Making Learning Fun with Help From Goodwill of Orange County

Goodwill of Orange County has become my new favorite place to find craft supplies for my classroom and for my son and I to use at home.  I love it because I can reuse and repurpose gently used items for a fraction of the cost.

Here is a simple DIY activity that you can make for your child or classroom that makes learning fun! All you need is a cookie sheet, some chalkboard paint and a variety of letters, numbers and colored toys.

This craft is not only fun for you to create, but great for young kids as they start learning about letters, numbers, shapes, colors and patterns.


I found a cookie sheet, chalk, magnetic letters, numbers, and shapes, all my favorite Goodwill of Orange County store. (I seriously hit the jackpot!)

When I went to the store I knew I was going to look for a cookie sheet because that is something you can ALWAYS find at Goodwill. My next mission was to find anything in the toy section that could possibly be magnetic or any other sort of item that I could use to practice shapes, colors, numbers, etc.

Helpful hint: In addition to the items that I found, you could also look for: alphabet blocks to make words, colorful Legos to sort, anything that you could lay on the tray to make patterns, and more. The options for this craft are endless!


I could have left the cookie sheet unpainted, but I decided to paint it with black chalkboard paint.  You can find this at any store that sells paint. Adding the chalkboard paint allows you to easily write and erase on the cookie sheet as your child completes one activity and is ready for the next!


I painted the cookie tray and let it dry overnight.  Once it dried for 24 hours, I was ready to practice learning games with my class.


Take advantage of any time you can get your child or students to play with or explore letters.  Starting in Kindergarten they will need to learn simple words so they can learn to read and spell.

I decided to write some simple words with chalk on the cookie sheet, and then my students could build each word using magnetic letters!


The next activity involved numbers.  When the students placed a number on the tray, they made that same number of dots under the number. This displays number awareness, the ability to count, and strengthens fine motor skills to make small circles.


Kids love learning about and practicing shapes. For this activity you could have your students match the shape to the chalk outline, or you could have them draw the shape themselves!  It would also make a fun tracing activity as well.


Sorting by color is a great activity for little ones.  I split the tray up into four sections and the students sorted the objects by color.  You could have them sort anything!

As you can see, the options for this fun DIY activity are endless. I hope these ideas are helpful!

Created by Michelle Griffo of Apples & ABC’s.

Follow along with her other DIYs and teaching inspiration on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!


Michelle Griffo is a passionate teacher with experience in a K, 1st, 2nd, and 4th grade classroom. She is a 2006 graduate from Vanguard University in Southern California, graduating with a BA in Business Administration, Teaching Credential, and a Masters in Education. In her 10 years of teaching she has developed a love for creating an engaging classroom environment, where all students are encouraged to develop emotionally, socially, and intellectually. Michelle is also a teacher author at where she shares teaching tips, teacher style, and curriculum for the primary classroom.

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