Teaching hacks from the pound shop

As we get into the end of this school year, budgets are tight and the store cupboard is starting to look a little bare. Here are some ideas to help make the most of your classroom with a visit to your local pound shop!

Cotton bud art

Whether you’re teaching about impressionism, creating beautiful tree pictures or wanting to learn about colour, mixing a little water colour paint and cotton buds will make for an easy-to-control activity with little cleanup. Equip all of the children in your class with multiple cotton buds and all for less than £1.

Pasta Collage

Dried pasta makes great collage pictures. Use it to frame a Father’s Day gift or end of year photo, or encourage the kids to experiment with the different shapes to come up with their own designs. Penne or Macaroni can be used to make beads for necklaces too.

Shaving cream

Shaving cream makes a great base for homemade cloud dough – mix half a cup of cornflour into a cup of shaving foam and you have a beautifully light play dough for kids to enjoy. It’s also great sensory play, as a tray of shaving cream can be used for forming letters to help those with handwriting challenges. Lastly, did you know it was amazing at cleaning tables? You do now!


Pegs have a multitude of uses in a classroom. There’s the old job of ‘welly peg’ for keeping pairs together, but pegs with a child’s name on can also be used to show who needs their keywords testing, or who is out of the class using the bathroom. Decorating them makes a great activity at the start of the year.

Pool noodles

These long tubes of foam have so many uses, you’ll be glad you bought them. Whether it’s making a marble run, creating a phonics tool, making endless different games for out in the playground or creating decoration in the classroom, there seems no end to the uses for pool noodles. If you don’t believe us, search Pinterest.

Lolly sticks

Put a child’s name on each stick and put them in a pot and you have an easy way to select someone at random for a task or a treat.

The pound shop is also a great source of small treats to help reward good work and behaviour over the course of the year. Rubbers, glow sticks and tiny trophies can all be found in the pound shop!

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