Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Top 10 Dollar Store Buys for Kids

Well, we the Barefoot Hippies are about 1/2 way through summer vacation. And, if your household is anything like mine, the novelty of summer has worn off.

At the beginning of summer vacation, all the kids want to do is PLAY. Now, they are BORED. There is nothing to do. (Seriously, I don't get the nothing to do thing. Maybe I was bored growing up. I'm rarely ever bored now.)
this picture doesn't encompass all 10, but you get the general (and cheap) idea

There are several answers to the boredom blues. I especially love the ideas of reading and threatening work. But, for some fun and cheap ideas, I have gathered my Top 10 Dollar Store Buys for Kids. Each is a dollar (duh) and there is a lot of bang for each one of those bucks. The thing about each of the picks is that they each can be bought at a regular department store, but whether you pay a lot or a little, the life expectancy of the product is about the same. Thus I am a fan of the dollar store for these items.

Bubbles: You can use your dollar to buy a multi pack, or a gigantic bottle. Really, they all work the same. Something about bubbles screams summer! It is fun to teach toddlers how to blow them and how to catch them. There is beauty in the way the bubbles catch the sunlight and show mini rainbows. Oh yes, I love bubbles. (kind of like that fish on Nemo in the aquarium...bubbles, bubbles, bubbles.)

Sidewalk chalk: Talk about cheap thrills! Sidewalk chalk unleashes the artist in your kids and the kid/artist in you. It is fun to get down on the cement and draw games or pictures, write notes or...

Bopper balls: I am really not sure the correct term for these balls. But I am talking about big rubber balls. The ones in the huge bins with the stretchy rope sides. They were termed bopper balls in our family way back when the boys were young. That distinction has stuck, and so has the habit of buying one or two a season. They are great fun to kick or bat around.

Water guns: What kid doesn't like playing in water? Water guns afford the perfect opportunity to cool down on hot summer days, without hauling out the sprinkler or the pool.

Glow sticks: I don't know exactly what the draw is, but I do know that glow sticks are always a favorite item. Wear them as necklaces and bracelets, wave them around or chop them up and pour them in the aforementioned bubbles for a groovy experience.

Foam dart guns: similar to water guns except a drier version with parts to lose. Put all that quarreling to good use and have an all out war...

Sun glasses: summer is not summer without corny sunglasses. And the dollar store has the corner on those. Sun glasses are fun and sophisticated and breakable. So go the dollar route for the kids.

Sand buckets: whether for the beach or the back yard, having sand buckets is a summer must. I like getting each child a bucket in their own color. Less fights.

Scotch tape: this really is more of an indoor thing that an outdoor, but how often do you go looking for your tape and find out your kids used it all up? Solution? Buy them their own roll. (or 3) Happy, happy, happy.

Noodles: tend to be a water specific toy, but they are loads of fun. Shoot water through them like a cannon, or use for swords, or use them as floaties. Multiple uses-great way to spend a dollar.

What are your favorite Dollar Store buys? What are your kid's favorite dollar store buys?