Hi, it’s Dana Quinn from 2nd Grade Sassy Pants! I’m so excited to share how I‘ve used an Amazon Wish List to get a ton of awesome donations for my classroom from my families!
If you’re like me, then you’ve probably been blessed to receive many different and unique gifts from families for different holidays like Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Teacher Appreciation Day. Over the past fourteen years, I’ve gotten a very eclectic mix of gifts including gift cards, mugs, bath products, chocolates, heartfelt cards and notes, and more.
But I have a confession. While many of the gifts were immensely enjoyed (Starbucks gift cards!) and some were put to good use (mugs are great pen holders!), I MAY have a cabinet filled with SO many gifts that I just haven’t used. Some are just not my taste and other I just don’t have a use for but there they sit. Are you judging me yet (eyes covered)? I hope you’re saying, “Me too! Me too!” I know I’m not alone in this. I have seen other teacher’s “cabinets”!
So, what do we do? How can we let parents know what we need and/or want without coming off as greedy? I think it’s all in the way we ask. Yes. You read that right. Ask parents for what you need. Parents can’t be expected to know what we need if we don’t tell them! And let’s be real. As a parent, I would hate knowing that a gift I purchased for my son’s teacher was just sitting in a cabinet! So this year, I asked her what she needed and she gladly told me! I’ve got to believe that most parents out there will appreciate your suggestions. And that’s all they are: Suggestions. Parents can take them or leave them. It’s ultimately their choice!
Don’t worry. I’m going to show you how, with help from a carefully worded letter that I wrote and a tool from my favorite website…Amazon!
Enter: Amazon Wishlist
Amazon Wishlist is free, easy to create and the best part is that you can use your school address to have items purchased shipped directly to you! That makes this option of gift giving and classroom donations even more attractive to parents because they don’t have to go anywhere or wrap anything! I’ve found that my parents really appreciated knowing exactly what I need for my classroom. They also enjoy that their gift is not only helping me as the teacher, but their child as well.
If you don’t know how to make a Classroom Wishlist, don’t fret! At the end of this blog post, I’ve included an easy, step-by-step guide on how to do it!
Here are some things to think about when creating or editing your Wishlist.
I personally like to have a variety of items with various levels of pricing on my Wishlist because different families have different budgets and different gift preferences! Some items to think about adding to your Wishlist: student supplies (pencils, glue sticks, markers), books, paper, card stock, math manipulatives, and technology.
In my experience, some families like to buy one more expensive item, like all of the parents who purchased these Amazon Kindle Fire Tablets. Yes, I got SIX of them and FIVE of the protective cases. Note: They were priced at $33.33 for about a week in December but still, SIX tablets!
Other families chose to purchase a group of smaller priced items, like these books, but purchase a whole bunch of them. One parent purchased these six different titles from the I Survived series. In total, I received 22 brand new books from my Wishlist, as holiday gifts from students and their families.
A few families purchased classroom supplies, like Astrobrights paper, and learning manipulatives, like magnetic letter sets. I also received a pack of vellum paper and two sets of Write and Wipe Fact Family Boards!
Now that you’ve got some ideas for your classroom Wishlist, let’s talk about the letter that I used to share my Classroom Wishlist with my families.
In addition to explaining the Wishlist, my letter also includes a gift suggestion that involves a donation in my classroom’s name, to go along with my classroom’s year long participation in the Classroom Kindness Challenge. You can easily omit or change that part of the letter.
“Over the years, I have received many unique and thoughtful gifts from students and families. The kindness and generosity have always been greatly appreciated each year.
But each year, I spend approximately $1000 on my classroom, purchasing new books, materials for color printing, classroom décor, school supplies, materials for special projects, rewards and more. I spend the money because I love teaching and want the BEST classroom. I want a classroom that students and I BOTH love being in! After all, it’s our home away from home! J I hope my efforts to create a cozy and inviting place for learning is evident!
This year, IF you are thinking of purchasing a holiday gift for me, please consider one of the following ideas that are linked below:
1. Purchase an item for our classroom from our Amazon Classroom Wishlist: bit.ly/OBEroom4
Please understand that this is in no way a request or expectation of gifts! I am only sharing these as ideas that you may use if you’d like. Your kindness and generosity with classroom donations and support this year have been the BEST!”
I sent the letter home when my students returned from Thanksgiving break. That’s it!
Now, I know you might be thinking, “There is no WAY I would get donations like this from my families! She obviously works at a school with a bunch of rich families.”
I actually do not. Over 65% of the families at my school qualify for free or reduced price meals. And while I know this tool will not work for every teacher, every in classroom or in every school, the purpose for sharing it is to make you aware of it. You might want to try using it someday!
I also know that until I asked, I didn’t get anything! I’ve been blown away by the overwhelming generosity of my families this year. And not a single parent has verbalized an issue with my letter. I’m sure there were some who didn’t read it, a few who just threw it away and others who thought, “Yeah, right!” but, I have heard nothing negative.
Now you have everything you need to create your own Amazon Classroom Wishlist. I hope you will try using it and see what happens! You just might get some awesome gifts from your families! If you are interested the step-by-step guide for creating a Wishlist, you can scroll down and find it below!
Thank you for reading! If you have any questions for me, please feel free to email me at [email protected].
How to create an Amazon Classroom Wishlist:
If you’re already an Amazon user, it’s the same as creating any Wishlist, you will just name it as your Classroom Wishlist.
Step 1. Go to Amazon.com and sign into your account. Click on “Create a List”
Step 2: Your new list will be named “new List” so you will need click on it to change that.
Step 3: To make it easy for your families to find, name it “________’s Class” or something similar. Next click on “details” to add in your contact information and shipping address.
Step 4: Once you are in “List Settings”, you can add your name, email address, a list description and shipping information.
Step 5: Now for the fun part! Add items to your list! Once you find a product you like, click the “Add to List” drop down menu. Find your Classroom Wishlist name and click!
Step 6: Woo Hoo! You have an item on your classroom Wishlist! Any new item you add will automatically be at the top of your list. But you can customize the quantity and priority!
Step 7: When you customize the quantity and priority, you let families know how many of an item you want and which items you more than others. To customize, click “Edit comment, quantity and priority”.
Step 8: This allows you to let your families know that you want more than one pack of card stock and that it’s more important that say, the pencil sharpener. Don’t forget to click “SAVE”.
Step 9: Once you’ve added all the products you want to your Wishlist, you’re ready to get the shareable Wishlist link! Go to the top of your list and click “share”.
Step 10: This window will pop up with your custom Wishlist link. This is the link that you will share with your families. I personally like to use a link shortening website like bitly.com so I can make the link super simple and easy to remember. But that’s optional.
You’ve created an Amazon Classroom Wishlist! Congratulations!