Four Dollar Tree Items for Play Centers

 These four Dollar Tree items will make a great addition to your play centers. 

My son and I headed to my favorite store this week in hopes of finding some cute Valentine items for our play centers.  Unfortunately we didn't find as much as we were hoping.  Do not worry, we will hit up another store soon :)

We did find some great items that are great for all seasons of the year. 

Foam Alphabet Puzzle

Obviously, puzzles are great for fine motor skill development.  But you can use this puzzle in so many other ways. 
  • Take out the letters and throw them in the bathtub!  They will float and stick to the side of the tub.
  • Place the letters in your sensory bin.  Children can dig through the rice, sand, or pasta to find the letters and match them to the puzzle board.  You can use different utensils (tongs, spoons, tweezers) to grasp the letters.
  • Use the puzzle board as a stencil in your writing center
  • Dip the letter pieces into tempera paint and use them as stamps

Wooden Shape Puzzle

Once again this inset puzzle is great for fine motor development, but we can use it in many different ways. 
  • Empty all the shape pieces into a basket for loose parts play.  You may want to buy a couple puzzles so that you have more pieces.  
  • Use the puzzle board as a sorting tray for small pieces.  You will have 9 compartments.
  • The puzzle board can be used as a cupcake tin for pretend cooking.


Sand Timer

Brickston was very excited to find this, because we lost our timer from one of our games.  You can make anything a game by adding a timer.

  • Use the timer to show children when to give someone else a turn.
  • Set the timer to see how many of the letters or shapes your child can find in the sensory table.
  • Set the timer to see how many jumping jacks your child can do. 
  •  Place the timer in your child's calm down kit/corner.  Watching a sand timer can be soothing.


Self-Opening Scissors

You know I love these scissors for beginners!  The little "lift assist" lever helps the scissors to self-open..

  • Create a cutting box.  Head over to this post to see how I made an open-ended cutting box for children. 

  • Cut playdough

  • Hang a piece of wrapping paper between a doorway and have your child cut the paper.  This will help your child to develop correct thumbs up scissor holding. 


    How else would YOU use these items?

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