After school, weekends, and days off I found myself struggling with ideas to keep my child occupied. I would go to craft stores and spend a ton of money on all the project kits. Stuff a teddy bear, glitter craft, and making jewelry just lost its appeal after a while. What I realized is that getting a few odds and ends from the dollar store is just as good, if not better. It is definitely cheaper.  Who knew colorful wooden sticks and plain old pipe cleaners would be so useful!

Around the Holidays we made ornaments using the sparkly pipe cleaners and painted plain wooden picture frames to give to family with her class photo as a gift. Another time we curled the pipe cleaners and attached them with clips to her hair so she would have what she called

crazy hair

This kept her busy for hours. She wanted to then do a fashion show and show off her new hairdo. I can still hear the laughter and vision the huge smiles.

Another time we bought some faux flowers, cut off the stem and pushed them into a foam ball to make pretty flower bundles. These were later used as decorations for a party we had.

Let their imaginations take something as simple as a popsicle stick and turn it into another you wouldn’t expect. Recently we took colorful popsicle sticks and built a house. I glued it together and she decorated it by drawing windows, a door knob and some flowers. This was a great activity that we got to do together.  The laughter, creativity and precious moments help make memories that are worth more than anything.

It’s not always about the latest toys, brand name crafts or video games. Sometimes just spending time with you and your “dollar store magic” crafts is all it takes to make them happy.

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