So I have created some very unique centers by keeping my eyes and mind open to different creative avenues.
I saw a post on Pinterest about cutting up a pool noodle and using it with string for a cheap motor development activity. I bought three noodles for this purpose. My kids did not like it. So I put them in a box and let the kids explore them as blocks to build with. This was fun for a time but then they figured out how to shot them at each other by squeezing them hard in their hands and they POP out flying across the room. (Great for an outside activity) After trying to find a way to get them to stop that I put them away for a few days, to get back out when I found a purpose for these.
Well one day someone was playing with toothpicks, putting them into the small holes of a Parmesan cheese container (great fine motor practice), and I realized that toothpicks would potentially be fun to use with these noodle blocks. I tried it out and found that the noodle material was really porous and you could poke the tooth pick in pretty easy. This is now one of my classes favorite center. We have made some pretty crazy things with just these two materials. You do need to caution the kids about poking their fingers in the process. No one has ever broken the skin but poking has happened. :)
This center is a pretty interesting one. My youngest daughter (9 years old) was giving away this little house and castle we bought her from the Walgreens Pharmacy for Christmas. Now things that my girls want to give away either got to my school or a thrift store. I chose to hold on to these for my class. When we bought them they came with little furniture and people. My daughter had lost most of these. The only survivors were a Pegasus and 5-6 pieces of furniture. This was not enough for me to give to the kids so I added some marker lids as a temporary solution until I could find replacements. The kids loved it to pieces. Then shortly there after my oldest got rid of a Monopoly game (threw it out in the car port and scattered the pieces ALL over. Grrr!). Well I rescued the little metal player tokens and added them to the Pegasus and furniture. I took out the marker lids. The kids loves the metal pieces but requested to have the marker lids back. LOL I am so glad that my daughters cast off toys will entertain my students. It very easy on my shrinking finances. :)