Time Saver, Cost Saver, Super-Sized Fun Activities

Are you looking for activities that will save you time and money but that are big on fun and learning? Let us introduce 2 more activities from our featured series. All materials for the activities can be found at home or purchased in dollar stores.

#11 Bottles and Jars


Using simple objects such as plastic bottles and jars to support teaching in many different areas of development.

Find a variety of clear containers with lids. Look for ones with screw tops and snap on tops in different sizes.

  1. Set out a selection of containers with their lids off and have the children try to find the lid that matches and screw or snap it on. To further the activity, the children could put the containers in order from smallest to largest or tallest to shortest.
  2. Children could make their own sensory bottles by adding food colouring and sparkles to water and attaching the lids securely.
  3. Children can use various containers to store ingredients for cooking activities.
  4. Adding coloured pasta, beans and grains to containers would make interesting shakers. You could help the children compare the sounds and talk about how the size and shape of the material affect the sound.
  5. Place an attractive object in a jar and have the children practice their fine motor skills by opening the lid to get the prize. For reluctant speakers, screw the lid on tightly and the child will be motivated to ask for help opening it.
  6. Put colourful clothes pegs in a plastic jar with a snap on lid. Have the children open the jar and clip the pegs on the edge of the jar.
  7. For an interesting cognitive activity, provide small clear containers. Fill them with water. Have the children add different amounts of food colouring so that the shade of colour will differ from one bottle to the next (start with one drop of food colouring and progressively increase by one drop for each container). Ask them to put the bottles in order from lightest to darkest. To extend the activity, have the children overlap containers of primary colours to see the resulting colour.
  8. Glue pieces of textured materials such as a rubber place mat, fun fur, sand paper onto the outside of a large container. Place corresponding materials in the container. Have the children reach inside and choose a piece of material and then compare and find the matching one on the outside. This could be an individual or a group activity.



Buy gift bags with seasonal motifs. Choose items representing familiar seasonal activities such as leaves, flowers, hats, mitts, cookie cutters, stickers, fridge magnets, craft supplies, holiday decorations, party favours, figurines and candles.


  1. Have the children sort the items into the corresponding seasonal bags.
  1. In winter time place the winter themed bag in the dramatic play area. Fill the bag with items of the children’s interests to support play. You can do this for each season.
  1. For an intriguing circle activity, place “spring” items in a circle bag. Have each child choose an item.  Encourage them to share ideas by asking open-ended questions. Wrap up the circle by singing an active song about the season represented.
  1. For a discovery table activity, display items and provide pictures representing the seasons: allow children to explore the items in their own way.

Ideas and activities provided by the staff from Children’s Integration Support Services and Making Connections Nursery School.