Castro Valley Game Library

Resources for parents & teachers

Friday, March 21, 2014

Current Montessori Inventory

A teacher setting up 4 classrooms recently purchased about 20 apple boxes full of Montessori supplies from me (she said, "I want ALL of it!), so give me a list, and I will find things just for you.

While this page does not have pictures of the entire collection, I will continue to add and subtract items from this page to reflect current inventory.

               ($50)                                                                                                     ($40)

Multiuse   ($2-$10)

$2.50 (for both boxes)



Practical Life

$2 each


Math ($30 for all)


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Missing pieces (...I miss my mind the most)

When you buy used games, they don't always have all the pieces.  Sometimes you have to improvise, but it's usually not a big deal.  It's easy to replace a mover or a regular die.  You can find (or sell) replacement pieces on eBay.  You can find whole games for good prices on Craigslist or at thrift stores.

One of the most important pieces of a game is the instructions.  They tell you which pieces you need and how to use them.  You can often find them online.

The pictures on the box can also be very helpful.  For example, there was a board missing in a game I looked at today.  It just had 7 or 8 squares on it (a start to a finish), which would be easy to replicate.  

You could use beans or beads to replace the cherries in this game of Hi Ho Cherry-0 and other jewelry to replace pieces for Pretty Pretty Princess:

I was making dice the other day.  You'll need to know what is on each side of a die in order to create one like it.  You may be able to find a picture on the box or in the directions.  I have used stickers or paper & glue to replace sides on a die.  A die can also be used in place of a spinner (if it has 6 spaces).  
With a game that had a few "special" cards that were missing (Hiss), I taped a small paper on a few of the regular cards to make them "special" ones, but you couldn't tell I'd changed them from the other side.  

A rather difficult game adjustment I recently made was to accommodate the absence of an electronic selection device.  The device tells you which pieces to pick up and move.  Now we use a die to tell us which place to put things (there are 3 plates & each character can get 1 item or 2), and I made cards so players draw items that would normally be read off of the pictures in the machine.  


In a pinch, you could make up completely novel ways to play with the pieces.  

One of the toughest challenges is missing puzzle pieces.  Apparently you can have a company MAKE a missing piece for only $13+ s/h (Jigsaw Puzzle Doctor)... 


Personal shopper

I've been thinking a lot about what my business is.  I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out what people are looking for (and willing to pay) and what I'm good at and like to do.

I have little kids, and evenings really aren't convenient for doing game events.  We have other things going on.  Instead, what may work well is school services (for people who live in the Bay Area).  Here's what I mean (I have provided all these services recently for local schools):

* A school owner wants to clean out storage and miscellanea.  I buy the educational materials the school does not want or need to sell to others after ordering replacement pieces, etc.  We load up my car, and the materials no longer clutter up needed space.  She can use the money to buy the things on her wish list.

* A Montessori or other teacher is setting up a classroom and needs supplies for lessons.  She makes a list of what she needs, and I shop first.  I can save her time and money.  She can find the odds and ends after I've done a lot of the legwork.

* The leader of an afterschool program needs several items (to add variety, to teach skills, to replace broken games), and buys many games, cards, puzzles, and toys at a time for a great price.

All of these people appreciate the opportunity to reuse good quality items.

 - Toss your cares & curls away (& Yahoo Montessori_Swap group)

Another update - 
I was counting the fees twice, which doesn't help when doing the math.  You can actually make money (even with fees & shipping).  And they have great things for sale.  And I really like the customer service.

**Update** can be a good place to buy things, and I've been happy with the things I swapped for.  If you want to trade what you have for something different, it works.  But - 

I tracked all the numbers on a spreadsheet, and after taxes, fees, and shipping (both ways), I didn't really make anything.  The customer service is good, though, and they've sent me some promotions.

The title references a movie quote from Thoroughly Modern Millie.

I am hoping this swap site works well.  I sent a box of items away, and they are up and priced on the site.

They only accept kids' (& teens') items, and items must have all the pieces.

It costs $9 to ship a huge box.  Boxes are expensive.  They give you the option of requesting boxes ($3), which I might do.  They charge $1 per item + 20%, which adds up (but I've sold on eBay & Amazon, and the shipping and fees really kill you).  

You can buy using cash or swap what you have for something else.  In theory you can get more value out of your used items by trading.  

I've had one item bought and one item traded so far.  

They also have some good fundraising options for groups like schools.

Montessori_Swap (Yahoo groups)

A shout out to all the wonderful people from Montessori_Swap who have visited my blog.  

I appreciate the resource for finding and circulating Montessori, homeschool and other learning materials.  

Out with the old - Game Swap event

Game Swap

On Saturday CV Game Library hosted a free community Game Swap event at CV Library.  

It was a hit with both moms & kids.  

My sister and I set up tables, labeled by age group or category (toys, puzzles, games needing TLC).  People got tickets & stickers for every item they brought.  They could choose prices if we pulled their ticket, and they showed stickers when they left to prove they had brought games.  

They brought really good quality games, and left excited with things they had been looking for.  

Several people asked when the next swap is, and I plan to do another one sometime.

Just wanted to say thanks to the moms who put together the game and toy swap! It was so awesome. We brought a huge bunch of things my kids did not use anymore and they got an equal amount back! Was easy and fun.  Thanks again K

Yes, thank you America,
My son was jumping for joy when I brought him his new games and I got to clean out the closet. Yay! What a great service you provided for the community. Thank you so much! B

A big thanks from us, too!  My kids are having a great time with their new loot! -C