Preschool activities don't have to put a strain on your budget. You can use a variety of materials found around your home, the dollar spot at Target, and the dollar tree to create your own educational games, and activities. Check out some of my favorite ideas below!
Attach ribbon strands to shower rings (found at the dollar tree). These are great additions to your music and movement time.
Weaving is a great fine motor workout. It also helps young children improve hand eye coordination, and is a fun way for them to express themselves creatively. Make your own weaving loom from a paper tray or basket. Secure ribbon to the end and let the weaving commence.
Paper Straw Beads
The dollar tree carries a fantastic selection of paper straws in the party supply section. Cut them up to create your own paper beads. They add a pop of color to necklaces, and bracelets. Teacher tip: Let your students help you cut the straws for a bonus fine motor activity.
Painters Tape Shapes
Use painters tape to create large shapes on the carpet. For a fun twist on musical chairs you can have your students walk from shape to shape. When the music stops they can announce the shape they are standing on.
Popcorn Counting Game
This fun popcorn math activity would be a perfect addition to your circus or movie theater theme. Use this free set of counting cards to remove (or add) popcorn kernels from the bucket. Add tweezers for a challenging fine motor workout.
Bug Pick Up
Kids love using different tools. This set of "bug" tongs came from the dollar tree in the toy section. Combine them with some fun insect mini erasers and a sorting tray.
Pipe Cleaner Counting Beads
Raid the craft closet for everything you'll need for this activity. Pipe cleaners, pony beads, and a free copy of my counting cards. Children string the matching amount of beads on each pipe cleaner (up to 20).
Roll and Cover
This activity is super quick to create and low cost. Grab a piece of poster board (or regular paper), add numbers stickers 1-6, a die, and some "markers". Have your student roll the die and cover the numbers.
These are so fun! Find symmetrical stickers, or images, Attach them to poster board cards and provide your student with a mirror (one with a flat bottom, like this one from the dollar tree is nice). Your child can look into the mirror to see the symmetrical image.
Beach Ball Number Catch
This is a fantastic group activity. Use a sharpie to add numbers (or letters, or names, or shapes) to the beach ball. Toss it to a friend! The child will look and announce which numbers they are touching.
Build fine motor skills and Pre-Writing skills by combining stickers and manipulatives with tracing lines. This set of tracing lines is free inside my back to school word wall set!
Letter Clip Cards
Create your own set of alphabet clips. Simply write the letters on the clothespins. Attach letter stickers to scrap pieces of cardboard or poster board, for a fun letter matching activity.
Small World Trees
Make your own small world play props. I picked up this "wood" contact paper. Simply cut it to size and wrap it around paper tubes. Cut out tree boughs from sturdy felt, and attach (I used hot glue) to clothespins.
Children can create their own trees, or use them as logs!
Small World Play Trays
Be sure to check out the craft section at the dollar tree for landscape materials. Create your own small world play trays.
Use felt cut outs for different landscapes, add animals, and other small world play props for some table top fun. P.S Provide the students with the materials and let them create!
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