DIY Summer Survival Kit with Dollar Store Finds

Tired of hearing the words “I’m Bored” all summer long? Find out how to use awesome Dollar Store finds to create your own budget friendly DIY Summer Survival Kit. Get bored kids off screens and playing outside this summer break.


Tired of hearing the words "I'm Bored" all summer long? Find out how to use awesome Dollar Store finds to create your own budget friendly DIY Summer Survival Kit. Get bored kids off screens and playing outside this summer break. | We Three Shanes

DIY Summer Survival Kit with Dollar Store Finds

Summer is almost here! (Even though it’s snowing today in Colorado. Boo!) There is less than a week left before school is out. Most years I’m dragging the family to the finish line. This year we’re still dragging but I’ve also prepared a bit for summer break by creating a Summer Survival Kit for my kid.

The Dollar Store makes life so much easier. Can we all agree on that? They always have the best seasonal treasures. This year they are fully stocked with everything you need to get your kids playing outside on those beautiful sunny days. For less than $25 you can buy and then fill a basket with tons of fun outdoor supplies that will keep kids playing outside for hours, day after day.

Supplies to Make Your Own Summer Survival Kit

Like I said before, I grabbed all my summer survival kit supplies from the Dollar Store, the Dollar Tree to be specific. Obviously, you can make your own summer bucket with items from any store but you’ll be spending more than 25 bucks.

Also, more kids in the family might mean spending more. Water guns or golf clubs are single items so you’ll want to consider buying one for each kid. This ups the amount of money spent. I only have one child but did buy some extras for his friends to play with too.

There are so many fun choices from the dollar store to throw in a summer survival kit. Pick the things that your kids will have the most fun with. Check out this awesome list:

  • Side Walk Chalk
  • Bubbles & Fun Wands
  • Hula Hoop
  • Jump Rope
  • Frisbee
  • Footballs
  • Wiffle Balls
  • Sports Cones
  • Golf Set
  • Badminton Set
  • Baseball and Bat Set
  • Finger Shooters
  • Water Guns
  • Water Balls and Sling Shot
  • Pool Noodles
  • Buckets & Shovels
  • Water and Sand Toys
  • Bug Kits & Butterfly Nets
  • Kites
  • Styrofoam Airplanes
  • Gardening Tools

I’m sure you can find even more supplies to add to this list by checking out the toy section at the Dollar Tree. Small trucks or dinosaurs can be used in the dirt. Pom pons for outdoor cheer practice.

It could be fun to take your kids and let them pick out a couple of additional things that catch their eye.  Give them the instruction that it has to be played with outside and see what they come up with.

Ideas on How to Use Summer Survival Supplies

Some of the supplies on the Summer Survival Kit list are pretty obvious choices but others might leave you scratching your head a bit. Here’s a couple ideas on how to use some of the less obvious item choices:

The Dollar Tree has baskets galore. I bought 4 baskets. Three mesh type baskets and one solid basket. The 3 mesh type, stackable baskets hold all the fun gear but can also be played with. All three baskets are a different color. The kids can set the baskets out and try throwing the ball or frisbee into them. Each color earns them a different number of points.

The solid basket can be filled with water for water gun refills and re-wetting water balls. I also bought some car wash supplies from the Dollar Tree. They won’t go in the Summer Survival Kit but will definitely be used this summer for keeping the car clean with help from my son. The water bucket will also be used for the sudsy water.

A small beverage dispenser was bought to use as a bubble refill station. This will make it much easier for kids to refill bubble wands by themselves without spilling too much bubble solution.

A shower curtain will make a good water proof spread for eating snacks on wet grass. Kids can also freestyle color on it or make a fun map they can drive cars on. Use washable markers and they can do this again and again. Just wash off marker with a wet rag.

The shower curtain can also be used for fun ideas that might be too messy for even outside play. Making puffy paint that you don’t want staining the sidewalk or getting messy with a can of shaving cream will work great on the shower curtain.

You can also head to the kitchen supply aisle and buy all sorts of fun stuff to use outdoors. Kitchen tools give kids some creative freedom to decide what to do use them for. Measuring cups can be used in the water or sand. Same goes for colanders, spoons, cups, condiment dispensers, funnels and more.  

Other Useful Summer Supplies from the Dollar Tree

There are plenty of other Dollar Tree finds that will make summer survival a breeze. Outdoor protectors like sunscreen, hats, flip flops and sunglasses are all available in cute patterns and fun colors.

Buying Summer snacks at the Dollar Tree can save you lots of money too. Grabbing enough snacks to feed all the neighborhood kids who are over can get expensive if you don’t buy smart. The dollar tree has tons of snacks for less. Popsicles of course are a summer favorite so I keep them well stocked.

There are lots of indoor activity supplies you can find at the dollar store as well. There are arts and crafts supplies like crayons, stickers, watercolors, glue, construction paper and more. Learning tools like coloring, math and reading books are always in stock. You can also buy supplies for science experiments, like baking soda, vinegar, and food coloring. 

Putting Your Summer Survival Kit Together

Now that you have all the supplies you need for your own DIY Summer Survival Kit, let’s put it together. Make sure you buy a basket that is big enough to fit all the items you bought. Buy an extra basket if you need more room for supplies.

Put everything in the basket. When you’re buying for an outdoor kit like this, you’ll want to make sure everything going in it is water proof. That way your survival kit can stay outside and you don’t need to worry about that elements. 

Our DIY Summer Survival Basket sits right on the front porch.  That way kids don’t need any help from you. They can go outside and start playing with anything from the basket that might catch their eye that day. This really promotes independence and creative play.

If your kids are younger or you’re worried about playing in the front yard then move your survival kit to the backyard. It works just as well out there. Think about where your kids play the most and put your basket there. My kiddo mostly plays with the neighborhood kids so they’re in front yards the most.

Tired of hearing the words "I'm Bored" all summer long? Find out how to use awesome Dollar Store finds to create your own budget friendly DIY Summer Survival Kit. Get bored kids off screens and playing outside this summer break. | We Three Shanes

Why Make a DIY Summer Survival Kit?


A Summer Survival Kit will keep your kids entertained outside this season. While kids tend to come up with their own ideas for outside play, it’s nice to facilitate their imaginations with some fun supplies. 

A summer basket for the front or back yard gives kids many opportunities to create fun. There are no instructions so siblings and friends will have to work together to decide what and how to play. As the summer months roll by the basket full of supplies will be used in many different ways. I can’t wait to see all the exciting ways my kid and his friends use the survival kit.

The fact that I’m spending less than $25 to provided endless possibilities this summer is amazing. Even though our basket hasn’t made it outside yet, due to weather, my son has already had fun playing with items in the house. I know he’s going to have a great time once he gets the basket outside.

Hurry in to your closest Dollar Tree and grab your DIY Summer Survival Kit supplies today! Even though dollar stores are well stocked, I’m sure items will go fast.

Looking for more ideas to keep kids busy this Summer? Follow our Kids Creative Board on Pinterest. 

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