Example One: We were going to do jungle week. It was about three weeks away. I knew it was coming. I wasn't sure what my plans were but I had it in my head to create something fun and new for the kids in the classroom. Then as if the Divine was with me, the day before trash day a few weeks ago I drove home and there were two old silk potted plants sitting by someone's trash. They had elephant plant leaves. PERFECT I thought. I snagged them thinking, "I'm not sure how these are going to work, but I'm going to use them during Jungle Week." Flash forward to this week (jungle week) I haul them to my classroom, tear them apart and create a jungle in the reading area for my kids to explore and enjoy. It was a HIT!!! It had jungle sounds that they could listen to, stuffed and plastic animals endogenous to the jungle, some brown paper, a big plant from the auditorium, four yards of blue material and two yards of green (recycled from the Children's Choir props), and the silk leaves from my side of the road plants as foliage. Even found a place to put Sally, our pink Boa Constrictor. The kids fought over it the first day and argued who had been in the jungle too long and who's turn it was next. They eventually learned how to share and it turned out to be one of my best ideas so far.
Example Two: Always thinking ahead. Next week is Ocean Week. Capitalizing on what I had already started, I was going to create the bottom of the Ocean for next week. I've already got the blue and green material exactly where it will need to go. Just need to build the bottom of the ocean. Again, Wednesday, the day before trash day, Colin and I are driving home. By someone's trash is a great metal basket. Kinda like what you might find balls in at a golf course. I immediately see a fishing basket with a catch inside, hanging from my ceiling as if off the bow of someone's boat that you could see if you were swimming around underwater, in the ocean.
I pull to a stop, back up, and put the car in park. Colin wonders what in the world I'm doing. I explain that I want this basket for our ocean week. I snag the basket, hand it to Colin and drive on home. Colin likes the basket and wants to know if he can keep it after ocean week. Sure. Why not?
Then he says, "But Mom, you can't just go around stealing stuff."
I presented the, "if it's trash, then it's not stealing. They were throwing it away. I saved it. I recycled it. I'll reuse it and reduce the landfill by one little basket. I deserve a medal.
After he thought about that and decided my argument was solid, he asked if we could go back and get the chair that the basket was sitting on. I declined because, you know, you just can't go around stealing stuff.