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Setting up the classroom normally means arranging desks, chairs, and learning stations. When you are setting up the preschool classroom though, the teacher has to set up play centers as well. Many times play centers will involve housekeeping and a kitchen area, allowing for the students imagination to grow. Of course setting up this arrangement means buying the resources, so what will you need and so where can you find preschool kitchen furniture cheap?
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What You Will Need:
Think about your own kitchen and housekeeping area in your own house, what does it include?
- The most obvious will be table and chairs. Preschool children are small so you will need a small kitchen table set to fit their needs. A small table will usually sit four small chairs, but extra chairs can be included for extra play fun.
- Large appliances may include a stove and oven, a sink, and a refrigerator.
- Smaller appliances may include a toaster, blender, and coffee pot.
- Extras for the kitchen area may include utensils, pots and pans, tubberware, plates, and cups.
- It would be fun to also include play food and items that the children can “cook” with.
- Thinking about your kitchen you may also find that housekeeping tools are kept in this area. Tools such as mops, brooms, and dustpans can also be included in this play area.
Now that we have a general idea of what can be included, how can we find preschool kitchen furniture for cheap and affordable prices?
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Where To Look?
Looking at the list above you can imagine how the items can rack up to a pretty penny after everything has been bought. Where can teachers find these kitchen and housekeeping items cheaper?
Large discount stores such as Walmart, Kmart, and Target are great places to start your shopping experience. While large stores like this can be a bit hit or miss, here are some hints for getting the most for your money in one of these stores.
- Sign up for a shopper card or credit card where you attain a percentage back on your purchases.
- Scan flyers every week. It is usually the time when you do not need something when the item will go on sale. In this case it helps to buy a new table and chair set for half price six months beforehand.
- Clip coupons. Coupons can help save on store items and can be found in flyers. When you sign up for a preferred shopper card, coupons may also be delivered to your house so be on the lookout for this supposed “junkmail”.
- Ask around to see if any of these stores or similar stores in your area has a teacher discount.
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More Places to Find Preschool Kitchen Furniture
Other types of discount stores can be found in your own neighborhood. In my own neighborhood I see many local furniture or discount stores which display children’s furniture outside on the sidewalk. One store in particular which I have found to be very affordable is National Wholesale Liquidators. They sell a combination kitchen set for around $20. The set is a one piece which includes a stovetop, an oven underneath, a side refrigerator, a microwave on top as well as a sink and coffee station. While this seems like a lot, it is a corner piece made of plastic no taller than three and a half feet. Other types of wholesale stores like this can be found in your own neighborhood.
Large department stores such as Sears and JCPenney have great toy sales right before Christmas. I have seen kitchen combination centers, such as the one described above, which cost between $20 and $40. Again, if you have a department store card you can save even more money with coupons and earning a percentage back on purchases.
Another great option would be dollar stores or 99 cent stores. In these stores you can find small kid size chairs. The chairs are usually plastic, and are found in fun colors such as blue, red, purple, or green. You can also find tupperware, plastic cups and dishes, utensils, plastic serving trays, and other kid friendly kitchen items in these stores.
Your cheapest option may very well be in your very own house. For food items, save up cereal and food boxes. When you are done with the perishables inside, re-tape the boxes so that the preschool children can set up their cabinets and refrigerator with food. Other options can include milk cartons, instant mashed potato boxes, and ice pop boxes. Remember to not include glass as they can cause harm to the child if broken.
When all else fails, check out some flea markets and local garage sales. There are plenty of mothers wishing to get rid of their grown children’s play items. You may not only find preschool kitchen furniture cheap, but you could also find other fun items such as board games for your students.
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The Next Step
When your kitchen is set up, your students will likely be so inspired by their new center that they would like to try some real cooking. So why not check out this article for a Preschool Lesson on Cooking for ideas on what you can teach your students with food.