I have 3 tips for all you frugal parents out there:
1. Find a Savers store.
2. Go there.
3. Save a TON of money on toys and games.
Seriously... a ton! We have gotten floor puzzles, board games, a Thomas the Train counting game, a Thomas the Train alphabet game, a cash register (which was about $40 at Lakeshore Learning), foam blocks (about $30 at Lakeshore), and more. Each thing was somewhere from $1.99-$3.99.
We kicked off our Dinosaur Unit on Monday with a floor puzzle.
He is so good at puzzles. He really blows me away.
Continuing with the Handwriting Without Tears order, we moved onto letter E. After doing our letter E and number 3 do-a-dot pages, we used our homemade dot dabbers to paint some dinosaur coloring pages.
I have been wanting to get the kids some lap desks, but cheap-o me refuses to spend $9 a piece on those things, so we used some produce boxes from BJs as mini floor desks. If the boxes look familiar to you it's because we used them for our Touch Painting project.
It worked quite well- it provides a large work area, and they can tuck their legs underneath.
(I'm thinking some DIY, upcycle project is on the way!)
This very simple worksheet allowed us to practice some pre-writing skills (making a line from the dinosaur to his food), science (we discussed herbivores and carnivores), and comprehension (he drew a circle around the carnivores and a line under the herbivores).
I found a set of Dinosaur Flashcards at Target for $1. I put them in a tray with foam alphabet stickers for him to order and sort. This was fun because we have been singing The Dinosaurs A-Z song from Dinosaur Train. We have been singing it over. and over. and over. and over.......
I set up this discovery tray and the kids loved it. Some rocks from the yard, some shiny rocks I swiped from my moms house, magnifying glasses and some "fossils" we made last year in tot-school with some toys and modeling clay.
We seriously have the most patient dog in the world (yup that's a pit bull my boy is examining). She makes a fool of herself when we take her somewhere or someone comes over and she just can't calm down... but when we are home alone she so cool, calm and collected letting her boys abuse her with love.
She made no objections to being pulled, poked, prodded and magnified.
The next day the boys did some more goofing around with the magnifying glasses.
The plan for our letter activity was to have a picture list of dinosaurs starting with E for him to fill in the first letter of the name... but once again, my printer chooses not to work, soooooooo.....
we used dinosaur stickers to trace the letter E.
For our number of the week (#3) activity, we did a dinosaur stomp, marching around like therapods with their three toes.
I introduced this Dinosaur Name Game to him, in which he was to match dinosaur picture and name cut outs to the proper space on the folder. He did well with the pictures, and did several of the names before he started to shut down. We'll try again another day.
Little brother did super well with this peg puzzle. He did super well with it several times in a row actually. Here, big bro is teaching him the names of the dinosaurs in the puzzle.
And that is how we kicked off Dinosaur week. More to come on Thursday.