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Toddler Shopping Spree at the Local Dollar Store

Who needs Disneyland when the Everything’s a Dollar store is clearly the most magical place on earth? Overflowing with one-dollar items, you'll toddler will be entertained for hours.

Step through the doors, and this deep-discount retailer will host the cheapest shopping spree ever for you. Your toddler will leave with the most unexpected sources of endless entertainment. Caution: of those kids already past the “put everything in their mouth stage.” Of course, parental supervision is recommended.

Broom of one's own. Toddlers think sweeping is fun. Take advantage of that while you can by getting your toddler his own broom and let him decorate it with stickers. Draw a small square on the kitchen floor using masking tape and challenge your toddler to sweep all the dirt inside that square.

Kitchen utensils. Your son or daughter may have a toy kitchen with tiny pots and pans, but there is something special about having the real thing. Especially if it’s something weird like a spaghetti fork. Bonus: most food-serving products will be BPA-free, unlike many dollar store toys meant for children. Still, double-check just to be sure.

Fake flowers. The dollar store has some of the fakest looking fake flowers around. But your toddler won’t notice. There are all kinds of imaginative games that can spring from a bouquet of plastic roses.

Mardi Gras beads. You’ll find them in the party supply section, and, in my opinion, they’re way better than the bead necklaces made especially for toddlers. First of all, they’re holiday themed, which means plenty of non gender-specific options. They’re also large enough to be super easy for toddlers to put on and take off by themselves. And you get a pack of at least five for a dollar, which allows for wearing several at once or sharing with the whole family (including the dog).

Pipe cleaners. Be warned. These are going to get bent beyond recognition. It’s just too early to expect your child to create an adorable pipe cleaner beagle. But for $1, you’ll be amazed by how much fun they provide and the creativity that they inspire.

Helium balloon. For toddlers, a helium balloons is a punching bag, a best friend, a lesson in physics and a hot air balloon for very tiny plastic animals. Dollar stores are always the cheapest place around for balloons. Just remember, the Mylar ones last much longer than the Latex kind.

Fashion scarves. The dollar store carries some of the most bizarre scarves, belts and hats for adults. This makes them perfect for dress-up.

Jewelry or watches. When it’s meant for adults, any piece of jewelry will feel special to your toddler and get treated with a bit more respect than toy jewelry. Plus, there are more options for adults than those endless aisles of toddler princess pendants.

Jumbo calculator. Here's why it’s awesome: the jumbo calculator look important, it has buttons and the buttons really make something on the screen happen, unlike most toys. I’ve seen a jumbo calculator like this one play the part of a laptop, a cell phone and a spaceship cockpit control center — all in one afternoon.

Bubble wrap. I’m always tempted to buy a roll of this stuff for myself when I’m at the dollar store. Popping the tiny plastic bubbles is addictive fun, and I’ve already introduced my daughter to the joy of it.

Images by Brigitte Dale

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