I found the playground balls at Wal-Mart and the other items at Target. The ones at Target were on clearance, so definitely a good buy ($1 to $3 for each item.) The container was a bit more difficult to fine, a summer-long hunt, but a good buy as well.
If you choose this project, you want to consider not only the size of the container, but the weight as well. Once it is filled with recess items, you don't want it too heavy for a student to tote. Also, you want it large enough to hold all the items, but not too large so that it will take up too much space in the classroom. I was so excited to find this green bucket/basket at Wal-Mart for only $7. It is made of a light-weight, flexible plastic.
In the past, I've gotten a friend to do the personalizing for me, but this year I plan to use my new Cricut. My parents actually gave this to me as a Christmas gift two Christmases ago, but I just haven't found the time (I wonder why) to play with it. So this will be my second project using it. I chose the pink vinyl to compliment the green the container.
The container I had been using in my own classroom was in need of a serious makeover, so I decided to make one of these for myself. The sale prices were so awesome, that I also bought additional recess supplies for my students as well.
Here are the two finished Recess Baskets, but as you can see, the name of on my daughter's basket is covered up. I did that on purpose. At the time we made them, my daughter did not know which teacher she was going to get.
We, the teachers, have already begun pre-planning, and my daughter's teacher has called to let her know that she is in her class. The surprise is out, so now I've been able to put her name on her basket.
Its already for the first day of school!