So our new learning center shelf worked out wonderfully last week! Since last week’s theme was the letter “I,” I loaded it up with fun insect toys, games, and activities. i just raided the kids rooms, books, and toy bins for bug-related stuff. Then I filled in with some super-cheap things from my favorite stores (Michael’s, Dollar Tree, WalMart, and Target). The dollar sections at most stores are chock full of insect fun for Spring right now, so I went a little overboard. But I probably didn’t spend more than $20 total. Totally worth it for the fun we had. Check it out…
A few weeks ago, I picked this great butterfly life cycle puzzle up on clearance from WalMart for $3.00! I’m so glad I grabbed it and put it away for future use. It was super-informative for Sawyer yet easy enough for Priscilla to do on her own, too.
I honestly don’t remember where I picked up this cool placemat. I’m thinking, probably, the Dollar Tree… Anyway, on this side, we played a game where I called out the name of the insect and they pointed to it. Sawyer had a hard time letting his sister get a turn, but they both had fun.
Then Sawyer used a dry erase market to do the learning activities on the back. The activities included drawing a bug, a maze, and finding the matching butterflies.
We’ve had this ladybug puzzle for quite awhile, and it’s always a hit. It has a little boy holding a butterfly net with a magnet hanging from it to “catch” the different insects. I got it when I was a consultant for the board game party company, SimplyFun. (BTW, I totally recommend their games and puppets. Great company and fun parties!)
Sawyer searched through our I Spy Bag for insects. It is full of lots of treasures, with a couple insects sprinkled in. I got this one a few years ago from an Etsy seller (whom I unfortunately cannot remember), but you can make your own, too!
One splurge was a $6.99 tube of insects from Michael’s, but I used a 40% off coupon, so got a good deal. I usually try to stick with dollar items, so I hemmed and hawed over whether to buy them. I’m sure glad I did! I couldn’t believe how much fun the kids had playing with them. They went along perfectly with the dollar bug collector kit and magnifying glasses I got from Target. We had so much fun pretending to catch the bugs with our net, holding them in our specimen jar, inspecting them with our magnifying glasses, sorting them by color and type, and even adding them to a sensory bin of dried beans!
And we ALL had fun with the most expensive splurge: the $5 Ants in the Pants game from Target. Even Cliff got down on the floor to play this one. It’s a classic, but I had forgotten how hard it is! Priscilla just loved putting the “ants” in and out of the pants. And the “ants” work great for sorting by color, too.
Do you spend much on toys and games for your homeschool preschool? Where are your favorite places to find good deals?
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