Tagged free

Playing it Safe – for cheap.

This last winter I heard about what might be Madison’s Most Well-Kept thrifty secret – especially if you have babies or children and are interested in keeping them safe. (So, that would be all of us). My kids and I decided to take a little trip downtown and check it out ourselves.

The Kohl’s Safety Center, located inside the American Family Children’s Hospital, could be your one-stop-shop for all things safety related.  Last year, they sold over 1,400 bike helmets, and almost 1000 car seats.

The best part about it?  They sell them all AT COST. They also carry all of the locks and latches you need, bath thermometers and spout covers, electrical outlet and power strip covers, safety gets, bed rails, life jackets, table bumpers, Bike helmets (for toddlers to adults), Multi-Sport helmets, FREE Gun locks, Fire extinguishers, carbon monoxide an smoke alarms, books…  I could keep going, but you get the point.

They have free services – education and demonstrations on proper use/installation on ALL products they offer, helmet fittings, free car seat inspections (by appointment), presentations to groups, and safety advice by phone and email (!).

And because children with special health care needs face increased risk from unintentional injuries, the center created a Safety For Special Kids Committee that reviews and suggests specialized safety products and provides education.  They also help provide these products to special needs families at low or no cost.

Seriously, do you see how amazing this place is?  To find out more, just click here.   They are open Monday-Friday (10am-4pm – these hours aren’t updated on their site yet). To get there, park in the lot, and then head up to the main lobby and take a left and you’ll see a big rack of bike helmets waiting for you!

It’s worth the trip. We got three bike helmets, a few safety items, and a life-jacket all for $50.82. There isn’t an excuse not to be safe anymore.


Swim Free over the Holidays!

Holiday Swim Food Drive

For the 4th year in a row, SwimWest is once again teaming up with the Middleton Outreach Ministry to collect food for those less fortunate. Between December 19th and January 4th, they will be holding their Holiday Swim Food Drive at the Deming Way location in Madison. For a minimum donation of two (2) non-perishable food items per person, you can swim for FREE!

Holiday Swim Hours:

Sat December 19 —- 1:00pm – 4:45pm

Sun December 20 —- Noon – 4:45pm

Mon December 21 —- 9:00am – 4:45pm

Tue December 22 —- 9:00am – 4:45pm

Wed December 23 —- 9:00am – 4:45pm

December 24, 25, 26, 27 —- CLOSED

Mon December 28 —- 9:00am – 4:45pm

Tue December 29 —- 9:00am – 4:45pm

Wed December 30 —- 9:00am – 4:45

Thu December 31 —- 9:00am – 2:00pm

Fri January 1 —- CLOSED

Sat January 2 —- Noon – 4:45pm

Sun January 3 —- Noon – 4:45pm

5 days of free stuff at Happy Bambino

Most people ask for gifts for their birthday.  Not Happy Bambino!   They are turning 5 this week, and with true local love, they are giving away $5000 worth of goodies in five days.  (Can you believe it?!?!?!)  The great part is that there are lots of prizes over several days, so your odds of winning are much higher if you hang out with HB for the next few days and participate.

How to find out how to win all of this amazing stuff?  Join their mailing list or check out their website.

Each day of the five days they are posting info on their site as well as sending out an email with instructions on your job for the day.   Yesterday, all I had to do is look at these amazing packages and decide which I loved most.

Hard, I know.

So, join the fun!  Happy Bambino is an amazing resource for local families, and we would NEVER miss a good party.

-Ellen and Lisa

Doctor Play Kit

This is a post that could save your next trip to that store that you want to go to but your kids could do without (but they have to go anyway…). These are instructions for how to put together a doctor kit out stuff around your house.
I love the idea – making something out of things around the house.   There is a great list of what to include, but I imagine just scrounging around your bathroom and house you could find a whole bag worth of stuff.



A told B and B told C, I’ll meet you in the free mag, LMNOP

A friend of mine let me on to a little secret – you can get a Free downloadable subscription to the kid-centered magazine LMNOP.  One  issue back was all about letters, and I couldn’t stop reciting the sing along lyrics to Chicka Chicka Boom Boom while I was “leafing” through this green and graphically beautiful magazine subscription.

And don’t be confused that the latest issue focuses on spring – the mag is centered out of Australia, so it will help you get a jump start on ideas for next year.  And the blog is filled with ideas for us northern hemisphere folks alike, like directions to make this cheap, cute daisy costume.

Bike Rodeo on Friday (and free stuff)

I just ran across this event and really wanted to let folks know about it because it’s full of many of my favorite themes:  free kid fun, free prizes, friday happenings, non-profits, safety education….  Seriously.  You should go.  It’s all a part of Madison Non-Profit Day.  Sweet!

DreamBikes Bike Rodeo

DreamBikes and the LUNA Chix cycling team will be hosting a Bike Rodeo as part of NonProfit Day.  Kids age 5-15 are invited to participate in the Bike Rodeo, where they will be challenged in an obstacle course, learning bicycle and helmet safety and winning sweet prizes!  Free LUNA bars from the LUNA Chix team will fuel the rodeo stars (and their parents).  The event will be held in the parking lot across from DreamBikes at 4611 Verona Road, Madison 53711, from 11AM to NOON.  Bring your own bike and helmet, although extras will be provided by DreamBikes.  Stop in at DreamBikes to learn more about Madison’s youth-involved, non-profit bike store!

Free School Fun

My inbox has been bombarded the last few days with “free printables” and craft ideas for back to school fun.  So I thought I’d pass a few along!

Printable Lunch Notes and ID Tags from Olibollen.com

Printable Lunch Notes and ID Tags from Olibollen.com

More printable lunch box Notes!

More printable lunch box Notes!

How to make a Magnet Lunch Chart

How to make a Magnet Lunch Chart

Printable Notebook Labels

Printable Notebook Labels

And there is more here, here and here.  Us?  We’re going to work on decorating a backpack this week.  I’m thinking paints and a little iron-on-fabric.  Hiding the stains to make a new backpack for preschool…


Coffee Talk event: Get Fit, Mamas!

MomAppeal and Bean Sprouts are hosting monthly momma chats featuring local experts, and there is free coffee,  AND I can bring the kids.  Sounds good so far.

But then they said that the upcoming one is going to feature Dustin Maher, a cute fit dude who is makin’ momma’s all over Madison in shape.  Do I really want to go and listen to some guy tell me that I’m not working out enough?!  Even the free coffee didn’t make it all that appealing.  That is when I started to get skeptical.

But then I took a second to read on – “Dustin will teach 5 body-transforming exercises you can easily do at home—whether watching the kids in the yard or Oprah on TV. He’ll also advise on exercises to avoid (yes mamas, it’s crunches!), and share nutrition tips on the top metabolism-boosting foods you can eat.”  Uh, ok.  Now That sounds good.   I could use a little advice, and a way to fit some more fitness into my already crammed life!

You can read more here, but here is the down and dirty:

Date: Tuesday, August 18

Time: 10am-11am

FREE! Bring the kids.

Location: Bean Sprouts cafe, 6719 Frank Lloyd Wright Avenue, Suite 101, Middleton, WI 53562. 608.826.6YUM.