15 Educational Dollar Store Craft Ideas Your Child Will Adore

It’s pretty much the middle of the summer here in Georgia and I have literally seen more heavy rain than I ever imagined was possible in the summer. As I sat here this Saturday morning helping my children with an Alphabet States craft I got from the dollar store, I started thinking that I absolutely can not be the only mom trapped inside with at least two children under four who would rather be outside. I just can’t be! So I decided to pull together my top 15 dollar store craft ideas that are not only fun but also educational. It doesn’t get any better than that right? 🙂

Experts say that children learn the best in most cases when they are able to participate in hands-on learning. So since I am home with the kids, I make it a point to allow them to have loads of fun but also to allow them to learn with many of these activities as well.

I personally don’t believe that every activity has to be an expensive project from the art store. My kids have done so of the most awesome arts and crafts activities ever with supplies from the dollar store. So for parents on a budget, this is for you!

Easy Dollar Store Crafts I Love

1. Dollar Store Finger Painting

This arts and crafts activity is as simple  as it sounds. For $2.00 you can get some great finger paint and finger painting paper from you know where 🙂 Just visit the crafts section of the dollar store! SIDENOTE: Make sure you get some old clothes you don’t mind getting messy and either go outside or prep your surface!

finger paint finger painting

2. Emotion Face Plates

Is your toddler at the stage where they have strong emotions but are not quite able to express how they feel? This stage can last years for some children. This craft idea has been very helpful to me for teaching emotions to my little ones! One pack of paper plates will be useful for numerous activities and the rest is up to you! Markers, crayons. Use whatever you like and make whatever faces you like.

3. Paper Plate Planets

You will see that  I love paper plates crafts lol. I made planets for my son using crayons, markers, and paper plates and he literally played with those planets for well over a year. It was absolutely the best $2.00 I ever spent on “toys” LOL. Design them however you want and use scissors to cut out the smaller planets!

planets craft

4.Alphabet States

This activity doesn’t really take any preparation at all. I know we have many days where that certainly  comes in handy. This morning I just had no energy for the kids. It happens. So good thing I had my map and some letters! The map of the U.S. can be found at the dollar store and it is a great way for your preschooler to practice letters and learn some states. I already had letters at home, but if you don’t, you can find foam alphabet letters at you-know-where as well 🙂

alphabet activity  alphabet craft

5. Sticker Sorting

This is a great learning tool! All you need is poster board, markers, and your choice of stickers. Get the ins and outs of this activity in my sticker sorting post!

sticker sorting  sticker sorting  Sea Sticker Sorting

6. Alphabet Play Doh

Here’s another great one that combines one of my son’s obsessions, play doh (not joking), with alphabet learning. It’s the perfect combo and can be done in so many different ways! You can also make a play doh surface that can be taken anywhere in the house with post board, plastic wrap, and tape! (All DS of course ;)) This Play Doh Activity is still a hit for my son a year later!

alphabet activity learning craft

7. Shape Matching Craft

Again, I love doing quick crafts using items that are already in the house. With a poster board (doesn’t have to be a new one, you can use the back of one! hint, hint) and some markers, you can use any shapes desirable to make this project. So easy, so fun! I talk in detail about this craft here!

shape match  matching activity

8. More Shape Matching!

If you are willing to be a little creative, you can make great matching games out of colored structured paper. The flash card selection at the dollar store is great as well!

Shape matching

9.Matching Cars Craft

Okay this one is so cool and it involves matching numbers. My toddler already had cars, but they do have cars at the store as well. In this case I used an old pizza box, however, there is cardboard available to buy for $1.00 as well. So fun. Take a look at how it was done in my post below!

Number Car Garage

matching numbers  car activity

10. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Craft

I love the chicka chicka boom boom song 🙂 Not only is it a fun activity to involve your child in, but they can also get great practice mastering the alphabet with an activity that can be done over and over again. I did a post on this awesome activity here! Take a look!

Chicka Chicka Boom Activity   chicka chicka boom tree

11. Surprise Eggs

There is no need to save this just for Easter! This activity satisfies a toddler’s need to explore! All you need is plastic eggs and foam letters! Or anything of your choice. In my post I explain how this simple activity can and should be a part of your toddler’s Dollar tree activities! Take a look at the alphabet surprise eggs!

egg crafts egg activity

12. Learning Boards

This one is more of a “mommy craft” because you will do most of the prep, but it is so00 worth it. I can’t tell you how much my son and daughter enjoyed and learned from these boards! Check out my post on this great mommy learning craft.

learning board learning board  site word activity

Holiday Dollar Tree Crafts

It’s already July. Once we hit September the holidays just creep up! Thought I would include these for the festivities this year!

13. Shape Tree

Oh I love the holidays! This activity is a great excuse to learn during the Christmas break! Pick up some felt squares and green poster board from my favorite activity store and you are set to go! See how we did this activity here!

Christmas tree craft

14. Turkey Crafts

Gobble, Gobble. Gotta have the Thanksgiving Dollar tree crafts! Check them out here!

turkey craft thanksgiving craft idea Thanksgiving arts and crafts

15. S’mores Halloween Craft

This one is almost all Dollar Store (Tissue paper, card board, silver marker, silver paper, black tape) but the marshmallow and brown fabric came from Walmart. (still a reasonable price) You simply HAVE to check out my post on this AMAZING and FUN costume! S’mores Halloween Craft

s'more halloween costume   family halloween costume


If you enjoyed those ideas, take a look at a few more summer craft ideas!

If you want even more ideas, check out this humongous list of activities too!

I hope you enjoyed these crafts! They have certainly brought joy to my children! Please tell me some of you Dollar tree ideas below. I would absolutely LOVE to hear them.


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10 thoughts on “15 Educational Dollar Store Craft Ideas Your Child Will Adore

  • July 15, 2018 at 8:04 pm

    What fun ideas you have on how to teach young children through budget saving crafts. I’ve always wondered what could be done with all the empty boxes/paper bags that I get from the groceries.

    I particularly like the idea of Alphabet states. My hubby travel a lot and the kids are always asking – where is daddy – so I think by teaching them the maps, it would give them a better idea about daddy’s location in the future.

    • July 15, 2018 at 9:46 pm

      I like that one too! lol. It’s great to start the process of our little ones knowing where we live or at least being able to recite it. I hope your family and even extended family is able to enjoy these activities!

  • July 17, 2018 at 7:11 am

    Hiya, you have listed some great ideas here and some that I will come back to view for sure! My daughter is two and she loves to play with play doh which I have already so all I need to buy are the alphabet cutters and thanks for the great idea of the surface which I will totally do so that she is not only sectioned to playing in the kitchen where the surface is not carpet! lol

    • July 17, 2018 at 8:28 am

      I’m glad you liked it! Yes the playdoh surface is such a life savor! My son uses it like everyday. Play doh letters. numbers, planets, food, everything lol.

  • July 21, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    I absolutely love these ideas! Can’t wait to try out the sticker sorting. My 3 year old loves stickers so hoping it will be a fun way to get her interested in sorting. I also completely agree with you about allowing flexibility, my toddler follows her own rules! I love that your suggestions are so inexpensive to do too. I have a 1 year old too so always trying to find activities both can do together. Any suggestions?

    • July 21, 2018 at 10:12 pm

      I’m glad you love them! Activities with toddlers and young children are so unpredictable so I think it is completely necessary to save money lol. I tend to do a lot of outside activities when I combine the ages. Usually activities that allow freedom and creativity such as finger painting and chalk play. That way they can learn different things at one time. Also music activities can be pretty universal 🙂

  • July 23, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    These all sound like wonderful ideas. It is terrible that you are getting so much rain in Georgia- I usually think of it as a sunny and warm state! My favorite dollar store craft idea was the Alphabet States. In my experience, schools tend to skimp on geography, so it is a good idea to get kids started early. It seems like you could do this with countries, continents, capitals, etc. too! I would have loved this as a kid, so I know that your kids are loving it.
    I also really like the dollar store puppets- they are too cute! Thanks for all the great, cost-effective ideas!

    • July 23, 2018 at 4:57 pm

      Wow you are the second person who liked the Alphabet states! Interesting 🙂 I agree, I think it is a little skimped on and you can do it with any map. I’m glad you enjoyed the activities!

  • July 24, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    Oh my goodness, these are such great ideas! I like how inexpensive all these ideas are and how fun they’d be for little ones. My kids aren’t little anymore, and even still I think my 10 year old might enjoy a couple of those activities!

    This is a good guide to keep or send to friends with younger children. Great article!

    • July 24, 2018 at 7:45 pm

      Thank you! Yes I completely agree. I think older kids would definitely enjoy many these activities! Please share!


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