Parents

29 Dollar-Store Finds That Will Keep Your Kids Busy All Summer

Beat boredom on a budget.

Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

1. Tie a dollar-store basket to the front of your kid’s bike.

Find out how here.

2. Dollar-store baskets are also great for organizing outdoor summer fun.

Learn more here.

3. Make one of these awesome hideouts using a hula hoop and a bedsheet.

Since you’ll be putting this outside, you could use a shower curtain instead of a bedsheet. Find the how-to here.

4. Turn pool noodles into a backyard obstacle course.

Learn more here.

5. You can also DIY a pool noodle into a sprinkler.

Your kids will have a blast (but skip this one if you live in California). Learn more here.

6. Make an unforgettable ice cream bar by putting sprinkles and crushed cookies in shaker jars.

Learn more about this and other summer food ideas here.

7. DIY this backyard tic-tac-toe game with a shower curtain, tape, and Frisbees.

This game is harder than you think! Learn more here.

8. Make sure your kids pull their weight by turning these dollar-store staples into chore baskets.

Even good kids need a nudge in the summer. Learn more here.

9. Freeze dollar-store toys and trinkets in water to make “ice eggs.”

Kids will love chipping away at the ice with a spoon to free the toys. Learn more here.

10. Transform a stackable bin into a doll swing.

American Girl dolls need to enjoy the summer, too. Find the DIY here.

11. Dollar-store sponges and chalk are all you need to turn your driveway into a bull’s-eye target game.

Read more about this and other fun outdoor games here.

12. Dollar-store sponges can also be used to keep your kids cool as they play.

 

Find the tutorial for these “cool-off necklaces” here.

13. Attach a dollar-store colander to a bike helmet and challenge your kids to see how many water balloons they can catch.

Find the game instructions — plus other game ideas — here.

14. Make a super-bubble station using a hula hoop and dish soap from the dollar store.

Find the tutorial here.

15. Hula hoops can also be used to make this kid-friendly croquet game.

Find the DIY here.

16. Make a play garden in the backyard using items entirely found at the dollar store.

You can plant seeds or hide dollar-store toys in the soil and let your kid dig for them. Learn more here.

17. A serving tray and bowl make a charming birdbath.

Perfect for your budding birdwatcher. Find the DIY here.

18. Set up carnival games in your backyard using nothing but dollar-store finds.

Find the how-to for five carnival games here.

19. Dollar-store stuff can also be used to make your own backyard (or beach) Olympics.

Learn more here.

20. DIY a table lantern using glowsticks, dish detergent, and a jar.

Your kids will not only have fun putting together this DIY, but will be able to enjoy the outdoors longer. Learn more here.

21. Whip up the ultimate summer treat using Nutella, Cool Whip, and a dollar-store ice-pop mold.

Find the recipe here.

22. Dip suction-cup arrows in paint to take backyard archery to the next level.

 

Learn more here.

23. Pre-pack “busy bags” with dollar-store items to give your kids when they say they’re bored.

Find ideas for different busy bags here.

24. Put together an art box by filling a tub with art supplies found at the dollar store.

Find the how-to here.

25. DIY a color-mixing station using a dollar-store vegetable tray.

This is a fun learning activity for younger kids. Learn more here.

The same tray can also be used to mold flowers out of dirt or sand.

Learn more here.

26. Make road trips more tolerable by filling a hanging shoe organizer with things to entertain your kids.

27. One more for road trips — paint a baking sheet with chalkboard paint to make a chalk and magnetic activity board.

Find the how-to here.

28. Spray-paint a roasting pan to make the ultimate low-budget Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles costume.

29. Use a clear shower curtain liner to make a dry-erase sheet your kid can draw all over.

The best part about this is that the markers wipe off, so your kid can start over again the next day! Find out more here.

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