Bright Idea: Goodbye Carpet Squares, Hello Dollar Spot

Feb 2, 2014 | August, Classroom Photos, Management, Organization, Teacher Wisdom | 19 comments

It’s all about Bright ideas today and I am super excited you stopped by to say goodbye to those old, ugly carpet squares and hello to these fun inexpensive carpets from Target’s Dollar Spot!

That’s right… it’s a hop for Bright Ideas and I have several bright ideas on how to use these awesome little carpets!  Or if you have the old carpet squares sitting in your classroom those will work as well!
I have been a teacher for about (oh) 13 years now – mostly in kinder!  When I think of things I remember from kindergarten, I think of fruit salad (LOL), a reading loft, and of course carpet squares!  Do you have them?  Oh.. I so wanted them but I could never find them!  I had a problem paying a carpet store for samples… I’m a teacher darn it not someone to make money off of!  But buying them from Target does not bother me for some reason.. IDK.  LOL.  Maybe it’s the fabulous designs?
One day a couple years ago I noticed these amazing little rugs in The Dollar Spot!  They started at a $1 a piece and now I believe they are $2.50-$3.00.  Throughout the year I have just picked one up here and one up there… and now I have a full class set!
Whether you have these carpets or old carpet squares, here’s a couple ways you may not have thought of using them!  Let’s start with my most FAVORITE!
Get testing done super quick by placing a fun carpet just behind the student you are currently testing.  One child reads, the next child is there ready to go.  So when you call kids over… you teach them to go to the carpet eliminating the wait time for them to get up, walk over, figure out where to sit, etc.  Seriously will save you TONS of time!
One carpet.. two readers!  Partner reading is SO much more fun when it’s on a fun carpet!  I will typically say, “steak partner get the book, lobster partner get the carpet.”  (And then always follow it up with “one person points, the other person reads.”)
We have a few strict rules in my class about carpets.. because parter A may not want the carpet partner B got!
  • Rule #1 – your partner picks gets the carpet and there is no fussing over what you get because next time you will get to get it and they may not like it.
  • Rule #2 – You take what’s on top… there is no digging for a carpet.  So… when they get there they usually work itself out where they can just sort of linger and someone takes the one off the top and they get one they like.  But getting to work fast means getting a carpet fast and getting to work for sure!
One other thing to share is storage ways.. because through the years in different spaces I have stored them different ways.  So here are the three ways I have done it that have worked for me well.
I have stacked them on a shelf.  (Well the kids do.)
I have put them in a bucket.. they tend to get super messy this way though.
And we have stacked them just in a corner.
They seem to stay fairly straight on their own when they are not in a bucket.. but I surely have had a year where in the bucket they went!
Ok.. so there is my bright idea for carpet squares!  If you are hopping along in the Bright Ideas blog hop then Mrs. Jodi is next… click below to visit and see her bright idea!
Or you can check out the other fun posts below!


  1. Jennifer @ Simply Kinder

    They are in the Dollar Spot. Each season they bring a few different designs out. So keep an eye and you will find them. (It took me about 4 months to get a class set.)

  2. Julie Shields

    i can’t locate the rugs on target online. Can you post a link to them please?
    Thank you.

  3. Kari

    I love tpt because the units are awesome and e kids love them!

  4. KeepCalmAnd LoveFirstGrade

    These are adorable!! I will definitely be keeping my eye out in my frequent trips to Target Dollar Spot!! Thanks for sharing. I used to have the sample carpets from a carpet store, but they are so blah!! These are great!
    Keep Calm and Love First Grade

  5. Anna Lynn

    Love those carpets, so cute! I do something similar, but with placemats I found at the Dollar Tree last summer–they had some rectangular “woven” plastic ones, as well as circular foam ones–both the perfect size for 6-7 year old bodies! I got half a class set of the rectangular ones in 2 different colors, and a full class set of the circular ones in 3 different colors–gives my kinders plenty of choices and definitely helps define where they are supposed to be for independent reading!

  6. Susanna Westby

    I actually split my carpet up with tape to help them stay inside their own “bubbles”! Those cute little carpets would be so much better!
    Whimsy Workshop Teaching

  7. Lenore

    Thanks for sharing!

  8. Lori

    Cute, cute idea! I don’t guess I have seen those carpets before. I like the different ways you use them and the rules that go with them. We always have to have the rules!
    Conversations in Literacy

  9. Jennifer Brown

    I LOVE! I have an area rug…can you say they clean it once a year (summer break). Unless a child vomits on it! YEA ME! I am going to be on the hunt for these in my area. I have never seen, but…THANK YOU!

  10. Mrs. Richardson

    I LOVE using these, too!!! We call them “Reading Spots” in our classroom and my kids love when I buy new seasonal ones! I like your idea of placing kids in spots with them, though. I’m going to have to remember that during testing next time! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
    Mrs. Richardson’s Class

  11. Mrs. Wathen

    Super cute idea:) Perfect way to add a little fun for partner reading or read to self too! Thanks for sharing.

    The Resourceful Apple

  12. Faith Wheeler

    I love how you use the carpets and I will be looking at Target for them this week 🙂


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