Sunday, July 17, 2016

Dollar Store Finds You Can Use in Your Classroom Tomorrow!

What do five teachers who are hanging out together after the TPT Conference do on a Friday afternoon?
Go to the Dollar Tree, of course!
Oh. My. Goodness.
We had an absolute BLAST!
By the looks we were receiving from other customers, there must have been sparks of creativity flying in every direction!  It was seriously CrAzY! We strategically attacked every aisle with critical eyes… and as one person had an idea, another would follow it up with an even better use for the classroom!
It was “Dollar Store Magic,” my friends!
We instantly knew we wanted to share our ideas with y’all, and since we had just been to the TPT Conference where we were encouraged to start moving toward using videos to connect with other educators, we knew what we had to do!

Facebook Live!
So we grabbed our dollar store goodies and flipped on the phone! We made our FIRST Facebook Live video and shared 15 of our favorite Dollar Tree finds along with ideas for how to use them in the classroom.
We also decided we would do a blog hop to share our ideas in print!
Here are the ideas that I shared during the video:
Mini-container “Dice-in-Box”
Place your classroom dice in a mini container, like this one, before setting them out in a center or activity.  Kids simply shake the container and set it down (with the lid down as shown) to reveal the number rolled.  WA-LA!  The dice will never roll away and off the table again!  {If you run to your nearest Dollar Tree now, you can pick up 10 of these mini-containers for just $1.}
Slinky Stretch-A-Word

When teaching your kiddos how to “stretch out” words, encourage them to grab a mini-slinky to make the learning experience a hands-on one! For example, you can give a child a word like “cat” and encourage him/her to stretch it out like this…

1.    /C/ --Pulling the slinky and stretching it out just a little bit

2.    /A/ -- Stretching the slinky out a little bit more!

3.    /T/ -- Pulling and stretching the slinky almost all of the way apart
4.    Student then should push the word (and slinky) back together to say “cat.”

Hair Roller and Cookie Clip Number Sense
 Based on our Facebook Live Video comments, this one is a crowd fav!  As soon as I saw these spongy hair rollers, I snapped them up and knew I could use them for mini-versions of all of the Pinterest ideas I had seen created with pool noodles! So. Fun.  These little gems are just like mini pool noodles when you pop off the ends and pull out the metal bar inside. Just imagine the miniature place value/tens and ones activities you could do with these babies!
I also came up with a new idea of my own when I ran across these snappy little “Cookie Clips” in the utensil section. I measured the hair rollers and cut them to the same length as the cookie clip sticks. I then cut each roller into 10 same-sized pieces. (Be sure to purchase more than one color of hair rollers.  You’ll see why in a bit!) The first activity I thought of included making little number cards (1-10) which can be held in the clip.  Students are then asked to identify that number and place the matching number of roller pieces onto that stick.
Another idea is to place the same number cards on multiple cookie clip sticks and invite students to use two different colors of hair roller pieces to show how to make different number combinations.

You did see our Dollar Tree Finds Facebook Live video, right??
If you missed it, check it out below...but be sure to keep "hopping" in our blog hop so YOU can pick up more tips on these special finds and also enter to win a Dollar Tree gift card!

So... have we inspired you to go “dollar shopping?”  Would you like a $25 gift card to get you started? Here's how you can win one! It's really simple. All you need to do is...
1. Follow each of us on Instagram. Here is my insta-link:
2. Visit each blog and read the dollar store ideas. Each post will have a link at the bottom to directly “hop” you to the next blog.
3. Leave a comment on my blog telling me about your favorite Dollar Tree find!

Keep your eyes open!  On one of the blogs you will find the Rafflecopter Dollar Tree Gift Card Giveaway to enter! {Be sure you like all of our Instagram accounts...we will check!}
Next, you need to hop on over to Katie's blog now to see her ideas!
Little Warriors


  1. Love the number sense idea with the hair rollers and cookie clips. My students always have a hard time with this concept. Thanks!

  2. The number with cookie clips is an awesome idea!

  3. Oh my goodness--love the "mini pool noodles"---I can't wait to get to a Dollar Tree and find those AND the clips!

  4. Love the mini container idea to keep the dice contained! Seems like they are always escaping the baskets I use.

  5. So, so smart to use the hair rollers!!!!

  6. I've never seen cookie clips, so now I'm on the hunt! What a great idea!

  7. Love using the hair rollers as mini pool noodles!!

  8. Love the mini containers perfect for Kindergarten and dice not flying throughout the room.

  9. Love the mini containers perfect for Kindergarten and dice not flying throughout the room.

  10. I like the "mini pool noodles"!

  11. Love the mini pool noodles! So many great ideas!

  12. I really like the idea of the mini pool noodles! One of my favorite Dollar Tree items is the mini dominoes - they are great for adding and subtracting or greater than/less than.

  13. Loved the mini containers for dice

  14. Love the dice in the box idea! A lot less noisy!

  15. I love the dice boxes. I am going to go get some!

  16. I love the dice boxes. I am going to go get some!

  17. Love the mini pool noodle idea!

  18. I watched this on FB and was so impressed with the ideas you ladies came up with! I thought using the hair pieces as tens and ones was quite a neat idea!!

  19. Love the mini containers that keep the dice from going all over!

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  21. I love the hair curler phonics! Can't wait to do this!!!

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