Summer is a time when most families like to kick back, relax and have fun. To have fun, you’ll probably need to purchase some toys, or buy sun glasses and sun block for that beach trip you are planning. Buy purchasing your summer supplies at a deep discount store, you can assure that your children have fun on a budget.
Today, I arrived at our local Dollar Store with the 5 children in tow. Like most moms I know, I have a “love/hate” relationship with the Dollar Store. Yes, I love to get items for $1. Yes, I also get frustrated at the fact that those items can be junky.
Our assignment today was to find worthwhile toys and items for this summer for $1. We scoured the aisles and here are some of the things that we found:
For whatever reason, my children love swim goggles. I know, I don’t get it either. After purchasing expensive goggles and inexpensive goggles one season, I realized that the inexpensive goggles were actually a better bargain for our family as we are just recreational swimmers.
Another factor which tipped the scales in favor of the Dollar Store goggles was the fact that we have most of the neighborhood swimming in our pool during the summer. At $1 for a pair of goggles, I can make sure that all of the visitors have their own goggles. If the goggles get broken, lost, or disappear, it’s not a shocking event.
At the store, we found plastic containers designed to hold bugs, worms, and other kinds of critters for observation. A small net also came along with the container.
For whatever reason, my kids LOVE to catch and observe bugs. They’ve caught all sorts of bugs and observed them for a while, and then released them. I support this because I think it’s a great educational activity. We always try to identify the particular critter, and find out something about it before releasing it.
Tomorrow, the kids will collect tadpoles that are residing in a large puddle in the neighbor’s side yard and take the tadpoles to school so that the other children can observe them. We’ll release the tadpoles back into the puddle at the end of the day.
Even if you don’t live near the beach like we do, summer just isn’t summer without sand buckets. Buckets can be used to play in the dirt, mix mudpies and make sand castles in the sand box in the yard.
If you live near the beach, you may spend a great deal of time during the summer at the beach. We usually go to the beach several times a week during the summer. I’ve found that it’s best to bring items that are expendable to the beach because toys can get washed out with the tide, lost, or buried in the sand. This is why we buy our sand toys at the Dollar Store.
Word to the wise: if you plan on purchasing your beach toys here, shop now and buy extras! Usually supplies are limited and they sell out early in the summer.
Yes, you can spend LOTS of money on sunglasses. If you need prescription glasses, or your children are very fashion concious, you may need to do just that. Otherwise, check out the sun glasses available for $1.
Granted, there wasn’t a large selection available, but enough that each of the kids could get there own unique pair. I’ve learned that kids are great at breaking and losing sun glasses. That’s why we now buy our glasses here!
Planting a garden is a great way to entertain your children this summer. I found many types of seed packages at the Dollar Store today. I also found gardening gloves too! If your children like to garden, but you don’t want to spend a lot of money on seeds and supplies, you may want to check out this option.
My children LOVE to draw on the driveway with chalk. Usually, the car is parked on the street while the kids are drawing or creating hopscotch grids on the driveway. All of this creativity uses up a LOT of chalk though.
To keep the kid supply of chalk constant, and to help out our budget, I’ve begun to shop for their chalk at the Dollar Store.
With 5 children, you can imagine that we go though a lot of sun block in the summer! I have found that the Dollar Store occassionally carries name brand sun block which I purchase in quantity. They also carry off brand varieties.
Note that if your children have sensitive skin, you may want to stick with a name brand to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction to the sun block itself. If you have concerns about a particular brand of sun block , check with yoru child’s pediatrician.
My kids love to wear flip flops in the summer. Last year, I spent a considerable amount of money on the flip flops which I bought in a discount store. The shoes lasted only so long before they ripped, and the kids needed new flip flops.
I noticed today that the Dollar Store has comparable quality flip flops for a fraction of the cost I paid last year. At $1 a pair, I can afford to buy each child several pairs. They each got a pair to match their bathing suits and a pair for “regular use”. Even though I purchased 10 pairs of flip flops, I still spent less than I did on 2 pairs when I purchased the flip flops at the discount store last year.
I found a bunch of pool toys at the Dollar Store including diving wands, pool games, and pool floats. You may want to check here first before purchasing pool toys at an expensive specialty store.
Bubbles are a popular item in our house and the Dollar Store has all sorts of different kinds of bubbles. Today, we found scented bubbles too!
Happy Summer to you and your family!