Ready to make some awesome activities on the cheap side?
1. Kids activities do not need to cost a lot of money.
2. Kids activities do not need to look like they came out of Kids Activity Magazine (does that exist?).
3. You don’t need a bunch of stuff to do awesome kids activities.
4. I really don’t have a number 4 but I started to write the sentence and now I really don’t want to go back and abandon the number 4 ship. Oh well.
We can make the most of our easy activities with a these dollar store activity supplies – nothing fancy, no frills, just the fun.
You don’t need to go broke looking for fun!
The truth is, our kids don’t need all the bells and whistles that we love to give them. Simple toys, easy activities, open-ended play opportunities – these are what our kids need.
And frankly, we can get a lot of fun from just the dollar store…
I took in $10 and left with so much more!
Here’s what I did – I went to my local dollar store to see what amazing dollar store activity supplies I could find – and boy did I find some gems!
The rundown on what I got:
- “Sensory bin” aka a kitty litter pan that is the perfect size
- Shredded paper
- Ice cube tray (this is a two pack)
- Bag of farm animals
- Bag of dinosaurs
- Cookie sheet
And here’s what I did with it…
A “basic” sensory bin (six times over!) – I say “basic” because sensory bins are anything but “basic”. Kids love them!
This one has 6 variations: rocks or paper or rice and farm animals or dinosaurs. I know it sounds like the same thing over and over, but it’s not! Just varying up the materials starts a whole new level of play.
RELATED: Here’s how I taught my kids to keep sensory bins tidy.
See how different rocks and farm animals is than rice and dinosaurs?
It’s a whole different imaginary play opportunity changing the set up this way!
Rescue the animals bin – You can do this one six different ways too. Just dump your base into the bin, add animals, an ice cube tray and tongs. Time to rescue the animals!! My daughter could play this on repeat (actually she does – she’s always playing this!).
Make a sorting bin – Turn an ordinary sensory bin into a sorting bin by mixing both sets of animals with any sensory base. Add in tons (always) and use both ice cube trays for a space to sort into.
RELATED: Here are my favorite sorting activities for toddlers .
Roll & Count – Here’s a fun math activity that is so easy! Roll two dice. Have your child count out the first set of rocks in the top row and the second in the bottom. Then, count them together. This is an early addition activity but I don’t phrase it like that.
This isn’t about adding or memorizing math facts. This activity is about counting one group of objects, counting a second set of objects, and joining those groups together to make a larger group. That’s the concept I want my kids mastering.
RELATED: Want to know more about how I teach my kids at home? Check out Playing Preschool: my home preschool program.
Roll & Compare – Number sense is so important for kids, and it’s so much more than just counting from memory. Here’s a great way to work on value. Have your child roll two dice. Count out that many farm animals for the first dice, and that many dinosaurs for the second dice.
Compare. Which is more? Which is less?
Sorting – I love a good sorting activity because sorting is so important! When a child is sorting, they are analyzing information, collecting data, and comparing attributes. Sorting is such a powerful skill.
Patterning – Take those sorted groups of rocks and use them to make patterns in your ice cube trays (these trays sure come in handy, huh?).
Counting – Here’s an easy way to practice counting and to see the numbers grow right before you.
Alphabet Matching – I cheated a little and grabbed my Sharpie marker! I wrote the alphabet on the cookie sheet and onto the rocks. These rocks can be hidden anywhere and matching them up doesn’t get old!
Counting Rocks – Flip the cookie sheet over and I wrote out the numbers 1-10. This is a simple counting activity, but I also just know that having these numbers on this cookie sheet will come in handy!
Dollar store activity supplies are fantastic!
What an easy way to make up so many activities for our kids. Grabbing supplies at the dollar store is a quick and easy way to create a whole lot of kids activities!
Remember – our kids don’t need fancy or expensive. They just need ways to play.