I’m a bit of a pack rack, so even though my bachelorette party was seven years ago, I still have the crowns, plastic braceletes and costume veil I wore during the festivities.
However, recently, I found another use for them, so they’re not just gathering dust in my closet: I gave them to my 2-year-old daughter for dress-up play. The joy on her face as she wore one of the crowns made me glad I had saved the accessories for someone who would appreciate them. Plus, I was able to stock my daughter’s dress-up wardrobe for less.
Raiding your own closest is just one of the tips for saving on pretend play props that I recently wrote about over at U.S. News Money’s The Frugal Shopper blog. In The Frugal Shopper post, I gathered together a number of saving strategies I’ve covered here at Hint Mama — along with some new ones.
Just in time for the end of summer, when many parents are probably starting to think about ways to entertain little ones indoors, the seven tips I cover over at The Frugal Shopper are today’s hint.
Among the tips, here are two I haven’t yet featured at Hint Mama.
Raid your own closet. There’s no one little kids want to be more than their own mom or dad. So, before you give your old clothes and costume jewelry to charity or toss the items in the trash, consider passing them along to someone who will appreciate pretending to be you: your child. From experience, I can tell you that kid-friendly bracelets, bachelorette party crowns (like mine in the image above), wallets, shoes and hats work especially well for indoor toddler dress-up play.
Transform cardboard boxes into just about anything. In the age of online shopping, there’s a good chance lots of brown cardboard boxes regularly arrive at your house. The next time one arrives at your doorstep, be sure to save it. Such boxes can easily be repurposed into do-it yourself play kitchens, play boats and pretty much anything else you and your child can imagine.
Pinterest is a great resource for cardboard box transformation inspiration, and among the many ideas there, I came across a number of easy-to-implement (aka realistic) options. I especially like this easy DIY kitchen made out of diaper boxes from edeenut creates, this DIY box boat featured over at Nurture Store and this DIY mailbox from the imagination tree.
In The Frugal Shopper piece, I also write about how your friends and family can help you save on pretend play toys, and I highlight a number of tips covered here in previous hints, including how to save on play food and kitchen accessories and how out-of-season accessories can help you stock up the dress-up bin for less.
What’s your best tip for cutting the cost of pretend play props? Share it over at The Frugal Shopper or below.