Games you can make with dollar store finds
A little creativity and a few dollars are all you need to create simple games that children will love to explore…games that will foster the development of basic learning skills.
Here, I was drawn to the bold colors of this knee protector. As I continued to make my way through the aisles of my local dollar store, I then saw the plastic Easter eggs and noticed that both items were made with the same colors. I brought them home, knowing I could find ways to put them to good use!
For one game, I inserted toothpicks in each colorful section. Of course, this game requires constant supervision. It will be worth it, since it will make working on fine motor skills, color recognition, and association abilities possible, while also exploring counting from 1 to 3.
Set your plastic Easter eggs around the peg board you have created and invite children to slide them on a toothpick, in the row of the corresponding color. Note that the plastic eggs are already perforated at either end. To make it easier for younger children to slide the eggs onto the toothpicks, you can use the tip of a pen to make the holes somewhat larger.
To encourage children to be active (and therefore call upon their gross motor skills too), you may hide the eggs throughout your daycare or yard and invite them to search for them. Every time a child finds an egg, have him name the color and associate it to the correct row on your peg board.
Older children will enjoy turning this into a competitive game. Create two peg boards (using two knee protectors) and use two sets of Easter eggs. The team who fills its peg board first wins.
Count the eggs and name the colors during this activity.
Did you notice that I also purchased Fun Foam flowers? You will need 3 green flowers, 3 blue flowers, 3 pink flowers, and 3 yellow flowers (colors that can be seen on the knee protector). Number the flowers of each color from 1 to 3. Remove the toothpicks that were initially inserted in the knee protector and glue them behind the flowers using adhesive tape that can easily be removed.
For this second game, simply ask children to insert the flowers in the knee protector in numerical order, associating them to the correct color.
For a third and final activity using the same material, remove the toothpicks that you taped to the back of the flowers and set them face down on a table (so you can’t see the numbers). Here, have children pick a flower of each color and set the correct number of eggs next to each flower, per the number written on each one.
There you go! For just a few dollars, you will have created three great activities that will help keep children busy (and learning) as we wait for spring!