Having kids can be expensive. And summer break can be especially pricey. Even if you’re not paying for summer camp or daycare, there are bound to be increases in your food and utility bills due to the kiddos being home all the time.
Paying for a movie, public pool or other costly outing every time your kids complain they’re bored can also bust your budget in a hurry. Fortunately, you can find loads of ways to help them entertain themselves at home, and they all start with a visit to your friendly neighborhood dollar store.
Check out these fun dollar store DIYs that will amuse your brood from June until September.
1. Reusable Water Bombs
Slice up some new, dry sponges. Stack them, tie them together with baker’s twine or other sturdy string and pull them apart to make a quasi-ball shape. Soak them in water for a backyard fight without the mess of broken balloons, suggests the blog The Chic Site.
2. Bubble Snakes
Cut the end off an empty water bottle and attach an old sock with a rubber band. In a bowl, mix dish soap with a little water and a few drops of food coloring for colorful suds. Dunk the sock into the soapy water and blow. See who can make the longest “snake.”
3. Pool Noodle Water Wall
Follow Casual Claire’s example and, using cable ties, attach dollar store pool noodles to pegboard or a fence. Give your toddler some small buckets, funnels, bottles and, of course, water for hours of engaging outdoor play.
4. Cloud Dough
Can’t make it to the beach? Parent Savvy has instructions on how to make a batch of soft sand in your kitchen. Just combine eight parts flour with one part baby oil. You can get the ingredients and some fun toy molds at the dollar store.
5. Flashlight Tag
At a buck apiece, you can afford to buy every member of the family their own flashlight. Then, head outdoors after the sun goes down and try to “tag” one another with the beams of your lights.