We can all use shortcuts when it comes to parenting. And good news: your local dollar store has your back.

Check out these easy and cheap ways to organize and entertain your kids.

 

1. Turn kitchen sponges into lunchbox ice packs.

Best part? They’re disposable.

Get the tutorial here.

 

2. Use a long-necked dinosaur toy to keep toilet paper within reach of small arms.

 

3. Use a Ziploc gallon bag to make your child’s iPad hands-free.

Attach the plastic bag to the back of front seats.

 

4. Cut pool noodles and use them as toddler-proof door stops.

Cut pool noodle into six-inch sections and slice lengthwise.

 

 

5. Put playing cards into plastic soap boxes so they don’t get lost.

 

6. Spray paint plastic animal toys and turn them into bookends.

Get the tutorial here.

 

RELATED: 25 Parenting Hacks That Will Make Your Life Easier

 

7. Glue magnets to the back of kids’ cups and store them on the refrigerator.

 

8. Transform an old shower curtain liner into an art smock.

Trim a long, rectangular section from a dollar store shower liner.

Next, cut a hole that’s just large enough to slip over your child’s head. Cut a “belt” from the remaining liner, and tie it around his or her waist.

 

9. Organize crayons in an ice pop tray by color for quick and easy access.

Plus, they can stand upright, making it easier for small hands to grab.

 

10. Store toys in a mesh laundry hamper — perfect for the beach or the park.

 

11. Place a pool noodle under kids’ sheets to keep them from falling out of bed.

 

 

12. Turn toothbrush holders into portable pencil carriers.

 

13. Organize kids’ craft supplies in a muffin tin + plastic cups.

 

14. Hang a shoe organizer in your car to keep cups, wipes and toys organized.

 

15. Make a hanging plastic crate shelf to store stuffed animals.

This is a lifesaver for parents of kids who can’t part with their stuffed animals. Helloooo floor space!

Get the tutorial here.

 

16. Tame homework and notebooks with a dish rack.

Keep everything vertical in order to better see it! You could also make it a coloring book station.

 

17. Give your kids a bath with glow sticks just for fun.

 

 

18. Use ice cube trays to organize hair bands and barrettes.

 

19. Turn a shoe organizer into a DIY Christmas countdown calendar.

 

20. Set up a Hula-Hoop (or pool noodle) obstacle course for your kids.

It’ll keep them busy for a few minutes at least!

Get tutorial here.

 

21. Turn a shower curtain and Frisbees into a life-size tic-tac-toe game.

Use painter’s tape to create a grid on a shower curtain. Get six Frisbees and have kids stand behind a line and throw them to see who wins!

 

22. Buy a lotion or soap dispenser to use as a water-balloon pump.

This is clearly just so the kids can fill their own water balloons and you don’t have to.

 

23. Wrap rubber bands around a soap pump to limit kids’ soap use.

 

24. Buy cookie trays for kids to play with toys on a road trip.

You can spray paint them or not, but either way, it’ll make play time on a road trip easier for your preschoolers.

Get the tutorial here.

 

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