OP Shop Cubby

$5 in a second hand shop goes a long, long way.  As a school holiday activity, my sister and I allowed our children to explore a second hand shop for items to create a cubby-house.

Talk about excitment central.  It was like a great big treasure hunt. 

Great cubby-potential items we were looking out for:

  • mosquito net
  • pots
  • utensils
  • plastic plates
  • foldable child seats
  • basket
  • bell (for a secret call)
  • ribbons
  • blankets
  • old phone
  • cushion
  • ropes
  • pieces of wood
  • tarpaulin
  • cutlery

Children are incredibly resourceful and imaginative and I love to see how they use things.  One of my daughters found a retro telephone directory (pictured)  to keep special codes in.



Such a fun project that kept the older school children entertain and engaged for days!

This activity combines the outdoors, creativity, ingenuity, construction and environmentally friendly play. Can’t get much better than that.

Note: This activity is suited to older school aged children.  Be wary of broken and dangerous items.

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Kelly loves life at both ends of the spectrum: wearing high heel shoes one day and hiking boots the next; sipping tea out of a pretty cup and slurping hot coffee from a camping mug; challenging herself physically and stopping for quiet unhurried moments to feel the wind on her face. Kelly and her husband Matthew seek to live a fun and adventurous life with their four children and pet bird.

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  1. says

    Thanks for visiting me at The Amazing Mess!! It always makes my day when someone leaves me a comment!

    This is such a fun idea — I didn’t know what an OP shop was — but I figured it out later on! I’ll have to take mine little ones to a garage sale and see what they come up with!

  2. says

    I love this – I agree, children can be amazingly imaginative at seeing multiple uses for an object….You activity has created so many different great learning opps…My oldest child is just 2 so I will remember this idea and give it a go in a few years time…

    Mum and Dad had one of those old phone directory things and we used to play with it all the time!

  3. says

    I like the idea of giving Princess some money to go treasure hunting at the op shop. We have to go next week and get clothes to wear to an ’80’s party, so I might try it and see what she comes up with. Dress ups, tea sets, would love it if she could find a typewriter (anytime I open twitter she suddenly reveals a need to type! I think the different feel and sound of the typewriter would be awesome!).

    And the typewriter would go so well with the phone directory for setting up an office or newspaper!! Oh, now I want to play! :)

    Love the kids cubby :)

  4. says

    My girls are usually given $10 each at birthdays and Christmas to buy gifts for each other. It is fascinating to watch them try to puzzle out how to spend the $10 and get their sibling a nice gift (that they can also play with themselves 😀 )

    Love the Op Shop cubby idea. I :heart: op shops and we seem to spend much time in them.

  5. says

    What a great idea kelly! We love op shops too and we love taking our kids to “Antique/Preloved” superstores which are dotted around Victoria. The kids have found some amazing finds like old Star Wars figurines, my favourite Enid Blyton books which are now their favourites – “The Magic Faraway Tree” etc.

    We love, love, love exploring inside them – glad the kids do too!

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