Design 101: Trips and Tips from Dollarama

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Have you ever gone shopping for your classroom, child care centre, or home play area, and wondered what to buy?  During my "Design 101 Trips," I offer educators, parents, and those interested in working with young children some tips on what to purchase.  My goal is to always find materials that will warm up any environment and intrigue the students with endless possibilities for learning!  The September 2013 Vol.1 No.2 issue explores the hidden treasures that can be found at Dollarama.

Thank you to Jenn Tompkins
for accompanying me on this 
 design trip adventure!

The Design 101: Trips and Tips
 September 2013 Vol.1 No.2 Issue 
can be downloaded here.

I invite you to leave a comment about other items that you have used from Dollarama, or what this issue inspired you to think about!  


  1. The little boxes that you thought were cute have a fabulous use:
    - sorting of various gems and other materials'
    - the children can use them to create shell, little shiny pebbles designs
    I am sure other people will think of other uses.

    I have bought three or four of the little magic boards where the children can write on them and then slide the slider and the writing disappears.
    In the craft section they sell a variety of already cut squares of tissue paper in a variety of colours. I have seen them at another store (not mentioning any names) for $6.99. Teachers love the dollar stores.
    In St. Catharines, Ontario we also have the Dollar Tree which sells many things for the teachers.

  2. I too was wondering about the water beads - but are they non-toxic? I wasn't sure about my kiddos who often put their fingers in their mouths. I do love them! Love all the other things you have picked up - I've already invested in most this summer and fall. Did you see the crystal beads in the shape of leaves, pumpkins, and acorns - fall colours and great for the light tables? I will post a photo to Instagram of what I mean. @kimclark23
    Thanks for sharing again. I'd do a shopping spree with you anytime.

  3. What a great idea! I have many of these items but so fun to see it framed this way :)
    I have used the little wooden treasure boxes with seasonal items and tweezers....the kids pick up items from one area/container and transfer to box. I recently purchased a tiny compartmentalized clear plastic container (each compartment has a lid) and the kids LOVED sorting beads by colour using small wooden tongs (from Dollarama) to transfer the beads from bowl to compartments.

  4. River rocks, glass beads, canvas bags for borrow a book program, fun stuff for the drama centre...what would we do without dollarama? Joanne can you tell me where you found the beige cloths that cover your classroom tables? It seems that they are washable and thick so as to be durable.