My kids tend to play with most toys for about five minutes, whether I spend $1 or $30 on them.
Here are 20 of my favorite dollar store finds you can purchase and rotate whenever your kids get bored!
1. Tie a dollar store basket to the front of your kid’s bike.
All you need is a basket and two zip ties!
2. Freeze dollar store toys and trinkets in water to make “ice eggs.”
Stick a little toy or trinket in a water balloon before filling it with water. Put the balloon in the freezer overnight, and in the morning cut off the balloon and let your kids get to crackin’.
3. Turn pool noodles into a backyard obstacle course.
Stick wooden dowels (from a craft store, Walmart or a hardware store) in the ground halfway, and slide the pool noodle on top. Use a soccer ball to dribble between the arches, or just let them army crawl through the course!
4. Use a pool noodle to make a sprinkler.
Duct-tape one end of a pool noodle (the other end will have the hose attached). Use wood skewers to poke holes throughout the pool noodle, turn on the hose and enjoy!
5. Make an ice cream bar by putting sprinkles and crushed cookies in shaker jars.
6. Make a “hideout” using a hula hoop and a shower curtain.
Use shower rings to attach the curtain to the hula hoop. Then, use a clothesline to tie the hula hoop to a tree branch.
Your kids will enjoy shade while they read or play games outside.
7. Use sponges and chalk to turn your driveway into a bull’s-eye target game.
8. Or, use sponges to keep your kids cool outside.
Cut up sponges and use a large sewing needle to string them onto stretchy cord. Soak the sponges in water, and your kids will stay cool while playing outside!
9. Set up carnival games in your backyard using nothing but dollar store finds.
10. Make a table lantern using glow sticks, dish detergent and a Mason jar.
Fill the Mason jar with clear dish detergent then place glow sticks in for a glowing table lantern.
11. Use finger shooters to hit a target.
12. Make a paint-mixing station using a vegetable tray.
You can also use a veggie tray to play with “goop.” Cornstarch, water and food coloring makes great “goop” that’s easier to clean up than paint and doesn’t stain clothes.
13. Pre-pack “busy bags” with dollar store items to give your kids when they’re bored.
Instead of buying busy bags for your kids (which are way overpriced), find little trinkets at the dollar store instead.
14. Put together a craft box by filling a tub with art supplies.
15. Play tic-tac-toe with a shower curtain, tape and frisbees.
16. Fill a hanging shoe organizer with things to entertain your kids on a road trip.
17. Use sharpies and a shower curtain to make your own play mat.
18. Have a water fight.
19. Use a butterfly net to see what you can catch.
20. Buy grow toys to start a fake aquarium.