Every teacher loves the dollar store. Why? Because it is so cheap! These simple center activities using items from the Dollar Tree are sure to be a huge hit in any kindergarten classroom. Whether you’re on a tight budget or you simply love creating fun, inexpensive center activities for your students, then these centers are just right for you!
1. Domino Addition and Subtraction
After browsing the dollar store for quite some time, I was surprised to come across these miniature dominoes. I thought these would be perfect for focusing on addition and subtraction. The dominoes come in a pack that includes 28 dominoes for only $1! I created these FREE recording sheets that your students can use. Your students simply pick a domino and draw the dots on the recording sheet. After they draw the dots, have the students count the number of dots on each section of the domino and record the equation.
Be sure to check out my TeachersPayTeachers store for these free addition and subtraction recording sheets. If you decide to use the dominoes for subtraction, be sure to explain to your students that they must draw the dots of the larger number first.
2. End Punctuation and Capitalization Practice
My students have been working on capitalization and end punctuation for quite some time now. However, they are still not mastering the concept of when to use a period, exclamation point, and a question mark. I wanted to create a center that would focus on this concept while incorporating capitalization.
I found a bag clear gems in the craft section of my local Dollar Tree. I decided these would be perfect for the end marks for my sentences. I used a black Sharpie marker to write the end marks on the back of each gem. Remember: you will need to write the question mark backwards in order for it to show up the correct way when you are finished. I also found white circle labels that I placed on the back of each gem. This helps each end mark show up more clear on the gems. In the party favor section, I found these small kaleidoscopes. I thought these would be perfect for students to cover up the letter that needs to be capitalized. For this activity, students will simply read the sentence, cover up the letter(s) that need a capital letter, and identify the end mark at the end of the sentence. This is a fun, easy way to focus on end punctuation and capitalization.
3. Pot of Gold CVC Surprise
Since St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, I decided to create something for my students with that in mind. I found a snack pod cup for $1 in the baby section of the Dollar Tree. However, there was one problem… it was purple and pink. I decided that in order to give it a true “pot of gold” feel, I needed to spray paint it black. The Dollar Tree was just putting up their St. Patrick’s Day supplies as I was shopping. I found these gold coins that come in a pack of 30 for only $1! I bought 5 sets as I knew I could incorporate a number of activities with them. I used the white labels to write CVC words onto each coin.
For this game the students must:
- Place all the coins in the “pot of gold”
- Pick out a coin and say the CVC word. If the child correctly says the CVC word on the coin, he/she keeps the coin. If the child is unable to identify the CVC word, he/she must put the coin back or ask for help. The next person then picks out a coin.
- However, if the child pulls out a coin that does not have a CVC word on it, he/she must put all their coins back in the “pot of gold.”