Well, parents, school's out . And after those first few heady days of freedom, kids everywhere will be moaning, "There's nothing to do!" Dollar stores can help you prepare in advance for the inevitable boredom of a rainy...er, sunny day.

The shelves of my local dollar store have been sporting all manner of new wooden shapes, along with the usually boxes, trays and frames that your little artiste can paint and decorate. You can pick up the paints and brushes needed for such a project, too. There are also finger and poster paints, small canvas', and books of drawing paper.

And there's lots more in the craft aisle. Felt pieces, beads, stickers, charms, sea shells, scrapbooks and scrapbook papers, craft string, colored feathers -- you name the craft supply and the dollar store probably stocks it. Anyway, it's always worth checking the dollar store first before heading out to the more pricey craft store for something you need.

Marlene Alexander is a freelance writer and dollar store diva. She writes free decorating ideas and tips using only items from the dollar store.


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