Some of my favorite childhood memories involve going to the dollar store with my parents to buy cute Christmas ornaments and random odds and ends. These days, my kids look forward to our weekly dollar store trips! My 5-year-old loves to pick out stickers and craft supplies, while my 2-year-old has a blast simply “window-shopping” the aisles full of plastic junk that would not make it into our minimalist home. 🙂 However, many homeschool essentials are marked up in other stores, and you can’t beat the price of a dollar! Based on popular request, I have put together a list of 19 favorite dollar store finds for kids! Most dollar stores carry similar items, so I hope you can find useful school supplies and toys from these suggestions!
Favorite Dollar Store Finds: School Supplies and Toys for Kids!
Once kids are past the mouthing (choking hazard) stage, buttons are fun for exploring shapes, sizes, and colors. Kids improve their fine motor skills when manipulating buttons as loose parts or practicing buttoning for practical life skills. Examples of activities include tracing numbers with buttons and this felt button chain busy bag activity.
Clothespins are obviously useful for hanging fresh laundry, but they are also an excellent fine motor tool for toddlers. Here are 8+ educational sight word activities that you can with clothespins!
3. Paper clips
4. Paper fasteners (also known as copper brads)
Paper fasteners are a must have in our supply cabinet! We have used them in making interactive learning wheels:
- Rainbow Chameleon Paper Plate Craft
- Chinese Zodiac Wheel (free printable)
- Calendar Wheels (free printable)
- Emoji Wheel (free printable)
5 & 7. Craft sticks
Crafts sticks, also known as popsicle sticks and tongue depressors, are a great deal at the dollar store! Click here to see 18+ educational activities with craft sticks!
6. Paper plates
We love paper plates crafts and, of course, using them for large parties and busy nights when we don’t have time to wash the dishes! Click here for 12+ paper plate activities!
8. Pom Poms
These colorful cotton balls are another essential tool for early childhood education! Click here to see pom pom activities for kids!
9. Cotton rounds
The kids enjoy using cotton rounds to explore water and color absorption, such as in this color transfer activity. For myself, I prefer them over cotton balls for makeup removal! Yay for multi-purpose cotton!
10. Post-It notes
We use Post-It notes everyday to write to-do lists, take notes in our books, and also in reading games! Favorite reading games include the Post-It note train, Tic-Tac-Toe, and the Giving Tree activity.
11. Glass stones
Glass stones are actually vase fillers and you can get so many for only a dollar! My kids love using these for open ended sensory play!
12. Pencil sharpener
My daughter found this cute fish-shaped pencil sharpener! I like that it conveniently holds the pencil shavings.
13. Poster Board
Every kid loves to play with cardboard, and the trifold poster board is perfect for imaginative play! As shown in the photo below, my kids love use use it as a wall for their chair forts! The kids love to draw and create their own scenes on the poster board!
The dollar store has an awesome assortment of puzzles ranging from just a few pieces to 1000 pieces! They have many popular cartoons and some with realistic images (eg, solar system, birthday cake). Although the box quality is quite variable (note that the solar system box is ripped), the actual puzzle pieces are usually fairy sturdy. Of all of the puzzles we have gotten from the dollar store, only the birthday cake puzzle had missing pieces. These puzzles make for great birthday and holiday gifts!!
I’m constantly amazing by the selection of stickers at the dollar store! Dimensional stickers are often expensive at craft stores, but the dollar store often has a pretty selection to choose from.
A wide variety of stickers can be found, including animals, transportation, and faith!
Of all of the sticker options, my favorite sticker find is this recycling sorting set!
16. Hula Hoops
A few years ago when I was looking for hula hoops, I couldn’t believe how expensive they were on Amazon! Some were $15-$25/hoop! Then we discovered them at the dollar store and got several! In my daughter’s dance class, the students use hula hoops for many exercises, such as hopscotch jumping. So we now practice the same routine at home!
17, 18, and 19. Water Shooters, Balls, and Bubbles!
These are among my kids’ favorite things from the dollar store! The bubble blowers are great for birthday party favors!
What are your favorite dollar store finds? Would love to hear your suggestions on what to look for at our next dollar store visit!
- For more homeschool shopping resources, bookmark this link for our recommended homeschool products on Amazon!
- High quality school supplies: Montessori Inspired Educational Toys and Homeschool Materials on Etsy
- Click here to see all hands-on educational activities are organized by topic!
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Happy learning, friends!