Summer means fun-filled days that stretch into long sunny evenings – hours by the pool, picnics, and cookouts will surely grace the calendars of many summer lovers, like myself. As summer rolls around each year, I find myself wandering the aisles of the Dollar Store, filling my basket with items I will need for the season. 

An average summer day around our house can be filled with impromptu gatherings, last-minute kickball games and staying up late to catch fireflies. It seems I can never have enough supplies on hand for all the surprise fun that pops up. 

This year, I decided to think ahead about what I will use (and want) the most this summer. After just half an hour in the Dollar Store, I discovered the top 10 things I couldn't live without. Wondering what you might need to toss in your cart next time? Consider these...

1. Glow Sticks

Great for sleepovers, night swims, and just plain post-sunset fun!

2. Water Balloons

An exciting way to cool off on those extra hot days.

3. Puzzles

These are great to have available on rainy afternoons.

4. Sand Toys

Kids don't need the beach to find a use for buckets and shovels. 

5. Silly String

A crowd favorite for backyard parties. 

6. Balls

My kids love getting outside and playing with just about any type of sports ball. At only $1, they can have one of each kind!

7. Disposable Cups

Stocking up on these pays off when neighbors and friends pop over for afternoon play time and weekend barbecues.

8. Sunglasses

It's never a bad idea to have some extra sunglesses – kid and adult size – to toss in the pool bag and car.

9. Flip Flops

These are a summer staple in my home and since my boys are constantly misplacing their flip flops, having a few pair makes life easier on all of us. 

10. Hand Wipes/Sanitizer

Being outside and on the go means not always having soap and water nearby. Load up on wipes and sanitizer to tidy up in a pinch!

These are just a few ideas to get you started. If you are anything like me, your cart will have these items plus bubbles, chalk, jump ropes, and red licorice.

Here's to a happy summer for you and your family!