Wish Fish... Asking Parents for Help

It is Spring Conferences this week and although I have intentions on talking about various ideas for what to share with parents at conference... that isn't today's topic. I'll get back to you on that one....

Instead, I am just sharing my Wish Fish.

This time of year supplies are running low.... and we still have 3 more months to go! Yep, we are still schooling it all the way until June 17th.

I display some "Wish Fish" {That goes with our classroom ocean theme} to request various items from parents.
I am lucky to be in a neighborhood where the parents have the ability to help and provide for us. However, I used to be too shy or worried about asking for more. I had asked for supplies back in September and didn't want to over do it and bother them again....

And just to answer the question some of you may be wondering... Yes, this is a public school and Yes, we need to ask parents to help with basic items such as glue. Our district budget has been cut and it still allows for paper, glitter, pencils and more... but there is plenty it doesn't account for.

I have found that the parents WANT to help. I have also learned that parents will have random connections that I may not know about until I ask.

So, now I ask.

I ask for little things.... and some bigger things... these are "wish" list items so it is okay to ask.

I make it clear that these are optional....
Quick sidenote: I had all my Wish Fish ready to go and then realized Holy Moly! There is no sign to explain this randomness... and that my friends explains why the note above is not written with as much finesse as I would have hoped... :/

I also add this little tidbit because I love me some plastic tubs to recycle and we are crafting like crazy. Plus, this is a nice way for parents who want to show support to help out in a FREE way.

So what do I ask for? Well it varies... and I bet you know what you need. But this is a list that I am sure isn't complete:

*glue sticks
*Ziploc bags {various sizes}
*aluminum foil
*wax paper
*plastic utensils
*paper plates
*hand sanitizer
*Lysol wipes
*Avery labels
*cardstock paper
*astro bright paper
*anti-bacterial hand soap
*pipe cleaners
*googly eyes
*safety pins
*people crayons from Lakeshore {I'm obsessed with these crayons and think it is great for diversity chats}
*coffee filters
*water color paints
*paint brushes
*paper lunch bags

Here are some of the big ticket items. And let me say... last year a parent found out I was only allotted a certain amount of printer ink and she said, "I can get you some of that at a wholesale price and it is no problem- you should have asked me sooner." And I had a dentist one year bring me a lifetime supply of tongue depressors.... so you never know!!

*printer ink
*step ladder
*lamination pouches
*class set of mini white boards {yeah.... this one may not happen}
*new paper cutter
*3-hole punch
*fancy heavy duty stapler {I hate my school issued staplers....HATE}
*fabric iron-on papers and tote bags {to make class take home totes for various things}

What other items would you add to these lists? Please share... I may need to wish for them too!!

And you can tweak this whole concept to your theme! A colleague with a jungle theme puts her items on bananas. A cooking themed classroom could use the phrase "Ingredients to help us learn" and put the items on different fruits and vegetables. We could go on and on.....

I know this isn't the most novel post... but my point is to just ask because if you never ask you will never get anything and you may be surprised at the support you receive.


  1. A parent bought me a fancy stapler at the beginning of the year and I've never looked back!! I now have two of them and I think I'm addicted. :)


  2. I had a parent send in a giant pack of plastic spoons one year. I hadn't requested them, but they were a lifesaver! I had so many kids bring in pudding/yogurt for snack and not have a spoon. It was so random, but exactly what I needed!

    Sara :)
    The Colorful Apple

  3. I've never tried this a but sounds like it would be worth it.

  4. I always do this too. I used to be afraid to ask for too much, but now being the mom of kids in school, I wish their teachers would ask for more! I'm not a mom who can volunteer my time at school, so I am more than happy to help out by purchasing things that they might need. I know that I always have parents like this in my class too! I usually post or send home a wish list 3 or 4 times per year.

    Jill :)
    ABCs and Polkadots