Kids / Life / Op Shop Bargains

{Op Shop Bargains} Entertaining Small Kids on a Plane

On Tuesday I found myself stranded in Ringwood for two hours (turns out a shop that I thought opened at 9am didn’t open until 11am…) so I decided to hit some opshops. I was looking mainly for coasters and placemats to re-cover (more on that later) and for some things to keep Miss T occupied on a flight she’s taking next week.

Miss T is 16 months old and has hit that point where she wants to be moving All The Time. She’s also fascinated by dolls, hats, balls and putting things into other things. With these things in mind I was on the look-out for anything that fit that bill (or, you know, anything else that might keep a young child occupied for long enough to get from here to Vanuatu).


The two shops that I went to were the Salvos and Savers. I have to admit that I found most of the items from Savers sneakily hidden in a bulk bag section. I probably spent more than I should on the items (around $15 or so) but I am convinced that I got a bunch of bargains. I would estimate that if I purchased all of the items new I would have spent something closer to at least $50.


This is all of the bags opened up. Turns out you can get a lot of stuff for $3! There were quite a few other bags that I would have liked (they had items in them similar to the ones I bought) but there weren’t as many. Spending another $3 for a single item seemed rather pointless given how much I got out of the bags.


The first item I bought was from the Salvos and its a box of animal dominoes. I actually purchased it intending to turn it into animal magnets (Miss T is a sucker for magnets), but I know that Katherine had previously been searching for animal dominoes without much success, so I figured either way these would be nifty.


These animal magnets are probably my favourite find of the lot. For $1 there were around 15 wooden animal magnets. Miss T saw these and got very excited, so I’m guessing they’re a hit. They also mean that I don’t need to turn the dominoes into magnets.


One of the things that I had been looking for were wooden beads. At my house I have a tub of wooden beads that Miss T greatly enjoys shifting from one container to another. Unfortunately I had no great luck finding wooden beads, but I did find these plastic buttons, clearly intended for threading for $2. I still have plans of attaching them individually to threads so that Miss T can move them around but I’m not sure whether I’ll have time (the buttons got left at Katherine’s house).


As I mentioned earlier, Miss T is nuts for balls. She spends much time pointing at them attempting to say “ball” (she mostly succeeds only in making the “b” sound). She also has a penchant for throwing them, which isn’t great for the plane. These balls, however, have things inside them that move when you roll them. I spent about 15 minutes last night trying to teach her that rolling them is the go, so if we combine rolling with putting them in things that will hopefully keep her occupied for more than 2 minutes at a time.


The last item that I thought I’d share are these cool plastic blocks. They stack and clip together, but they also have little things inside them that move and/or make noise. I’ve got a bunch of them already that Miss T likes to play with, so I had to grab some more when I saw them.

All in all I won’t know how successful I’ve been until Katherine gets back from Vanuatu, but I have high hopes for these toys.

Have you had to keep a young child entertained for a long time? How do you do it?


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