Let’s be honest, it’s hard (if not impossible) to resist the lure of the dollar bins. Don’t fight it. Give into the impulse buy guilt-free, because we’ve got easy ideas that transform items like shower curtains, pool noodles, and craft sticks into hours of play time for your wee one. Read on to find your excuse!

photo: Mom Inspired Life

1. Shower on the Creativity
Leave it to Danielle at Mom Inspired Life to come up with a creative way to use an on-the-cheap shower curtain to entertain your petite Picasso. Turning one into a canvas is where it’s at when it comes to outdoor artistry with your Little. Get Danielle’s tips and ideas here to make the most of your masterpiece.

photo: Hands on as We Grow

2. Let It Grow
Couple your coffee filter stash with a four pack of food coloring from the dollar bins, and set your aspiring artist off to create gorgeous blooms. Jamie at Hands On As We Grow can give you the run down on turning food coloring into liquid watercolors your mini Monet can use any time he thinks you need a colorful bouquet or a kid-made centerpiece for your dinner table. It’s that easy!

photo: Little Bins for Little Hands

3. Make Cool Discoveries
Sure those dollar store dinos work great in the sandbox. But we heart this creative twist on everyday play that adds a dash of STEM learning and countless hours to your Little’s dinosaur experience. Find out how to create your own excavation site using simple supplies you can find on the cheap from Sarah at Little Bins for Little Hands. Can you dig it?

photo: Developing the Whole Child

4. Overcome Obstacles
You’ve got pool noodles a-plenty in your summer fun time stash. And adding to your collection is so easy (and cheap!) this time of year. So we’re all about following the lead of Developing the Whole Child and using spares to create an outdoor obstacle course for your sweet tot to navigate. Find out how to set one up here.

photo: The Seasoned Mom

5. Take Aim
Summer time games on the cheap can be hard to come by (have you checked the price on water balloons lately?). But Blair at The Seasoned Mom is all about creating lasting memories without a big price tag. Check out her supply list for this simple sponge dart game before you hit the dollar store. Then send your crew out for a little front porch competition when you return.

photo: Happy Hooligans

6. Craft Stick People
Put the yarn and fabric scraps cluttering your craft room to good use making stick figures. We’re crushing on their simplicity almost as much as their cuteness factor. And your kiddo will love designing entire families of these folks. Discover the secret to creating your own adorable collection from Jackie at Happy Hooligans. 

Which dollar-store-fueled activity piques your interest? Tell us about it in a comment.

— Allison Sutcliffe

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