Homeschooling: Preschool Fun on a Budget!

My daughter Hannah has started homeschooling my oldest granddaughter, Elizabeth. She is in kindergarten and having a super fun time with her. She called me the other day and was wondering what she could be doing with her 3 year old daughter, Rylee. Rylee is a very busy little girl, very hands on and badly wants to “do school”. She does not like coloring or writing. I suggested a homeschool box of hands on fun things for her to do while she is schooling Elizabeth; a box that only gets brought out at school time in order to keep everything interesting to her.

One of the fun things about being a grandma is finding ways to help my children out, and anything homeschooling gets me excited. So I set out on a quest to see what I could find for little Miss Rylee that would be different and hands on.

I went to the local dollar store and my two daughters, Leanne and Sierra, went along with me. We pooled our creative juices together to see what kind of things we could find at the dollar store and create them into educational fun.

Here is what we found….

The items came from everywhere.. party favors, kitchen items (sponges, cupcake pan, colorful plastic ice cubes), big dice, pipe cleaners, pom-poms, band aids, plastic shot glasses, and I picked up an assortment of plastic containers (that were bright and colorful) to store the items in.

Here is what I did with them..

The pom-poms and plastic shot glasses.. used for sorting (by color or number)…

Kitchen sponges… I purchased 3 packages of kitchen sponges and cut them in half for squares, and cut some in half again for triangles and cut some circles from them for foam building blocks to learn colors and shapes. And found some big dice to add with the “blocks”.

Also found some small plastic shapes that could be connected together and purchased a package of baby teething rings for her to put them on as well. And band aids (in the “Educational Aid” box).. what 3 year old does not love band aids? They were big colorful ones and can be used as a reward for anything my daughter desires; a great school day, naming the color of the band aid, etc.. )..

And the muffin tray to sort the colorful ice cubes and party favors by shape or color…

When I was done assembling it all.. it was a neat organized educational package.. LOL.. and it cost me about $30. I think that is an awesome deal! 

I had so much fun putting it all together and was so happy to be able to help my daughter out!



  1. Oh my goodness, Crystal! What a GREAT post!! I cant tell you how much I appreciate this. My son started 2nd grade this week and my almost 3 year old daughter has been at loose ends wanting to "go to school." I have been trying to come up with a little curriculum for her but I also wanted it to be mostly fun play learning. This post is EXACTLY what I needed. I am going to head on over to Dollar Tree and pick up several of the items you mentioned. THANK YOU!!! :)

    1. That is great Dawn!! So glad the post was helpful to you!! Crystal :)


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