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Simple Living



Frugal Tips for Fun with Children


Craft Paper

Here is a fun thing to do with your children during the summer. Check with newspaper and printing buildings and see if they have some paper roll ends to give or sell to you. It shouldn't cost much money. Roll it out on your table, and let your children and their friends use it like a giant coloring book. There are also other ways to use this plain paper. One of them is to use it to wrap presents. Have your children help you embellish it with crayons, paint, stickers, or other decorative elements. Tie with raffia.


Don't throw away those crayons when they are just short stubs. You can still use them. Put them in the oven in an oven-safe mold. They will melt together into the shape of the mold. Let them cool, take them out of the mold, and you have a crayon with a fun shape your kids will love.

Stuffed Toys

If you see some used stuffed toys in good condition, and want to buy them, do it. You can clean and sterilize them. Just put them in a pillowcase, knot it, and run them through the washer cycle with about a half cup of bleach. You should also be able to dry them on low heat in your dryer.


Children are easily entertained and do not need expensive toys, They love empty cartons (such as oatmeal), popsicle sticks, cardboard paper towel holders, junk mail (for drawing and playing post office), empty milk jugs (for the sandbox), leftover pieces of lumber (sanded smooth and varnished with butcher block varnish- used as building blocks), old sheets (for making tents), empty spools of thread (building things and making necklaces)...and so on. Most toddlers are happy just to open the kitchen cupboard and play with the pots and pans. Use your imagination,  and save your money.

Children tire of their toys, but there is an easy solution to this. Periodically pack up some of them and put them out of sight. Then, after a few months, bring them back, and put others away. Your kids will be glad to see them again, and they will seem like new. 


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