Classroom Wish List Examples (With a Letter to Parents)

In a perfect world, you wouldn’t need to search for classroom wish list examples or seek a sample classroom wish list letter to parents.

However, in order to carry out all of those wonderful classroom activities you’ve got planned for the year, you need “stuff”.

So work smarter by soliciting the contributions of others…in particular your students’ parents. 

In this post, you’ll find classroom wish list examples that provide you with ideas for compiling your own teacher dream wish list.

Classroom Wish List Examples

Generally, parents are more generous when items requested directly connect to classroom tasks and activities.

Simply asking for random resources doesn’t resonate as well. 

In your letter to parents, be sure to address in some way how the supplies and materials requested will align with teaching/learning objectives. 

See a sample classroom wish list letter to parents further on in the post. 

Important! >> If you’re compiling a classroom wish list to give to your principal, you might be able to add more expensive items to your list. 

To improve your chances of receiving exactly what you want, only include items that align well with your curriculum and/or teaching tasks. 

Related: Make a smooth transition into the school year with the help of my back-to-school ideas and resources, selected especially with the elementary teacher in mind.

Wish List Basics

While many teachers possess basic teacher supplies such as black pens, paper, a stapler, post-it notes, etc., you may be one of the few who lack such items. 

If your school doesn’t provide the budget to purchase these essential materials, include them on your classroom wish list. 

Additionally, consider…

  • 1-year subscription to kids’ magazine (e.g. Highlights)
  • 3-Ring Hole Puncher
  • Cardstock (various colors)
  • Clipboards 
  • Colored pens (for grading/marking)
  • Construction paper (various colors)
  • Contact paper
  • Different-colored highlighters
  • Dry-erase markers
  • Electric pencil sharpener (heavy-duty)
  • Label maker
  • Mini paper cutter
  • Sentence strips (white and colored)
  • Sharpie® pens
  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Staple machine (heavy-duty)
  • Stapler remover
  • Sticky notes (various colors)
  • Tissue/Kleenex
  • Whistle


  • 12-inch rulers
  • Dry-erase markers
  • Mini dry-erase white boards


  • Grade-appropriate books for classroom library
  • Literacy pocket chart (for storing read aloud books or lesson materials)


  • Clothes pins (for hanging student work and projects)
  • Cotton balls
  • “Crazy”/decorative scissors 
  • Glue gun
  • Old magazines
  • Paper plates
  • Pipe cleaner
  • Plastic hangers (for mobiles)
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Small brown paper bags

Parent Volunteers Wish List

Include in your classroom wish list yearly events. Encourage parent volunteers to sign up to host or help with at least one. 

Your school may has its own unique special occasions, but a few classic events you might want to consider…

  • Fall Carnival
  • Holiday/Christmas Party
  • Mother’s Day
  • Reading Week
  • Thanksgiving
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Awards Day
  • End-of-Year Celebration

Classroom Wish List Letter to Parents (Template)

The following classroom wish list letter to parents is simply a sample.

Customize the messaging to fit your voice, seasonal timing, and the needs of your elementary classroom.

Dear Parents of Room 2B,

Because of you, the school year has started smoothly. I can see that students are excited to be back, and they’re eagerly looking forward to all of the wonderful activities they’ll be experiencing. 

To maximize the teaching and learning process, I’m asking for your help in the form of a donation.

If you would be willing to donate towards our classroom wish list, your contribution will be very much appreciated. 

Within this letter, you’ll find a list of suggested items. Please note that your contribution towards the classroom wish list is optional.

If you prefer instead to give your time, see the list of tentative volunteer opportunities towards the end of this letter. 

Thanks in advance for your support and understanding!

Ms. Hummingbird

You can further customize the classroom wish list template above by changing the font type, font size, and title. 

Download the-letter-to-parents template via Google Slides using the button below. Then print in PDF form. 

When to Send the List to Parents

It’s common to send out the classroom wish list letter to parents at the beginning of the school year, preferably the first or second week back or during Back-to-School night.

Other educators share a classroom wish list twice a year, once at the start of the school year and again in January (2nd semester). 

There are no hard rules. Do what works best for you. 

Alternatives to the Classroom Wish List Template to Parents

If you’d like to inject creativity into the process of collecting classroom wish list donations, consider the idea of a “Wish Bowl”, “Helping Hand”, or “Giving Tree”. 

Wish Bowl Idea

Take a bulletin board-sized piece of butcher paper. Draw a fish bowl on it. 

Create a number of fish cutouts that match the total quantity of items needed. 

Now, on each cutout, write the name of one (1) item. For example, for hangers, you’d write on a cutout, “1 set of hangers (12)”

Once a parent chooses that particular cutout, no one else will be able to choose that item.

Giving Tree Idea

To create the teacher wish list giving tree, the process follows the same sequence as the wish bowl idea.

However, instead of a bowl, you’ll sketch a tree and use apple cutouts. 

Helping Hand Idea

Each student traces his/her hand, and cuts out two copies. You’ll label each hand cutout with an item from your classroom wish list example ideas. 

Place the hands on a bulletin board.

Parents choose one hand cutout during Open House or as they pick up/drop off their child before/after school. 

What Other Classroom Wish List Examples Do You Have?

There’s no need to go without essential classroom supplies and materials.

Rely on the kindness of parents to collect resources that help you teach students in a more engaged and interactive way. 

This resource of classroom wish list examples along with a letter template that you can customize to send to parents jumpstarts the process.