When I was looking for commercial properties to house my part time preschool program I knew I could save money by avoiding properties with a kitchen. I was going to include cooking in my curriculum but I knew I didn't need a full kitchen.
We have done a great job without have the use of a full kitchen. We have a large tub sink or wash basin in our back room so we do out dishes in that.
Here's what we use and what we use it for:
Very Large Toaster Oven:
We used to use two toaster ovens to bake anything we needed, but one day I cam across this larger oven on Amazon. It was for a steal, and it said it could hold a full cookie sheet! So I knew this was for us! Anything we have to bake we bake in our toaster oven, even if we are melting crayons.
Blender- We also use a blender at preschool. Everyone loves a good smoothie. You can basically come up with a smoothie flavor for any theme you have going on. How about a peppermint smoothies for December? A smoothie with veggies mixed in will help kids feel like veggies are edible, and a good thing. You can do an apple pie smoothie if you do an apple them in September. The ideas are endless, you could have a smoothie of the month recipe if you wanted!
We use a microwave, and a skillet as well. In the skillet we cook green eggs and ham in march and we also make homemade play dough!
All of these items help us to make the things we want to make and we didn't have to spend a fortune on rent or on renovations. This works for us as a part time program. What do you use in your preschool? Any suggestions for us? What are we missing that is a must have in our classroom?
At Little Peaches we ask out parents to donate supplies all the time. What we don't ask for is brand new unopened package. We have lots of parents who are crafty and are more than happy to clean out their craft closet and give us that leftover ribbon from a project or their old glue gun because they bought a new one. Even if its just a few buttons we will take it.
Our supplies stay pretty stocked when we are willing to take opened craft supplies. It's easier for parents to give away something they aren't using and have already spent money on. Its harder for parents to make a special trip to the store to buy you something and spend money on it.
We love standing in the supply room and looking around discovering what we can make with our students. Its also pretty awesome to see a parents face when they realize we have turned their old junk into something amazing their child has created, that they can keep forever as a special memory.
Its rare for us to find a craft, science experiment, or recipe we want to make with the kids and not already have the ingredient or supply on hand. We credit this to all our stuff and junk collecting! We like to stock up! Because of Mrs. Layne and her superhero organization skills, each thing we collect is carefully put away and organized in an amazing system. We don't know what we would do without her!
So my suggestion to you is get out there and ask parents to clean out their junk drawers and donate it to you! Happy collecting!
Current Doctoral Student.Masters in Early Childhood Studies and Bachelors in Child Development. 15 years in the ECE profession.