Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Target Dollar Spot Gems 2013-2014 school year

Since we got out of school for the summer, i have been kind of MIA from the blogging world.  i decided to take this time to sharpen my saw, spend time with my family, and help my boyfriend recuperate from knee surgery.  However, the school year is quickly approaching, so I'm excited to once again prepare for an even better year than last year!  That's always my goal: to do at least one thing each year to make it better than the last.  I always tell myself "this is going to be my best year yet!"  Of course ip,an to use my new data strategies, I'm always excited to find new things to use with kids.

 So, last year I posted about some of the awesome things I found in the dollar spot section of Target that I can use in my school counseling program.  As the school year is quickly approaching, I was excited to see what I might find this year. Here's what I bought:

Bulletin Board Border: although I don't have a bulletin board, I trout I might use this around my whiteboard to make it look a little more kid-friendly

ID card holder: last year, my ID badge ripped where it attaches to my lanyard so I had taped it...not cute. As I was perusing the dollar bins, I came across these ID badge holders in various colors and knew I had to get one.

Sticky Googly Eyes: I couldn't pass these ups..oh the possibilities in creative counseling! I'm excited to use these in individual and small group counseling.

Beads: one of my favorite things to do in my friendship groups is to make friendship bracelets, so I'm always looking for cheap ones to add to my selection.

Doctor Kit: finding this was like hitting the jackpot!  I have dabbled in play therapy over the years, but am trying to learn more about it and add to my play therapy kit.  I learned some more about it at a regional conference in April, and will be learning more this year from Heather Thompson, a professor at Western Carolina University, who has specialized in (and done a lot of research in) play therapy.  It's doctor's kit will be a great addition.

Stickers: kids love stickers..and I do too!  I plan to use these for positive reinforcement in small groups and to celebrate successes in individual counseling.

Finding these "gems" always helps to motivate me to kick off the school year (and when I need a little reminder of why I do what I do when times are tough). It's funny how some little things that only cost $1 can bring so much excitement to a school counselor. 

One more thing that I wanted to share is not a new gem, its an old one! I love the idea of keeping a worry box in my office for kids to let go of their worries and "leave them with me." In the past, I've always used an empty Kleenex box that I decorated.  I had remembered that I used to have a little tin box with a lock (I used it as a piggy bank because it has a slit on top). I decided to ask ,y mom if she still had it, and she did!! I am so excited to put this to use as my new worry box! I love the idea of locking away their worries until another time when we an pull them out to revisit them (this is part of the process discussed in What To Do When You Worry Too Much).

What kind of gems (new or old) have you discovered this summer to use in your school counseling program?


  1. I went to the dollar store and purchased 4 pairs of sunglasses and a set of transparent, colored binder dividers. I popped the lenses out of the glasses and cut the plastic out to make new "lenses" -- colors are blue, red, green and yellow. My idea is to use the glasses for a lesson on attitude or maybe perspective....students will put the glasses on, read a situation card and think out loud/say something from the perspective of being jealous (green), sad (blue), angry (red) and happy (yellow). As a class we'll reflect on the consequences of behaving in that way and hopefully the activity will demonstrate the value of focusing on the bright side (yellow lenses). Perhaps there's a lesson in there about using one's social filter, too! Anyway, that's one of my ideas...I need to pin the picture on my pinterest already so it makes better sense. :)

    1. LOVE this idea!



  2. Great idea! I love the Dollar Store. It doesn't take a lot of money to come up with a great lesson, just a little creativity.

  3. I love reading your blog and I nominated you for the Liebster Award! I was nominated and the rules are that I am supposed to nominate 5 blogs and I pick you! :) It seems to be a great way to get more readers!

    Allison at Counseling Corner

  4. Thank you so much Allison..what an honor

  5. Hi Tracy! Allison beat me to it (again, lol!) but I also nominated your blog for a Liebster Award. The bottom line is keep blogging because you are doing and sharing some awesome stuff! :) Happy back to school!

    Kristi at Concessions of a School Counselor