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About the Column

Ashley Metz keeps a special book in her South Carolina chateau. It's called the Disney Book of Stinkin' Love. Into that book she pours her passion for the parks, her devotion to Disney World, and from that book, every week, she'll draw forth with characteristic exuberance a chapter exclusively for Disney Dispatch. Ashley welcomes questions, but no matter what you ask, the answer will always be the same, and it will always be correct: Because I Stinkin' Love Disney World!

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FROM: Because I Stinkin' Love Disney World Published Thursdays

Disney Teacher Gifts

Not gifts FOR teacher but gifts FROM teacher: as in "what should I bring back for the kids in my class from my Disney vacation?" Ashley Metz, who teaches kindergarten, has some ideas for spreadin' the magic between the ritin' and the readin'.

I love summer. As a teacher, I enjoy the freedom I have to spend summers however I please. I like staying up late; I love sleeping in late. But, as with all good things, even the summer must come to an end.

For me, it ends today.

I am trading in my shorts and flip flops for khakis and flats. I am waking up before the sun. I'm back into the routine. And I'm okay with that. I love the feeling of a fresh start. I love being able to meet and greet a new set of kids and, after those first ten days (which are the hardest, especially in kindergarten), I look forward to a fun year of memories.

I'm going to spend the next few weeks writing about how to include Disney in your back-to-school plans. Today, we're going to tackle souvenir shopping for the teacher visiting Disney World. I always like to bring back a little something for my students when I go out of town. And yes, Disney World is no exception.

Mickey Dice

Twist Crayons

Disney Silly Bandz

I try to stay with things under a dollar because I have to buy one for each student in my class. Usually, that's not hard, but when in Disney World, it's quite the challenge. But I want to bring back authentic souvenirs. It takes work, and sometimes I've had to enlist a few brave Cast Members to help, but this is not a mission impossible.

Have no fear fellow teachers. Here are some authentic, affordable, and fun Disney souvenirs:

Mickey Dice

We are always using dice in our math games. I came across these Mickey dice a few years ago and I always pick up a pair for each child. These dice come in packs of 6 for around 5 dollars. Each pack yields 3 pair of dice (a pair per kid) and even though this purchase is a bit over my buck budget, it comes close enough! And not only are the dice authentic Disney souvenirs, they can be used with math games, math homework, and family fun. The kids love them because instead of the typical black dot groupings you get Mickey Mouse heads! They put the fun in functional! (Available from TheLaughingPlace Store.)

Character Crayons

I always get the Mickey and Gang crayons to ensure that both boys and girls alike will be pleased. I like these crayons because for around $3.99 (and $3.00 shipping) you can get souvenirs for 8 children. The kids enjoy coloring and writing with their new crayons, which get extra cool points for being twistable! (Available from eBay seller JazzyProz and in bulk from NationalDesign for $2.97 each in lots of 20.)

Disney Silly Bandz

Character bandz have been a big hit with the kids these past two years. I like buying them because you get a lot of band bang for your buck. I let each kid have one band. I typically buy bandz outside of the parks unless I'm looking for special edition. Last November, for instance, I bought special glittery Christmas bands that were limited to park release. The kids really liked adding them to their collections! I think that a 20 pack cost me about 8 dollars or so! (Available from Amazon, where they're $3.11 for a pack of 24.)

I hope this small list gives you an idea of some "sets" of merchandise that are affordable for large groups, especially children in your class (or your neighborhood!). Maybe it'll save you some dough and a headache from hunting down goodies.

I'll be back next week with an inexpensive DIY for all those penny pinchin' teachers like me!


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