Thursday, July 30, 2009

$3 Cheap Challenge!

Welcome to the first Cheap Challenge! I announced it and explained the rules here, but let me sum it up again for you.

1. Spend the challenge amount, or less.

2. Create a minimum of 10 ways to use the items.

3. Blog about it, link here, and sign the Mr Linky.

4. Household items can be used at a minimum, without counting towards the challenge amount.

For the $3 challenge I decided to use items I already had, but that I KNOW you can get for $3 or less. My items were:

Pom Poms


Pack of Construction paper

You can get construction paper and pom poms at Dollar Tree if you don’t already have any. And you can usually find some type of clothespins there, but I have previously gotten them at KMart for 97 cents.

Other items you need to have at home:

ink/paint (optional)


egg tray

container or box (such as bread crumb container, cereal box, etc)

Toilet Paper Tube

magnets (optional)

The first thing I did was cut some paper into smaller sizes, use a marker to write the color name on it, and I chose to laminate them. I have 10 4x6 sheets of colored paper. Now they don’t have to be laminated, but if you want to you can also use contact paper, OR put the paper into a small ziploc and tape the extra bag to the back! But since it doesn’t HAVE to be laminated I didn’t include laminate in the challenge price.

Now what to do with these sheets of paper?

1. Use them as a matching game with the pom poms! In this picture my sheets aren’t laminated yet, but you get the idea.

73009 017 2. Color the clothespins to match the papers, and use as a clip matching game. You can cover the flat front and back of the clothespin with paper, just glue on little pieces. Or you can buy colored clothespins. BUT colored clothespins give a lot less colors. You can also glue a pom pom to the clothespin for matching to the paper!

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3. Use the cut papers as flash cards. (If you do flashcards, we don’t.)

4. If you laminated them use them as mini dry erase boards!

More ways to use the pom poms:

5. Indoor Balls! Any sport game can be played with pom poms inside!

6. Play Pom Pom hide and seek. Hide one or more pom poms in the area of play and the kid(s) have to go find them! Sit them on a window sill, behind a couch cushion, under a table, sitting on a bookshelf, and so much more! You can even color code, older kids find hard red ones, little kids find easy blue ones.

7. Create 3-d pom pom pictures. Ignore the messed up carpet, I was in the basement rec room, so Blu could play outside. I made this one, but Blu loves to create random pictures by gluing pom poms to paper. He has a stash of 3-d glueable items, pipe cleaners, foam shapes, etc, so I don’t have any pom pom only pictures of Blu’s to share.

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8. Glue just pom poms together to create classic pom pom animals, flowers, people, etc.

9. Sort pom poms by color or size. You can do it into a sorting tray, or just on a piece of paper.

By Size:

73009 036By Color:

73009 040 10. Put a fistful of pom poms into the flat top of an egg carton. Have your child move them into the egg cups using tweezers, tongs, fingers, spoons, etc.

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11. Take an item such as a cardboard box, or cheap container, and cut a small hole in it. Smaller then the pom poms. And PUSH the pom poms through the hole!

12. See how many pom poms fit into various items. How many in a measuring cup? A small container? A mason jar ? With young kids use pom poms the same size, with older kids play with different sizes.

13. Nonstandard Measurement. How many pom poms tall is the dog? How many long is the pillow? Try it with the clothespins too!

14. Use pom poms to paint to stamp with. Try using them alone, then try holding them with the clothes pin.

15. Create pom pom sequences. I just laid them out on paper, but you could also use the construction paper to create a whole set. Cut strips of the papers, and glue pom poms on. Then have the kid find the matching paper and copy the same sequence! Or just draw out sequences to copy but drawing circles of different colors.

73009 04216. Find rocks outside, compare with pom poms for heavy/light. Soft/hard. Smooth and fuzzy. Etc.

17. Blow pom poms across the floor. Have races! You can also combine with other items to discuss some items being to heavy to blow across!

18. Do pom poms sink or float in water?

More Clothespin ideas:

19. Clothespin tag. Give each child playing several clothespins. They play tag by clipping clothespins onto each others clothes. You cannot remove clothespin from your clothes. The person with the last on them when everyone runs out of clothespins wins! Of course, the kids need to be wise enough to not clip each others skin. So choose players carefully.

More Combo ideas:

20. If you got wooden clothespins decorate them! Cut small strips of construction paper to glue to the flat surface, then glue on pom poms!

21. Put a TP tube on the floor, stand over it and try to drop in clothes pins and pom poms!

22. Lay out the clothes pins and poms poms on the construction paper. Do Sun Print pictures by laying the pictures in the sun and letting the sun fade the paper. Several blogs have done examples of this recently. The paper fades where the items are not, and when the items are removed the places they were located are darker.

And one last idea, for a total of 23 ideas you can do for $3 or less.

If you happen to have magnets, the craft kind, or even those business card like freebies, make pom pom magnets! Just glue a piece of magnet to the back!

If you choose to play along simply follow the rules and post about it. Make sure your post links back here. Then sign the Mr Linky. There is no time limit for when you have to participate, but I’m not doing another price challenge until this one has enough participants. I hope to make it a semi-regular event, with different dollar values each time.

Remeber, it doesn't matter how many items you buy, just how much you spend. You can buy 1 item, 5, 15, however many you can get for the money! You can buy 1 $3 item, 6 50 cent items, even 15 20 cents items (if there are any 20 cent items left in the world! lol)

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Just left one of our "cheapest" and yet most versatile purchases. We got the dice for a dollar each and there are 12 different activities... roll the dice get a new activity each time!