We have found very close to home, what I had been hoping to find this summer at garage sales, or maybe while thrifting.......a vintage typewriter. Granted, it's not as cute as some, but it does the trick! I thought I'd ask my mother-in-law if she had an old typewriter, and she had two! Of course, they are the larger type, so one is enough.
It is such a fun way for my 5 year old to practice his letter identification, writing out short words, and of course the noise is probably the best part! You can hear *clickity-clack, clickity-clack*...then a giggle because he got all the keys stuck together...he fixes it, then does it all over a few minutes later. Now, that is frugal, fun and learning all wrapped into one!
Happy thrifting to you!