27 Photos - Jul 18, 2012
Photo: It's time for another #CBias shop at +Walmart.  This time, it's all about school supplies with +Elmers and the #BagItForward movement.  When buying your own school supplies, why not get some for other students or teachers who may need some when they're super cheap?Photo: For the first time, I had some help in my shopping, as the wee ones joined me.  Since we had decided to Mister Man's teacher from last year, I put him in charge of the shopping.Photo: He loved the idea, and the first thing he did was make a list of the items that Mrs. J used the most - especially those that were running out at the end of the year.  And this organization?  It's all him.  I had nothing to do with the idea to make a list nor formatting it.  He is *so* my child!Photo: I was briefly thrilled when I saw that my favorite spot - next to the cart return - was open.  But then I noticed that the carts were returned NEXT to the cart return, encroaching on that space, instead of in the cart return itself.  Really?  Who does that?  And it wasn't one person.  This is three carts that are making the spot next to the cart return uninhabitable.  (Note: when I returned from my shopping trip, all carts had been picked up, so yay)Photo: When we walked in, for the first time ever in a WalMart, I saw a freestanding souvenirs and postcards stand.  It sort of cracked me up, as this was not a touristy part of Chicago at all... but some of the items appeared to have been purchased, so it must sell, right?Photo: Since I had the wee ones, I was on a mission to get in and get out - no stopping to dawdle on the way.  The best part about school supplies isn't just the endless aisles of pristine paper and pencils and crayons.  It's the supply lists provided by schools that help make it easier.Photo: I adore the lists the schools put out.  When I look at the lists, I love how it's laid right there what you need - except for the teachers who put things on the list that quite frankly don't exist.   I had that happen for Mister Man in kindergarten and first grade.  For second grade, I pioneered a school supply kit program for that reason alone.  But that was at his old school... at the new school, it's different.Photo: This year, +Elmers has introduced a new app called 1st Day designed for parents and teachers to capture and share those special firsts and milestones.  Even better, for every photo uploaded, Elmer's will donate a product to the Kids In Need Foundation (up to 200,000 products).  Pretty cool, no?Photo: I love all the school supplies available - especially when they're super cheap and on sale compared to their regular costs.  It's possible I buy school supplies for myself to last the whole year, too.  You don't want to know how much glue my family goes through.Photo: Mister Man loved searching through the items to find just what he thought Mrs. J would most want.Photo: Even though this was Mister Man's project, Little Miss couldn't help wanting to get involved.  She kept wanting to put items in the cart.  And it's possible that we kept having to pull them out because they weren't on *his* list ;)Photo: Part of what I loved about shopping for Mrs. J with Mister Man was the opportunity to do math with him.  We sat down and figured out which was cheaper and why - the 2 pack of glue for $0.50 or the 6 pack for $1.97.  He had to figure that out, and he did.  Accurately.  (And yes, it has to be Elmer's glue because any other brand just doesn't work as well - all our teachers and our experience has told us that.)Photo: Mister Man was hilarious trying to choose markers.  He was the one who noticed that there were two different kinds - assorted colors and classic colors.  Me?  I just assumed they were all the same.  The kid is sharp!Photo: Mister Man also picked up some crayons.  He figured that four extra boxes was enough for Mrs. J to share amongst the class as other students broke their crayons.Photo: Our schools use SMART boards all the time, and thus dry erase markers are a must.  He chose both the skinny kind and the thick kind - because she uses both and she likes different colors, he told me.  Our only confusion was the pricing.  The sign says $3.47, but the tag underneath says $2.50.  I'm not used to seeing that.  In the end, the register agreed with the $2.50.Photo: Mister Man also had to figure out which scissors to purchase.  He gave me the mantra that Mrs. J doesn't care what kind they are, so long as they cut.  She doesn't care what color they are either, so... there are now four more scissors for her classroom.Photo: A late addition to Mister Man's list was pencils.  He had forgotten how quickly students go through pencils.  This was another fun math problem - the 8 pencils for $0.50, the 10 for $1.97 in fancy designs or the 24 presharpened pencils for $3.97.  He chose well with the $0.50 ones.Photo: After each item went into the cart, Mister Man crossed it off his list and then calculated how much he had spent on that item.  2 pack of markers for $0.97 apiece?  He calculated the $1.94 total cost.Photo: He was pretty proud of himself once everything was crossed off his list.  And I have to admit that I'm pretty proud of him, too.  He's asked that I send this picture to Mrs. J to let her know what he has planned.  And I think I'm going to have to!Photo: He did a pretty good job on the math, didn't he?  And for 2 packs of markers, 3 packs of crayons, 2 sets of dry erase markers, 1 package of 25 pencil top erasers, 13 2-packs of glue sticks, 4 scissors, and 3 packs of 8 pencils, I think he did a pretty good job keeping the cost low.  I loved how he was careful to figure out how many students were in the classroom and where it wasn't cost prohibitive, get enough for each student.  He's got a big heart, no?Photo: I loved seeing all these items in our cart, knowing that they're going to a teacher who made his last three weeks of second grade a dream.  It was such a wonderful experience, and my husband and I are both kicking ourselves for not pulling him earlier.Photo: As soon as we finished packing up the cart, we were off.  Little Miss HAD to get in on the action.  Can you tell how fast she's striding away with the cart before I tell her that Mister Man gets to push it since this is his project?  I love how involved she wants to be in doing something nice for people, too.Photo: Even putting the items on the belt was all done by them.  They figured out how to put the divider between our purchases and that of the person ahead of us and then emptied the cart fully.  Little Miss insisted no item could be atop another one, but Mister Man straightened her out.  Personally, I was happy that there were so many lanes open so we didn't have to wait in a long line.  Shopping with the wee ones near dinnertime is a little dicey sometimes!Photo: And of course they both argued over who got to carry the bag with the #BagItForward donation.  They were both so thrilled with what they were able to do, and it really didn't cost all that much with everything on sale!Photo: Not surprisingly, Little Miss ended up winning that battle (though she lost the battle against the sun!).  Mister Man gave up gracefully, admitting that he got to do all the other fun stuff for the donation so she could play a role, too.Photo: Me?  I'm just picturing the smile on Mrs. J's face when she sees what we have for her.  While our school has us simply write a check and then provides all the supplies for us, they eventually run low, and Mister Man was the voice of experience when it came to what she needed - and he's decided to write her a letter explaining all this.  I can't wait to see what he writes!Photo: