Ethan - June 21, 2009
Olivia - December 5, 2010
5w3d - October/November 2012
My Ovulation Chart
Although I do buy some special supplies as gifts for my grandchildren, a great many things come from the dollar store. I also print out lots of free goodies from the web and sometimes get them laminated at the nearby shop in town.
There are plenty of ways to learn about colors and shapes that don't involve $25 expenditures. Using scissors and colored paper and glue is a start...Mixing paints, finger painting. There are library books too. Three dimensional shapes are a bit harder, but you can work with various natural materials and thread them- say cranberries or cheerios for Christmas tree chains. You can stack kitchen items too and count and measure them. Or use checkers pieces that stack. Cardboard boxes are some of the most fun play/learning materials around!
There are great ideas out there that don't involve big spending! Here are some sites to start with: ideas can be expanded upon if the children are older.
Mr Printables | Free Printables for Kids and Moms & Dads
And one thing that is often ignored is singing! There are songs out there that really perk up basic tasks and ideas.
And for the older crowd:
One idea I really like too is the use of a candle. At my granddaughter's school, the children are not allowed to move about while a lit candle is burning. They concentrate on the task at hand. (It might be as simple as eating their lunch.) As soon as a teacher extinguishes it, then the kids can become more physically active. Something magic about this!
Last edited by gardenbug; 11-18-2012 at 06:28 AM.
Leo (3 1/2) with Malcolm the cat
I used those things and similar when working childcare. Lakeshore is expensive! We usually bought as much as we could from Discount School Supply online. You shouldn't need 400 just for your kids. I think Melissa and Doug has a pattern block set of some kind, so I'm sure some other random company does too. I'd check Amazon since they seem to have everything else in the world, so I bet they have something cheaper for you. No idea about the color maze though. There are lots of other ways to work on that at least.
Oh! If you have enough patience I bet you could cut out enough shapes from foam for a starter pattern block set if it's for specific things. I do want pattern blocks myself eventually because it was such a great open ended activity. And then it worked great for learning moments too. I worked with kids up to 12 years old and even they still played with them!!!
I am all for used so check ebay, craigslist, vegsource, homeschoolingclassifieds. I second Discount school supply also dollar stores near you.
DH-Aug 30th 1997 Josiah - 6/3/02 Isaac 7/31/03