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Making Thrifty Preschool Toys

Category Toys
You don't have to spend a lot of money to provide your preschooler with a wide variety of fun toys to play with. This is a page about making thrifty preschool toys.


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Cindy Bailey0 found this helpful
December 11, 2004


  • empty and cleaned plastic and cardboard containers
  • optional, plastic basket
  • real coins and a couple of dollar bills, egg carton
  • old purse, wallet, shopping cards


I recently bought my niece a plastic grocery cart to play with and as I looked over the expensive and low-quality play food packages for sale, I remembered that I used to make up my own grocery items for my kids.

  1. Simply wash plastic items, such as margarine tubs, frosting cans, etc. Smallish boxes, such as those which hold pudding and Jello mixes are also good, as well as salt or oatmeal containers. You could also save flour or sugar bags and fill with tissue paper. Just open the containers carefully, use contents, and seal back up with scotch tape. My kids also enjoyed things like Band-Aid boxes and their own empty shampoo bottles.
  2. These items are not suitable for young children who still like to put things in their mouths.
  3. Also, never use an empty medicine bottle or containers from things like detergent, even if the child is older. You don't want to push your luck!
  4. If the child doesn't have a grocery cart, a plastic square basket with a handle from the dollar store will work fine.
  5. You can buy play money also from the dollar store, or if the child is old enough, give her some real coins and a few dollars. It's never to early to learn about money!
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  7. An empty egg carton works in lieu of a cash register.
  8. Add one of your no-longer-used purses/wallets/shopping cards from grocery stores, and you have some fun stuff.
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Crafts ToysMay 6, 2014
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