Board games - Buy board games and use the pieces for all kinds of things. You can use the pieces for counters, as game pieces for homemade games, for loose parts for all kinds of play. Cover the boards with colored contact plastic to create new gameboards. Depending on the games you find, you can also end up with marbles, dice, or other fun things to use.
Purses - I buy purses and wallets for kids to use in their pretend play. (Suitcases and tote bags are also great finds.) Also I have purchased clothes (a few sizes larger) and robes for kids to wear. Prices vary...so I'll check to see what's available and purchase when I find something just right at the right price.
Lazy Susan - Find a lazy susan to use as a spinner for homemade games. This spinner has colors but you can also create circles with numbers, letters, or whatever you want. You can also put the arrow on the lazy susan and place items around it (or sit kids around it) and spin the arrow.
Shoes - I went to the thrift store specifically to find small shoes so we could paint with them. Look for shoes that have different treads and designs on the bottom. (You can also find kitchen gadgets and other objects for painting, too.)
Wire baskets - I found a variety of wire baskets (and a couple of plastic ones). We use these for weaving. You can use the baskets to hold other things, too. But that's a little too conventional for me!
What are some great finds you have gathered from thrift stores, charity shops, or garage sales?
My name is Scott, though most call me Mr. Scott. I love teaching preschoolers and kindergartners. I have been working with kids for over 25 years. I've been a teacher, preschool center director, volunteer, curriculum writer and editor, and workshop and conference leader. I blog at Brick by Brick.