuisenaire Rods $1.44

I don't know much about these materials yet, but the similarities to Montessori bead materials are obvious. I have not purchased our bead materials yet. Has anyone tried using Math Links Cubes, Cuisenaire Rods, and Base Ten materials instead?


  • child's working binoculars with working compass $ .34
  • GeoSafari Reefs and Oceans Pack by the National Geographic Society $ .50
  • GeoSafari Animals of the World by the National Geographic Society $ .50
The GeoSafari cards are supposed to go with the special laptop that they sell, but they look like I can use them as I wish without the laptop. There are neat cards such as vertebrate vs. invertebrate, identifying birds, endangered animals, etc.,

Practical Life:

  • Hand mixer for making bubbles. $1


  • 2 boxes World Builders. $ .34 each. Both boxes are the same, but I didn't check for missing pieces and assume with two sets I should have all the tiles I need.
  • Object Match: ten self-correction wood plaques match two objects that relate to each other such as a dog with a bone, a telephone with a receiver.
  • Also see my list of books!



  • Small World Toys Noah's Ark Magnetic Fun Board. $1.44 This will come in hand in a couple of weeks after Kal-El has done Noah's Ark at Godly Play.
  • First Act Discovery Snare Drum with sticks. $1.88


All books were $ .50!

Scholastic Alphatales box set. This was my most exciting find. They were mixed in with a lot of other books and my Dad helped me sort them out and find all the letters. We are only missing X and K, which in my opinion are the two letters to be missing if you are going to be missing some. Since this set is usually $65 I was pretty happy with the $12 I paid total.
Spooky Riddles
Big Brother, Little Brother by Penny Dale The illustrations in this book look almost just like my boys, down to the facial expressions.
Thank you Dad for motivating me to go thrifting! You are my lucky charm!


  1. Here's what I've done with Math - I do the golden beads for Introduction to Decimal System and Decimal Quantity, 100 chain and 1000 chain, so that the children can see the actual single beads. Then I use a combo of base 10 and Math-U-See blocks (similar to cuisenaire rods in that they have colors associated with units, but more like base 10 because they have little lines to show how many units there are in each bar.) I recently made a short bead stair with beads in MUS colors as well as bead chains in MUS colors. It was a good compromise, and I did the beads in MUS colors because that is the Math curriculum that my elementary students use, so I already had the MUS blocks.

  2. Wow, you were in the right place at the right time!

  3. Here is an award for you: