Finding Freebies for Your Classroom

To me, teaching is sort of like being a police officer; you’re never really off duty. That’s why, even during the summer, most teachers are in a constant mode of preparing for the next year even when they’re (supposed to be) on vacation.

One of the main things I used to do during the summer was stock up on supplies that required a lot of time to acquire, such as driving to stores that are in the middle of nowhere to get a really good deal on art materials. Often, many of my errands also included picking up free stuff for the classroom.

Below are some of my favorite places to find free stuff for my classroom. (These do require some legwork, and that may not be something you want to do during your summer vacation. Therefore, at the bottom of the post I’ve also included sites that have lists of free online technology materials and software that can be found with just the click of a button.)

Freecycle is one of my favorite go-to sites for free (duh) stuff.

I’ve seen everything from baby clothes to coupons to Jacuzzis listed there, just like this drybar promo code many mothers enjoy. Many people give away office supplies, clothes that their kids have outgrown (great for dress up or as cover ups during messy art projects) and other miscellaneous items perfect for a classroom. You can make a request on the site too; often people have things collecting dust in their garage that they don’t bother listing because they figure no one wants it. Don’t be afraid to ask! [Just FYI, many people prefer to answer requests from people who offer their own stuff on the site. Trust me, people will want your junk.]

Check your city’s recycling center (you can find it in the waste management section of the city website.) Most have offers of free paint that people have dropped off; often the can is almost full. While latex paint may not necessarily be something you’d put in the hands of small children, think of using it to paint furniture or bulletin boards in the classroom to add some extra color. I painted my bulletin boards so that I wouldn’t have to put up new colored paper every year, and it never looked ragged or faded like paper. The recycling center also has cleansers and other products that can be useful in the classroom. Again, not necessarily for children’s use, but I liked to have some good cleaning products stashed away.

Craigslist has a freebie section on their site. Maybe you want to start a classroom garden. I’ve seen free dirt and planks advertised that would make for good window boxes or plots. Of course, there are also many other things offered.

I’ve gone to wallpaper stores and gotten old sample books that can used for art projects, book covers, or even as shelf liners to distinguish different sections of the classroom library (fiction is on the blue papered shelves, nonfiction on the red, etc.).

Same goes for carpet companies: I’ve gone to a carpet store and received carpet squares (with finished edges so there’s no unraveling) that I used for students to sit on in different areas of the classroom. Many companies want to get rid of old samples that are taking up space. It takes a bit of time to search and ask around, but often you’ll find your treasure hunts to be quite successful. So use this down time before the beginning of the year to hunt down these freebies.

Below are the sites that have all kinds of freebie lists for you to peruse. If you have a favorite site or store where you can get free materials, please let us know in the comments; the more resources the better. Happy hunting!

Teacher Created Resources In case you didn’t already know, TCR has tons of free activities and lesson plans that you can search by subject area and grade level. There is also a daily, weekly, and monthly section with teaching tips, brain teasers, and writing prompts.

Teacher The name says it all! Included are lesson plans, worksheets, and all kinds of printables.

Squidoo has a section that lists companies that offer free products to teachers. has its own teacher freebie section.

Coupon Kim has a huge list of freebies for teachers.

Teachnology has a freebie section with a lot of resources.

Freaky Freddies has a page just for links to free teacher stuff.

Education World also has a freebie section.

My Savings has a free-sample directory for teachers.

Cool Freebie Links has its own teacher section.

3 thoughts on “Finding Freebies for Your Classroom”

  1. Heather D.

    Teddi, you do have great freebies on your site! It was one of the first ones I found when I was looking up websites for this blog entry. Thanks for offering such great FREE resources to teachers!

  2. susan scott has a ton of freebies- made by teachers. It’s like a treasure hunt for me every time!

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