Parenting Resources

Bargain Places for Good Kids Clothes That Last

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There are a lot of options for inexpensive kids clothes these days, but not all of it lasts very long.  Many brands don’t hold up for the length of the time where my kid will wear it, let alone being in good enough condition for hand-me-downs for friends.  But at the same time, it’s hard to justify spending a lot of money at pricier clothing stores.

I’m always on the lookout for brands that offer both high quality and high value.  Here are some places to buy children’s clothes that will last without breaking the bank.


When I need to replenish my son’s wardrobe, often the first place I hit up is Sears.  They have good sales, excellent discounts if you join their rewards program, and a variety of brands.  They sell the ubiquitous Carters brand which is definitely budget-friendly.  Sears also sells their signature Toughskins brand.  Toughskins has been around for a long time and specifically promotes their durability.  The prices are good to begin with, but the deals are amazing when there’s a sale.

For slightly more expensive options, Sears carries Land’s End. While not as inexpensive as the other brands they carry, Land’s End has a great return policy, so if your childrens’ outfits start to wear and tear before they should you can return them easily, making them a solid option.

Old Navy

We do a bit of shopping at Old Navy, especially for pants. We love the fleece pants for the winter.  Old Navy has some fantastic sales and most recently we stocked up on those fleece pants for only $3.99 a piece. Their clearance section is usually filled with lots of goodies if you have the patience to sift through it. I’ve found shirts for less than a dollar.

Crazy 8

I always thought Gymboree had adorable clothes, but it was always a bit more than I was willing to spend for children’s clothes.  When I stumbled upon Gymboree’s sister store, Crazy 8, I was thrilled.  Crazy 8 is to Gymboree as Old Navy is to the Gap. The quality is a little below Gymboree, but it seems better than Carter’s.

There aren’t a ton of Crazy 8 locations right now, but they they seem to be popping up a little more.  Otherwise, their website has flat rate $5 for orders under $75 and free standard shipping on orders of $75 or more.  Crazy 8 has lots of good sales and coupons, so you can find even better deals.

The Children’s Place

The Children’s Place has nice jeans at a nice price! They’re adjustable, so if you have a slender kid you don’t have to worry about them sliding off. The regular prices for their jeans usually run at about $20, but they’re almost always on sale.

The Children’s Place is also great for underwear and pajamas. Their underwear prices are better than what I’ve seen elsewhere, even better than Walmart, and they hold up well – even through multiple accidents.


I’m a huge Costco fan and I use our membership there regularly. While they don’t have a huge selection of clothes in general, what I’ve found there is usually a great deal. I’ve gotten 3-piece outfits there for only about $12. You can find name brand attire, like Adidas track suits. In the fall, they have high quality outerwear, ranging from heavy winter coats to sturdy snow bibs. My whole family loves the socks they sell at Costco!   

I love shopping for children’s clothes for my son, friends, and extended family, but I definitely don’t like the price tags I see at some stores. Luckily, by shopping at the stores I listed above, I’ve been able to find plenty of long-lasting kidswear without it impacting our finances too much.

After-School Activities Keeping Kids Active, Healthy + Engaged

10 Awesome Green Outdoor Activities for Kids

10 Awesome Outdoor Green Activities for Kids
photo by Flickr user Gypsy Forest

Our children are our future. The world will soon be in their hands.

Show them the importance of caring for their environment, recycling, and appreciating the luxuries of everyday life with these ten exciting green outdoor activities for kids.

Make a compost pile.

Did you know about 30% of the waste in landfills across the country is yard and food waste that could be used for composting?

A compost pile is a way for kids to watch nature recycle itself in action!

According to the EPA, the average American generates about 4.9 pounds of trash every single day—that’s over 1700 pounds per year! If every person turned their natural waste into compost, it would eliminate almost 500 pounds of garbage from going to the landfill! This project will encourage your kids to think twice about wasting their sandwich crusts or uneaten vegetables. Follow the step-by-step instructions on how to turn your trash into treasure.

10 Awesome Green Outdoor Activities for Kids
photo by Flickr user Daniel Magner

Start a worm farm.

Worms are basically nature’s way of recycling.

They munch on dead leaves and grass clippings and create pathways in the soil for plants to grow and breathe.

Not only are worms fun to watch squiggle and wiggle about, but I bet your kids didn’t know what a huge role they play in the environment. Making a worm farm is fairly easy and low maintenance; they are just about the easiest pet to have.

When you’re finished with the worm farm, you can set them free in a garden or compost area and watch them thrive in their natural environment! A worm farm is a great way to teach the responsibility of being in charge of another living thing—practice for a future pet perhaps? Follow the simple instructions here.

Plant a garden.

Kids love seeing the watch magical process of how food is grown and how much work goes into it.

They are also more willing to eat their vegetables if they’ve seen where they come from and put forth the effort into tending to them!

Have your kids to pick out plants or seeds of fruits and vegetables the like, and encourage them to pick out something they’ve never tried before like zucchini or sugar snap peas.

10 Awesome Outdoor Green Activities for Kids
photo by Flickr user Trey Pitsenberger

Recycled arts & crafts.

From toilet paper tube teddies to broken button bottle banks, just about everything old can be made into something new.

All you’ll need is some clean recyclable waste—such as Kleenex boxes, paper towel rolls, empty soda bottles, or plastic cutlery—and some craft supplies like glue, string, ribbon, etc. Turn empty baby food jars into memory jars, brown paper bags into puppets, and old tin cans into wind chimes.

Find a list of great recycled crafts. Once your crafts have run their course, snap a digital picture of them and place them back into the recycling bin to keep the use cycle in motion.

Make recycled paper.

A great project to show kids how much effort goes into making a single piece of paper. Perhaps they’ll think before wasting too many sheets next time!

All it takes is some old newspaper, water, and a few other supplies to make a brand new sheet of paper from old newspaper. Kids will need the supervision of an adult for this project as it requires the use of a blender. Follow the instructions here.

Make reusable grocery bags.

Teach your child how something seemingly small can make a world of difference.

It’s a widely known fact that most plastic grocery bags end up right in the trash, only a small amount are actually recycled. Paper bags aren’t much better and use even more energy to create and transport than plastic ones.

You’ll need a sewing machine for this project as hand stitching won’t quite hold up to the weight of the groceries. Gather a few pillow cases and as much “old” fabric as you can. All you’ll need is a couple of straps to stitch on and you’ve got yourself a bag!

Kids can decorate their reusable grocery bags with pieces of fabric or use fabric markers to personalize them.

Create a backyard habitat for neighborhood animals.

With expansion and construction on the rise, many animals’ habitats are being threatened or eliminated. Have you child help you create a welcoming environment for local wildlife and enjoy the views of butterflies, birds, and small mammals.

Set up a bird bath to attract a variety of local birds, plant local flowers and trees, and set out a few bird and bat houses and the will find its way! Kids will love watching the joyful wildlife enjoying the gifts they’ve provided them!

Go for a nature hike.

A growing number of kids spend most of their time indoors, and many don’t even make it a point to go outside every day.

Encourage your kids to explore the wide world around them and appreciate all the beauty that nature has to offer!

Visit a nature preserve in your area and take a long walk. What colors, animals, and plants do they see that they don’t see at home?

(Almost) zero carbon footprint day.

Pick one day to be the greenest family on the block!

When children see their parents setting an example and getting involved in a cause they are more likely want to get involved themselves. Spend the day biking to the grocery store, shutting all lights off before leaving the room, and conserving as much water as possible.

Kids will learn to appreciate everyday luxuries that are often taken for granted.

Make a milk carton bird feeder.

Your kids will enjoy watching the local birds flock to their backyard and enjoy a tasty treat!

Cut a hole in the side of the carton big enough for birds to come and go about 2 to 4 inches from the bottom of the carton. Cut a small hole below to add a dowel rod below the hole for birds to perch. Cut 2 holes in the top of the carton and thread twine through to hang from a tree.

Finally, using a pin, poke several holes in the bottom of the carton to promote moisture drainage as soggy bird feeders can cause illnesses in birds. Fill with a wild bird feed and watch the birds flock to your snack station.

10 Awesome Green Outdoor Activities for Kids

Written by Sarah Antrim

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After-School Activities Events Parenting Resources

10 Summer Activities that will Satisfy Bored Kids AND your Wallet

Summer: the ultimate free-for-all.

Instead of being entertained and engaged for 5 to 8 straight hours every day, kids are now looking to you with those big eyes that say “I’m bored.”

Here’s some fun and thrifty ideas to beat summer boredom that will keep both your kids and wallet happy.

Make a tire swing

A simple summer classic, tire swings can easily be put up and taken down as often as you’d like. On the days that the park is too crowded or it’s too hot to make the walk, hop on the tire swing and let the fun begin!

Simply hang a tire from a sturdy branch with strong rope and you’ve got yourself a swing.

10 Thrifty Summer Ideas Guaranteed to Beat Boredom, not your Wallet
Photo by Flickr user twred

Have a cooking day

For those days that the air conditioning is more comforting than the wicked heat, rally the troops into the kitchen and come up with some fun recipes to make as a family.

On those especially hot days where turning on the oven is a no-no, check out this list of no-bake desserts that are sure to beat the heat.

Cooking with Kids

Backyard obstacle course

Who is the greatest obstacle warrior of them all?

Have a competition in your backyard that will be sure to keep kids busy for hours. Make an obstacle course out of wading pools, tires, and ropes to test kids’ balance and agility. For some great obstacle course ideas visit here.

Scavenger hunt

Keep kids entertained and having fun by sending them on a scavenger hunt. Hide clues throughout the house and yard so that kids will have to follow clues to get to their final destination. Place clues underneath rocks, hide a message in a balloon, or even bury clues in the yard so kids will have to dig for them.

The final destination could be anything from a surprise ice cream cone to a special screening of their favorite movie.

geography for kids
photo by Flickr user artstreamstudios

Rainy day fort

What better place to set up camp than in the comfort of your own living room?

Grab some pillows and blankets and build a fort worth writing home about. Shut off all the lights and bring out the lanterns so kids feel like they’re really at camp. Kids can share ghost stories, eat s’mores, and play flashlight tag all just steps from their bedrooms.

Photo by Flickr user designerBrent
Photo by Flickr user designerBrent

Have a boat race

Toy boats can be made out of anything from wood to Tupperware—as long as it floats, it can be a boat!

Go to your local creek or simply fill up a pool in the backyard and let the races begin. Kids can use straws to set their ships sailing and see whose boat is the quickest. For some ideas on how to construct your own boat, check it out.

Photo by Flickr user Jon Olav Eikenes
Photo by Flickr user Jon Olav Eikenes

Tie dye

This is a great outdoor craft as it can get pretty messy!

Grab some white pieces of clothing such as socks, t-shirts, or dresses, and get ready to dye! Tie dye kits can be purchased at any craft store, or simple fabric dye will work just the same. Be sure to follow all the instructions provided to avoid too many stains.

Photo by Flickr user Karly Soldner
Photo by Flickr user Karly Soldner

Dress-up box

Kids love to pretend, and what better way to create a living story than with costumes.

Raid your closet for old bridesmaid dresses or bedazzled jean jackets that you knew would come in handy one day. Most thrift stores are a gold mine for dress-up boxes. Fancy hats, heels, and costume jewelry can be found at a fraction of their cost if you know where to look!

Photo by Flickr user mooshoo {littlepapoose}
Photo by Flickr user mooshoo {littlepapoose}

Backyard water wonderland

This is a great activity for those unbearably hot days. Drag out the inflatable pool, sprinkler, water guns, and even water balloons and have an all-out water blast–bored kids no more!

For an extra cool dip, float some ice cubes in the pool and call it the “cool off zone.” When kids get overheated from running around they’ll get a quick chill of relief.

Photo by Flickr user jennyhud
Photo by Flickr user jennyhud

Fly a kite

Check your local forecast and plan for the next windy day. If your kids have never flown a kite before, I recommend picking up a cheap starter kite. You can find them at any super store or even some dollar stores.

Keep in mind they probably won’t last long, but it will teach your kids the basics of kite flying. Once they’ve mastered it, consider purchasing a good kite that will last all summer.

Photo by Flickr user Vironevaeh
Photo by Flickr user Vironevaeh
Written by Sarah Antrim