Saturday, December 8, 2007

Stretching the Dollar

Do you have a dollar store?

Everyone should find the 'good dollar store' in their town, especially grandparents. These places are gold mines for arts and crafts, coloring books, paper products and gifts for preschoolers to give to their friends and relatives.

The ornaments that Kenz is working on in the picture above came from our favorite dollar store. I set her up with the kit at the kitchen table, then went to putz around in another room. In the meantime, Kenz's mother came in from work and sat down to join her daughter in the ornament activity.

"Look Mom, isn't this neat?"

When my daughter showed me her creation, I couldn't believe how expensive it looked.

"You could sell those at work ,"I told her. "For a dollar, you get seven in a pack. Put them on your desk at the office and sell them for five dollars each."

I thought it was a great idea. That's what a good dollar store can do for you--- give you all sorts of ideas.

Many blogs ago, (last summer) I wrote about the Styrofoam gliders Kenz and I got for a dollar. I probably ended up spending twenty dollars on gliders over the summer, but it was worth it. I kept them on the porch and whenever we were bored or needed some wind in our face, one of us would suggest, "Let's go fly our planes."

Our dollar store is true to its name and everything really is a dollar. This allows for many lessons in teaching a child to budget. Five dollars buys five items, no more and no less. With over a half a million items in the average dollar store this helps the child to choose carefully.

It also teaches the value of quality items. If they buy a toy that breaks in the car on the way home, or play-doh that stinks like old food, or paints that don't paint then the child learns that a bargain sometimes doesn't' live up to its name.

The best times to visit the dollar store are around holidays. There is always a truckload of theme based items spotlighting Christmas, Hanukkah,Valentines Day, Fourth of July, Presidents Day....

On one aisle there is a section full of picture frames. I bought a couple of them and put in a picture of an outing Kenz had with some friends. We wrapped them up and she gave each of the friends one.

Yesterday was Show and Tell at Montessori.

"Guess what Miley brought for Show and Tell, Nana?"
"I can't' guess, Kenz, just tell me."

"The pink frame I gave her. She didn't want it to break, so she wouldn't let anyone hold it. It was the best Show n Tell, cause I got to say where we took the picture."

How sweet, I thought.
Even these days a dollar can go a long way!

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