Dollar Tree is awesome. I'm sure most you know that, and those of you who don't probably don't have to live on a tight budget.
For home educating families like ourselves, Dollar Tree holds a plethora of goodies, especially if you think outside the curriculum box. I had a few things in mind, so we headed over to our neighborhood store to grab a "few" items.
As you can see, we made out like bandits (except, we paid). I couldn't believe all the great finds they had this time, but maybe it was just because I was actually looking for things to use in specific activities.
The mini-buckets are from Texas Roadhouse. They were dessert tins that you could keep! The kids really love them. The little plastic containers came 8 to a package at, you guessed it, Dollar Tree. This is a wonderful activity for young children. It helps them build those muscles in their hands. We call this a "dextrous activity".
We like our curriculum to last. We use enough paper with our crafts, so we try to make our work books stretch (even though some of them only cost a dollar). Using beans or other counters for their math activities helps them work out the problems, and they can use cardstock with numbers written on them to portray the answer. Even though the problems come with picture examples, I find it is easier for them to have their own items to manipulate. You don't have to spend a bunch of math manipulatives. You can use beads, beans, noodles, crayons, dominoes, marbles, or whatever else you have around the house. In fact, I encourage you to use household items, because it helps children understand that math is used all over the place. We have a bunch of flipflops (I have about a dozen pairs, and the kids probably have about half a dozen). We sometimes use our flipflops to do math problems. They can also use math to set the table. How many plates and napkins will we need? If Mom and Dad are going to use the larger forks, how many small (dessert) forks will be needed? We are having company over. How many extra settings will we need? Dad isn't going to make it home for dinner, so how many settings will we need now? You get the idea.
When you are cleaning out the pantry, have your children count the canned goods or even sort them out. Keagan LOVES to play with the cans! Children can also count the cans as help to put them away after a grocery trip.