More Preschool Manipulatives

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Bottle caps make a great, inexpensive preschool manipulative. If you’re anything like us, it doesn’t take long to accumulate a nice, varied collection of bottle caps. I just toss them into a little basket in the dishwasher as we empty various containers. Then, they’re clean and ready to become sorters and counters and whatever else we can think of.

The caps can be sorted by size, color, variations in shape (big circles or little circles, tall caps or short caps) or whatever other way your preschooler can think of to sort them. They can be stacked or nested, dropped into larger containers for fine motor skills practice (or just to make nice noises!). They can be counted.

What else could you do with a bunch of bottle caps?
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Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.

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  1. This is why I love reading other homeschooling blogs. I am able to glean great ideas, such as this one. Thanks for the tip.

  2. I made a bucket o’ lids a few weeks ago and my 4-year-old loves to put them together like blocks by putting small ones inside big ones and building a tower. I also made a hole in the top of the bucket for the baby to practice putting things in. Thanks for the idea!!

  3. You’re very welcome, Addie and Rebecca. Thanks for lettting me know that your kids are enjoying the bottle cap ideas. It’s nice to know that I’ve posted something useful. There’s nothing quite like cheap entertainment with a purpose for the kids. 😉

  4. I cut out little pictures of related items: 2 birds, 2 horses, 2 people, etc and taped them to the inside of the bottle caps. Then my 2 1/2 year old and I played a memory game, trying to find and match the pictures. We have also used bottle caps to talk about color families – putting all the blue together, etc. We have also used them as play money when we play store.

  5. We used to collect the tops of milk jugs. I heard an idea of putting letters on them and using them for spelling practice. My 3 year old is already starting to read and spell three and four letter words.

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