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Learning Activities on the Cheap

Save that money for college with these fun and easy ideas for kids’ learning activities! From ways to learn letters and words, there are so many great & inexpensive activities. Here are easy ways to incorporate learning resources on a really small budget:

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

1. Bargain Books

  • We love our local library for free resources and book check out, but building a home library is so important.  
  • Research shows the more books you have at home the wider their vocabulary is and it’s linked to higher academic achievement.  
  • We like to shop thrift, garage sales and even call our local libraries to find when they have book sales. Almost all of the books in our house were bought second-hand and on such a small budget.  
  • Variety is key! Choose lots of fiction and non-fiction.

2. Easy Cookie Sheet Activity

  • I love getting $1 trays and cookie sheets from the Dollar Store to create Montessori-inspired activities.  Montessori just means real-world application rather than traditional textbook methods. Here you’re focusing on hands-on activities that can engage your kids in an easy space they can work on and using stuff that you already have at home.  
  • We like activities with sorting, counting, and patterns.  Try things like buttons, coins, beans and anything you already have in your pantry or your house.
  • Another great option is building, construction, and fine motor.  You can use things like blocks, playdough, and even things like puff balls and tongs.  This is great for kids of all ages.
  • We also adore phonics activities. I loved Elle’s video about pouring salt on a plate to practice letters and you can even use popsicle sticks.

3. Flashcards

  • I am a sucker for flashcards in the store.  I love finding them at the Dollar Store or the dollar section at Target.  
  • When looking for flashcards you usually can find the grade level or age right on the flashcard. Pick a variety of shapes, numbers, and colors.  This makes great pre-dinner activities and requires no prep at all! You can also check online for free printable versions and Pinterest is a great resource!  You can look for flashcard packs that match up with your school’s benchmarks or even ask your child’s teacher what they’re working on so you can choose appropriate flashcards to support their learning at home.  
  • There are so many awesome $1 workbook options and to make the pages reusable you can use a clear plastic sheet protector or they even sell versions at the Dollar Store so your kids can practice again and again.  
  • We also moved on recently to sight words with Carson. We got all of them at the Dollar Store or made them at home.  He’s doing so well and it’s so cool watching him put together sentences.

Hope you give these tips a try!



Kathryn is mom to two little boys and passionate about finding ways for families to stretch a dollar - and have fun getting there. She is the mastermind behind Doitonadime on YouTube where she shares truly doable budget and organizing tips.