Monday, June 28, 2010

Discount School Supply Celebrates 25 Years!

Hello again from Judy McGuinn at Discount School Supply. This post is especially fun for me to write because we’re celebrating our 25th Anniversary on July 1, 2010. We have all of our terrific customers to thank for making this milestone possible. So thank you very much!

I think you’ll be interested to know that our founder, Ron Elliott, is still an employee of the company, now as Executive Chairman. When Ron founded the company in 1985, he was an entrepreneur with a good idea: he wanted early childhood teachers to be able to buy quality arts & crafts materials at lower prices than he saw in competitors’ catalogs. He did all the entrepreneurial things, such as making deliveries himself, making the first
Discount School Supply catalog on his own computer, demonstrating products himself at trade shows, and talking to teachers for hours on end to understand what they really needed.

Our CEO, Kelly Crampton, has been with the company 21 years, and he was one of the earliest employees. Like Ron, Kelly has held a variety of different jobs as the company grew up. It’s one reason he is so well-equipped to lead the company today. Among the
Discount School Supply staff, we have a number of people who have been here more than 15 years and many who have been here for more than 10. We think that the longevity of our staff is a good indicator that we enjoy what we do, and we are all committed to supporting early childhood education.

I hope that you will join our celebration. As a special “thank you” to our wonderful customers, we’ll be giving away $25,000 in prizes during July. More information will be available on this blog and or visit
Discount School Supply on Monday, June 28. Thank you for being part of our first 25 years! We can’t wait to see what comes next!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Puppet Theater at Discount School Supply

Hi, I’m Brooke Higgins, Marketing Communications Coordinator for
Discount School Supply. I have two young children at home, ages 2 and 4, which means I can do “market research” all the time!

When I brought home the Set of 9 Super Plush Washable Animal Hand Puppets with Feet one day, my kids jumped for joy. They fell in love with the plush animals and they soon wanted to do their own puppet show at every chance.

We crafted our own version of the Tabletop Theater from a large cardboard box. We decorated it with BioColor® Paint, glitter glue and some foam shapes . The kids even gave our theater a name: “Alien Space Theater.” They did most of the work and we had a blast putting it together. But the fun was just beginning!

Now we pull out the Alien Space Theater every so often and put on our own puppet shows. Even if we don’t pull out the theater, the kids will put a blanket over some chairs to make their own theater for a show. They shout out “Puppet Show, Puppet Show!” and take turns presenting a puppet show to each other. My 4-year-old likes to sing and dance with the puppets and the 2-year-old follows suit, (though admittedly he has less of a song and dance repertoire!)

I highly recommend a set of puppets; we’ve found it to be a great way to foster creativity and encourage sharing. We’ve had so much fun with our Animal Hand Puppets, and I hope you do too!

Submit Your Craft Ideas to Discount School Supply

Hi, I’m Tiffany Harbrecht and I’m a copy writer and marketing communications associate here at Discount School Supply. Part of my responsibilities include reviewing craft and activity ideas that are submitted online through the MyCommunity section of the Discount School Supply Web site.

Did you know that you can submit activity ideas to use for use on our site?

If we choose to publish your idea on our site we’ll send you a one-time $50 Certificate for
Discount School Supply!

We're always excited to receive ideas from teachers and parents where our products can be used in new and interesting ways. Here are a few tips when submitting activity ideas:

• Make sure you include the ages of the children for which the activity is most appropriate
• We love activities that involve reusing household items to create something new!
Recycling something from "trash" to "treasure" is a great way to get your activity considered!
• Educational value is important (and it's easy to include!) You don't need to be a teacher to recognize some goals
for craft activities. "Creativity" and "fine motor skills" are educational goals easily met by many activities.
• Open-ended is OK! Not everyone's tree has to look like a tree, and we love that at
Discount School Supply! Skip the directions to "tell the children to color the branches brown" or "trace along the lines" and we'll love your idea even more. Much of early childhood art is about the process, not the end result, and leaving room for a child's imagination to take flight is fantastic!

So let your own imagination take flight and share something creative with
Discount School Supply! I invite you to submit your activity ideas today!

Easy and Affordable Party-Planning with Discount School Supply

Summer days mean extra hours to enjoy the beach, barbeque and backyard, and with this season come the summer celebrations that have young and old gathering together for fun in the sun. I’m Laurel Johnston, I work in Brand Marketing, and I sure seem to have a lot of baby showers, beach barbeques and kids’ birthday parties to host/attend this summer!

Thankfully, preparing for my summer celebrations is super easy and affordable with Discount School Supply's great selection of arts & crafts materials that can be used for d├ęcor, party favors and activities. I thought I’d share a few ideas with you in case you too find yourself in party central this season:

So Sweet of You to Come: The walkway into a candy-themed birthday party is extra sweet with balloons made to look like giant lollipops! Simply cover inflated balloons in Colorations® Cellophane Rolls tie at the base of the balloon with a matching ribbon, and stiffen the string with white straws or thin cardboard tubes to “stick” the lollypops into the ground. Bundle candy favors in cellophane as well, tie with a ribbon to close, letting each guest know that it was “sweet” of them to come!

Choo-Choo, Congrats to You: A train-themed baby shower is made extra fun with Decorate Your Own Wooden Trains. Use as a centerpiece, or as a creative way to hold cupcakes surrounding a cake stand. Have guests decorate their own one-of-a-kind train car, too-- either as a favor or to give to the new mom for the baby’s room or toy chest.
Ready, Set, Get Wet: Beach and pool parties are extra fun with a splash of creative expression! Letting guests decorate their own ball for is a great way to get everyone involved, even if, like me, they’re more inclined to keep theirs on dry land. Land lubbers might also like the Decorate-Your-Own Flying Discs too.

Pretty Pink Princesses: If there’s a little girl in your life, there’s probably a princess party or in your future. I’ve thrown two already and these Decorate-Your-Own Crowns and treasure boxes were huge hits at both. Princesses also made their own necklaces with beads and Rexlace for placing in the treasure boxes.

Want some more summer-themed ideas for parties and/or playtime with the kids? Discount School Supply has a free list of 25 fun and budget-friendly summer activity ideas online. Our Brand Marketing team helps prepare these ideas each season, and it’s always a fun project. If you have any ideas you think we should add to our ever-growing list, we invite you to share them here!