I have collections at home and school: plastic containers with lids that once held spinach or other green salads, assorted plastic milk and juice caps, empty deli containers with lids, scraps of ribbon, cardboard egg cartons, pieces of older cribs which no longer meet government standards.
Junk? Absolutely not!
The salad containers made individual terrariums for grass seed. Milk and juice caps are used for sorting (size, color, similar kind), counting and artistic projects. Deli containers with a few holes in the lids enable each child to have his or her own bug box to carry and collect insects found on nature walks. Cardboard egg cartons filled with soil are planted with seeds, and then the individual sections can be planted since the cardboard is bio-degradable. Ribbons are used for weaving and collages. The spring of a crib hangs outside of my office to display photos and the sides of several cribs are hung from the ceilings at Global Gifts to display handmade crafts.
I admit that it is difficult for me to part with useful stuff! However, as we anticipate the renovation of the preschool classrooms, I promise, dear friend, to take a good hard look at the stuff, and throw out what no longer needs to be saved. If I am really brave, I may even ask you to help!