School Supply Shopping 101

Part 1: A Rainbow of Colors.

It’s that time of year to check out the hot deals for school supplies. I always experience  a twinge of excitement when I begin perusing the store ads and online deals.  My distraction begins as the first sales are advertised.Books Education Female Girl Learning Rabbi I am not alone; just ask your friends for full discloser. I may have to start a support group…”The Secret Life of  School Supply Shoppers.”

I wear several hats when it comes to school supplies. My professional hat is the teacher hat. I have learned over the years which brands meet mine and my student’s needs for the classroom as far as hardiness and quality.  My life long hat, which I consider a crown,  is my mommy hat. After homeschooling 5 kiddos to college, I have a long lasting relationship with everything school. Lastly, I eagerly shop for those special items while wearing the Grammy hat. I love buying that special folder or paint set to use at Grammy’s house.  My sweet babies get so excited to have nice supplies just for fun.

As a parent, I am thrilled to share in my kiddo’s eagerness to acquire new glossy folders, fresh markers, and  the always coveted new box of crayons in a rainbow of colors. I will admit it now, I always end up with several items just for me. Especially the crayons.Crayons Colors School Drawing Education CoOh, how I protect my new box of 64 sharp, unbroken, pretty crayons. This anniversary set complete with  metal case is the perfect way to protect and organize my set of 64 Crayola Crayons. Plus it looks decorative on my shelf instead of an old plastic pencil box. I have 2 sets! One set for my kiddos, and one for my office…just for me!

I have found that for lasting power, and richness of color, that Crayola is king for kids. Same story for markers, and water color paint oval kits. Back to school sales are the time to stalk up on these quality supplies.

Water color paint kits are a delight to kids of all ages. Owning your very own kit is a special treat since each person has their own “artistic flair.”  I can afford to  have extra at home and in my classroom if I stalk up during Back-to School shopping. This set pleases one and all with so many color choices.

For younger children age 5 and under I have included a set with fewer color choices. That age group seems to enjoy mixing all the colors which causes great consternation for parents and older children who like to keep their colors separate. This set also comes with a better quality brush to endure all that mixing! I highly suggest buying several of these smaller sets so younger kiddos can enjoy  “new” colors all year as they practice their artistic skills.

I am so excited to share a new paint set with you.  It makes buying painting supplies for home or gifts so easy. This set is an All-in-One complete set. Just add water! Everything a young artist needs to be inspired and get started painting.  I know it can be frustrating when you buy new art supplies just to realize you don’t have the right paper or brush. This complete set solves that problem. Plus everything is safely tucked into it’s own carrying case! How cool is that? I wish they had these when my children were little!

Many times I have regretted not buying extras for mid -year replacement, birthday gifts, visitors, and to replace sets in my classroom. Yes! School supplies for birthday gifts. Whether it is a summer, or mid-winter birthday, kids and adults appreciate and love new supplies.  About 2 months after I start painting with my new painting sets, I always wish I had another because undoubtedly I have used up several colors. The take away here is to collect extras, because you never know when you will need a new painting set.

So there you go. The ins and outs of crayons and paint sets. Stay tuned for part 2:  “Perfect Pencils.”

Kids These Days.

Have you tried this fantastic devise? Makes the the perfect “First Devise”  or Kindle for your littles, ages 3+.  This tablet takes a beating and keeps on going.  All my grandchildren currently use, or have used this devise. Even their parents can’t keep their hands off!

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Bougainvillea in Yuma, AZ.

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It’s NOT a Frisbee!

Youth USYDGA tournament practice.

Disc Golf truly is for everyone.  Adults and kiddos of all abilities and the various physical shape can play and even compete.  I coach 3-8th-grade kids for Fall and Spring Disc Golf.  The beginning of the season is family oriented, then we move into tournaments, and finally championships for our region. This fun family sport is especially suited for people who are not inclined to play sports that require lots of running, jumping, and hitting. Go to,  for free, beginner instructional videos.

Disc Golf Frisbee Frisbee Golf Disc Golf D

Disc Golf is a portable, inexpensive, group, family, or individual game.  All you need is a couple of discs and a course in the great outdoors. Most courses are free and open to the public.

If you want a little more freedom to choose where you play, or you want to up your game you can purchase portable, folding baskets that you can take camping, to a yard party, or easily set up in your own backyard.

Family game in the park with a portable basket.

Check out these nice starter discs, and folding baskets so you can get out and have some good clean fun. I bought these baskets for my team practices and extra putting practice. We also use them in our regional tournaments because we need additional baskets to help with flow and timing due to the phenomenal growth of Disc Golf in our area.  They are sturdy, durable, and easy to carry, unlike some of the all-metal types you can purchase at big, box stores.  Live and learn.  As a coach, parent, and disc golf enthusiast, I highly recommend these portable baskets. 

I love taking these beautiful baskets camping. They easily fold up like a camp chair and come with a nice canvas carrying case. Be prepared to be the most popular family at the campground. Other campers are curious about Disc Golf, some are even familiar with the game.  It is quite the crowd pleaser at family gatherings and parties as well. Take these along and you will be a happy camper!

My team doubled in size last season, so I requested a couple new baskets.  My A.D. (Athletic Director) decided we should save a little money, so we bought the collapsible metal baskets at our local membership store.

Big mistake. They are too heavy for my students to carry and they have to be partially disassembled.    Now, we have to store them completely assembled because it is just too time-consuming and difficult to collapse them and reassemble for each practice.  (My principle is not so thrilled since they have to be stored in the cafeteria.) Even worse, the chains get all tangled at every practice when we move the baskets out to the field. In the long run, we did not save anything, plus I am stuck with these behemoths. Uhg!

Disc Golf basically follows ball-golf rules for scoring and typical play. In its early days, people called it Frisbee Golf or Folf, and threw flat rubber discs at bells, trees with targets, and bins while hiking through the park, forest, or mountain trails.  Today, Disc Golf is a professional sport known for flying discs; a sport in which players throw thick plastic discs at targets or into metal chain baskets.

You need a Putter, Mid-Range Driver, and Long Range Driver. That’s all folks! These sets are perfect for beginners and can grow with you as you build your throwing skills.

Unlike most kits or individual discs, you get a chart that explains the numbers on your disc which you will eventually learn are a reference to how your disc flies. You even get a mini-disc to use as a marker. (Minis can be fun for trick shots too!)

If you would like to add some more individual discs to your equipment list, try these precision discs.

There are a few rules to keep in mind when playing disc golf.  SAFETY FIRST is the #1 RULE of the game. Discs are NOT Frisbees. Disc Golf discs are meant for throwing at a designated target and not for catching in any way, shape, or form.

Severe damage to face, head, hands, body, etc, could occur if a player tries to catch a disc or if a person is in the pathway of a disc.

  1. Always stand at least 10′ behind the thrower when watching or waiting.
  2. Wait for everyone on your team to finish throwing before retrieving your disc.
  3. Never throw discs up in the air or at people, or objects that are not your target.
  4. Always pay attention to other throwers around you.
  5. Yell “FORE!!” if your disc heads toward a person.
  6. If you hear someone yell “FORE!!”… DO NOT TURN and LOOK in that direction…always DUCK and COVER. 

Sportsmanship and honor are RULE #2. Wait for each other. Quietly and patiently respect a player’s turn and those waiting for you.  Leave the area as nice as or better than you found it.  Respect nature. Applaud for other players. If you find a disc that isn’t yours, try to return it to the owner.  I found this to be an interesting aspect of disc golf.  Respect and honor are expected.  Most players write their name and phone number on their discs with the expectation that a fellow player will call to arrange how to return the disc. Some players will set a lost and found disc at the beginning of the course in case the owner returns to look for it. I have seen discs waiting for their owners for more than a week at courses in the woods as well as developed parks.  I have also had the joyous experience of someone calling me because they found my “lost” disc. Except for the ones that have flown into the river, I have had my discs returned.

Just recently, a friend of mine and I were playing at a very rugged site. He threw his disc about 300 feet into the trees and bushes. We searched but couldn’t find it.  As we walked to the next TEE-pad, I discovered Mark’s disc; it had flown considerably past where we were looking.  Suddenly, a kid swooped down out of nowhere and grabbed the disc. We tried to persuade the kid to return the disc. Thankfully, Mark’s name was still readable on the underside of his black, Axiom driver. Finally, the kid succumbed to good sportsmanship. Labeling black equipment can be challenging. I use this permanent marker to label black equipment such as bags, discs, and bins.

Toss out any preconceived ideas you may have about Disc Golf and give it a try.  Enjoy a great time outdoors with your friends, family, or alone. I would love to hear about your disc golf experiences, so please feel free to drop me a line in the contact tab. Remember, It’s NOT a Frisbee!