2010 Summer Reading Programs for Kids

This summer when your kids start to get bored, remind them that they can make money and get lots of fun free stuff, simply by reading a couple minutes each day!  We participated in a lot of these programs last year and had an incredible time!

Half Price Books Summer Reading Program - Feed Your Brain

Half Price Books Summer Reading Program - Feed Your Brain Across the nation, Half Price Books is offering their “Feed Your Brain” summer reading program from June 1,
2010
through July 31, 2010! This is a GREAT deal! If your child reads 15 minutes each day a week, you can pick up a $3 gift card! We made this a Saturday tradition, turning in our reading log and picking out a new book or two (from the children’s clearance section!)

  • Information for parents/teachers here
  • Feed Your Brain reading log (printed copies also available in-store!)
  • Official flyer to help spread the word at work!

Scholastic Summer Reading Program

Scholastic Summer Challenge

2010 Barnes & Noble Summer Reading program

Barnes and Noble is also offering a FREE book for every 8 books you read this summer!

  • Download their passport and choose from a list of books for each reading level!
  • Here is a list of all the books your child can choose from
  • Educators download this reading kit
  • Parents can get additional information from this parent kit

Children can return their completed kits from May 25 through September 7th!

Borders Double-Dog Dare Summer Reading Program

Borders Summer Reading program double-dog dares you to read 10 books, record the names, and bring the printed form to any Borders store for a FREE book!

*For kids 12 and under, starts 5/4/2010 and lasts through 8/26/2010!

Pottery Barn Kids Book Club and Summer Reading Program

Pottery Barn Kids Book Club is every Tuesday from 1100am to 1130am. Visit 5 times and your children will receive a free gift!

National Amusement Bookworm Wednesdays

Bookworm Wednesdays from National Amusements is offering FREE admission to select children’s film after presenting a book report to participating Showcase Cinemas, Multiplex Cinemas, or Cinema De Lux box offices! Checkout their locations. Print this form to complete the book report with your child.

HEB Buddy Summer Reading Program

HEB Buddy is also offering a summer reading program! Read 10 books and return this form by October 1st for cool prizes from HEB Buddy!

San Antonio Public Library Summer Reading Program

San Antonio Public Library wants you to join the Mayor’s Summer Reading Club! From June 15th through August 31st, you’ll get a certificate and FREE book for every 15 books you read!

2010 Earth Day Printable Activities and Crafts for Kids

Check out everything that you and your child can do for FREE this April 22, 2010 to build good habits for a lifetime! Doesn’t have to be isolated to the 40th anniversary of Earth Day either…check out these activities throughout the year!

PBS Kids Earth Day

PBSKids.org has dedicated:

Lakeshore Learning

I LOVE this store! Not only do they have great online resources, they offer a FREE quality craft each Saturday from 11am-3pm. We normally go and afterwards make the rounds to all the display toys, free entertainment!

2010 Earth Day Printable Activities from Lakeshore Learning

Earth Day Celebrated by Children’s Publishing Companies

Harper Collins Children Publishing Co.

The children’s book publishing company offers:

Read the following books online for FREE w/ your children:

  1. It’s Earth Day | Little Critter

    Its Earth Day | Little Critter

  2. The Greenest Day | My Little Pony

  3. Every Day is Earth Day | Fancy Nancy

  4. Biscuit's Earth Day Celebration

Scholastic

Scholastic has a GREAT site for Teachers, Kids, and Parents to help prepare you for Earth Day! Tons of fun, FREE printable activities, online games, and great website layouts!

2010 Earth Day Printable Activities and Crafts for Kids

Other Earth Day Crafts & Activities

Tons of fun activities and printable crafts for the kids and family to enjoy!

  • Kaboose – crafts, organic food information, lessons, including their “Go Green” checklist
  • Crayola – tons of printable crafts, ideas, and activities

Lowe’s Build and Grow Clinics | FREE Kid Woodworking Crafts

Lowe’s Build and Grow Clinics are offered every other Saturdays at 10am. Kids get to build a FREE wooden project.

After going to the website you’ll get to see the next two upcoming projects and reserve a space online! You don’t have to sign up before attending but you have to get there early because once all the projects have been handed out they’re done! I normally try to go to a Lowe’s that’s more out of the way so that there’s less competition in case we’re running late.

My 6 year old daughter and I have been going for a couple of years and have made some incredible projects! You can buy any project that you missed online but it’s DEFINITELY worth it to attend when the crafts are FREE!

Participants receive:

  • Free apron
  • Goggles
  • Project themed patch (for their apron)
  • Certification of merit

Don’t forget to become a Fan of Lowe’s on Facebook and follow their tweets, @lowes.

Lowe’s Build and Grow Apron, Goggles, Hammer (child-sized)

Lowe's Build and Grow Woodworking craft

Valentine’s Day Jewelry Box Craft

Lowe's Build and Grow Woodworking craft

Birdhouse Building Kit

Lowe's Build and Grow Woodworking craft also available for purchase

Lowe's Build and Grow Woodworking craft

If You Give a Moose a Muffin | Magik Theatre

The Magik Theatrehttp://www.magiktheatre.org

Phone: 210.227.2751

Directions:  420 South Alamo, San Antonio, Texas 78205  { Map }

Hopefully you read my other post on the beloved Laura Numeroff “If You Give a…” series that includes tons of printable education resources, online games, and party supplies related to the books that started with “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”…if not check it out!  While you’re at it, if you live in San Antonio, check out their most recent play, David Morgan’s adaptation of “If You Give a Moose a Muffin”…which includes tons of funny scenes (for kids AND parents.)

Check out all the shows planned for 2010!

The Magik Theatre also offers teachers a downloadable PDF for classroom study.

Get Tickets

February 16 – March 20, 2010
Tuesday – Friday 9:45 am & 11:30 am
Friday at 7 pm & Saturdays at 2 pm

Order tickets here.  If you get the Entertainment 2010 coupon book there’s also a buy one, get one free coupon included in the book!

Check out this video preview:

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie | Laura Numeroff

I got home from work and needed to relax so I decided to see what my tweeps were talking about on Twitter. I was going through the tweets when I saw one from @JoshGroban asking:

If I’m not familiar with the series, should I begin with If You Give A Mouse A Cookie or If You Give A Moose A Muffin?

And so of course, anyone familiar with Laura Numeroff‘s beloved books, illustrated by Felicia Bond, which started in 1985, would know that you have to start with “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”. So I tweeted back to @JoshGroban (just to let him know, along with his many other followers) and decided to write a blog post about what a great children’s book series it is…

If You Give a… Book Series

After deciding to write about it, I realized that it would be great to include information about the author so I googled “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” and found a link to the publishers website for each book at Harper Collins (link to If You Give… series).  Of course I knew that I couldn’t write a blog post without looking at each of the following books:

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

Includes a link to an audio excerpt, the critic’s corner, and a link to the books’ official website: MouseCookieBooks.com.

Help Pig find her way to a pile of pancakes with this printable activity…when you’re done with that, help Pig look for hidden words with this activity.

If You Give a Cat a Cupcake

This cool Cat comes with a complete activity kit filled with many different printables, If You Give a Cat a Cupcake stickers, and a coloring sheet.

More information from the publisher about If You Give a Pig a Party

And if you decide to throw a pig a party, you might want to have printable activities to pass out to your guests:

  • Pick the Correct Pig sheet
  • Pig Party Event Kit filled with activities and suggestions.

More information from the publisher about If You Take a Mouse to the Movies

More information from the publisher about If You Take a Mouse to School

Online Games

Once I made sure I had read all of the books, I wanted to see the If You Give… books official website.

You can play a matching game that starts off more easily with Mouse’s Little Matching Game but you can work yourself up to a bigger challenge with Pig or Moose.

After matching, you can play more education games, Mouse’s Counting Game, Pig’s Letter Game, and Moose’s Shape Game.

If you’re like me and the Cat with the Cupcake rocks your world the most, you might want to play the If You Give a Cat a Cupcake Game in order to win a very special recipe!

Teacher Resources

And if your getting you child ready for school, you’re going to want to check out this interview with the author and book activity which is not only fun but a great way to get your kids excited about school.

And if you want to get your child excited for school, you might want to help their teacher discover these incredible fun resources like this classroom activity guide for teachers which includes fun lesson plans for many different school subjects. And if you’re already doing a lesson plan on the books, you might want specific worksheets like this specifically for If You Give a Cat a Cupcake book.

And if you have already spent all of this time writing a blog post, you’re going to want to see what’s been happening on Twitter. And if you check your tweeps’ tweets, you might get the idea for another blog post.

Valentine’s Day Printable Activities and Crafts for Kids

While I was finishing my last post on Valentine’s Day sales and promotions I was already mentally writing this one.  With Valentine’s Day only slightly more than two weeks away, I figured I better hurry up and find some great children activities for the holiday we love to love.

I assumed my favorite children’s websites for printable activities would have special crafts online, available to download.  I was right! In no particular order here are some fun activities for children and other thoughtful resources for parents.

PBS Parents Valentine's Day Resources printable valentine's day kids crafts

PBS Parents offer lots of ideas to get you in the holiday spirit.  For parents are several links to various articles and resources about feelings, diversity, and other characteristics that are perfect to teach around this time through books and games, as well as recipes to share with your family.

PBS Kids Valentine's Day Resources and online games

PBS Kids includes printable activities, coloring pages, and e-cards of all your favorite, educational friends.  It also lists information about special programming on February 13th with the heart-filled theme.

Martha Stewart Valentine's Day Resources and crafts printable valentines crafts

Depending on how ambitious you’re feeling, check out Martha Stewart’s website for kids activities.  (Here for more adult sized activities…not that adult… ;-P)  Includes everything from cards, cute packaging, candies, and soap!  Very cute and surprisingly easy to put together.  Be prepared for printing the templates…I made several of them successfully. Some I gave up.

Here are four of the 27 Valentine’s Day crafts

Valentine's Day Crafts Valentine's Day Crafts  printable valentine's day kids crafts Valentine's Day heart activity Valentine's Day Crafts paper folding  printable valentine's day kids crafts

Index for all Martha Stewart activities online for Valentine’s.

nick jr valentine's day activities and online games

Nick Jr’s Valentine’s also jumped on the Valentine’s Day bandwagon with their dedicated site too.  The front page is an advent calendar that your child can return each day to click different dates for a fun surprise to open.  Grouped by week, view previous weeks and come back each week to unlock more.  My daughter’s favorite, Olivia, remains to be unlocked!

Check out the resources for parents here too.  Or let Max and Ruby help you plan a classroom party or soiree for friends.

All Valentine’s Day printable activities for many different ages…I have always been very impressed with Nick Jr.’s printable activities…they’re definitely a step higher than most.  I hate the ones that only offer coloring pages, my daughter doesn’t stay entertained with coloring but crafts will keep her busy for hours!

Kid Coupons

Chuck E Cheese is offering this FREE printable Valentine card w/ a coupon for 5 FREE tokens.  Your child can give all of their friends 5 tokens while saying Happy Valentine’s Day!  Expires 3/2.

Fun, Educational Resources for 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics

If you’re looking for game schedules, freebies, athletes that tweet, and other details about this year’s Winter Games, check out my other blog post, 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.  As I was writing that post I ran into incredible education resources and fun stuff for kids…I wanted to keep it separate and figure out which was worth investigating.

This post is dedicated to the educational opportunities for teachers and kids being offered online!  I have found links to online games, printable worksheets and coloring pages, and also information that I definitely didn’t expect to find preschool aged children through the 12th grade!  Emotionally connect your family and students to the 21st Winter Olympics with these resources!

Meeting the 2010 Olympic Mascots

2010 Olympic Mascots
From left to right, meet snowboarding Miga, Quatchi who loves playing hockey, and Sumi.

***Find out when you can meet them LIVE!

Mascot

Meaning Behind Choice

Quatchi the SasquatchQuatchi the Sasquatch The sea bear is inspired by the legends of the Pacific Northwest First Nations, tales of orca whales that transform into bears when they arrive on land.The Kermode bear is a rare white or cream-coloured sub-species of the black bear that is unique to the central West Coast of British Columbia.
Sumi the Animal SpiritSumi the Animal Spirit Transformation is a common theme in the art and legend of West Coast First Nations. Transformation represents the connection and kinship between the human, animal and spirit world.The bear often represents strength and friendship. And the thunderbird — which creates thunder by flapping its wings — is one of the most powerful of the supernatural creatures.
Miga the Young Sea BearMiga the young sea bear The sasquatch is a popular figure in local native legends of the Pacific West Coast.The sasquatch reminds us of the mystery and wonder that exist in the natural world, igniting our imagination about the possibility of undiscovered creatures in the great Canadian wilderness.

Online 2010 Olympic Games & Activities for Kids

Game

Details

Miga Moves Mascot Rockband, match the letters V/B/N/M in time to falling starfish!Difficulty:  MediumThis one takes some keyboard coordination…older kids (and adults) will really enjoy!
Soaring SumiVancouver winter Olympic online games: Soaring Sumi Keep Sumi flying across Canada by hitting the spacebar to move up!  Fly up or down to avoid obstacles and hit health points!Difficulty:  EasyEasier than most games, simple hit spacebar without worrying about other keys/mouse.
Shootout ShutoutVancouver winter Olympic online games: shootout shutout Face off against Miga and Sumi in some fast-paced one-on-one hockey!Difficulty:  HardThis game takes the MOST coordination, not only do you have to use LEFT and RIGHT arrow keys to move back and forth as the goalie, you also have to use the 1-3 number keys that correspond with colored pucks.  Definitely for older kids.
Operation RecycleVancouver winter Olympic online games: operation recycle Help Miga, Quatchi, and Sumi with their neighborhood recycling program!Difficulty:  Easy/MediumAlthough it does not require a lot of coordination it does require some thought.  Complete rounds by successfully finishing 5 levels.  Includes a little physics, test your trajectory skills by holding the mouse button down and dragging to aim towards target!

*My 6 year old daugher enjoyed this game the most!

Which Mascot Are You LikeVancouver winter Olympic online games: which mascot are you like Take this quiz to see which mascot you’re most like…your child’s first personality test…next stop Meyer-Briggs! 🙂

Other Fun Activities:

Send E-cardssend 2010 winter olympics ecards Select 1 of 4 mascot scenes, decorate VERY easily, add verbage, and send to family and friends!
Crafts and Color Printables2010 winter olympics crafts and color printables Download and print craft activities (make 3-d mascots!!) and get printable coloring sheets
Download Desktops & Wallpapersdownload 2010 winter olympics desktops and wallpapers Download (for Windows only…) an interactive desktop to decorate with stickers, information about the ceremony, add an Olympics countdown, and much more…Download static Wallpapers for those that desires less interactivity.  🙂

Paralympic Games

Sumi is officially the mascot of the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Game…check out this printable passport activity book to track his and your journeys!  After printing out those, print out this printable coloring sheet to color your own Sumi!

Featured Programs

Check out these fun facts about the Paralympic Winter Games (pdf).  Although Paralympic School Week in School has already passed officially (November 2-6, 2009) you can still support the Paralympic Games any time.  Resources for educators found on the official games website here.  Here’s the link to the “Guide for Educators” to celebrating in your skills with informative details, activities, and other helpful stuff.


Educational Resources

The Canadian Olympic School program seeks to inspire young students through Olympian stories, activities, projects, activities and more and offers:

  • Teacher Resources for educators with printable PDFs, videos, pictures, and more!
  • Student Lounge geared towards school aged kids
  • Playground for Younger Kids means you don’t have to be in school to catch the spirit with additional games, puzzles, and contests.
  • Library section to answer all your kids’ questions

School-Aged Kids: Additionally there are these printable Olympic Games Project Packs pdf.  Includes additional resources for teachers or your kids:

Passing the Torch Activities:

Topic

Details

Math & Science Grades 4-7Discover the math and science behind the Olympic Torch and the Olympic Torch Relay Route.
Social Studies Grades K-3, 4-7, and 8-10Learn more about your community and Canadian heritage through Olympic Torch Relay themed lesson plans.
Language Arts Grades 1-7 and 8-10Explore how the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay will bring Canadians together in the spirit of peace, unity and friendship.
Physical Activity Grades 1-7 and 8-10Get your students active in the spirit of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay.



Make Your Own Peace

This is a wonderful opportunity to teach kids about practicing peaceful behaviors and making peace in their home and communities.  Starting on February 4, 2010, check out “Sharing the Dream” webcasts inspired by the Olympic Truce and led by children.




Halloween Tailgating Events

Haven’t caught the fall spirit yet this year?  Have to much stuff to do already?  Kids can’t stop talking about the big day?  This post includes all kinds of Halloween tailgating events to get you and your family psyched for the big day!  Fun things to do and entertain through the upcoming weeks!

This Halloween series of posts will include:

  • Halloween WoW – Holiday special, this website of the week is a real treat!
  • Halloween Tailgating – Tailgating events to get you psyched for game day!  Get Halloween to “go green” and find friend and family fun!
  • Trick or Treating – Check out my ideas to breathe new life into an age old tradition!  Great ideas for individuals, families, neighbors, and friends.

Go Green!!  …and not from candy…

Go green, win big!! ChicoBag and Green Halloween’s® 2nd ANNUAL TRICK-OR-TREAT BAG DESIGN CONTEST – “Children ages 1-13 are encouraged to enter the contest by submitting an original drawing best depicting the spirit of a Green Halloween.”

Who: Ghosts and Goblins ages 1-13

What: An original design depicting the “spirit” of a Green Halloween

When: Images due October 24, 2009 by 5:00 PM Pacific Time. (Winner will be notified no later than 11/5/09.)

Ghouly Girls and Bootiful Boys Boys can create the 2010 Green Halloween ChicoBag™ and win a bag of green goodies!

Monster Mashup – Oriental Trading Company came up with a great website to easily make mashup video with up to 5 of your closet friends with an awesome Halloween backdrop!  I made one with my daughter of her and her friends and she almost died laughing! Easily share with your friends through email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Check out the one I did of San Antonio Social Media super stars @ColleenPence, @Nanpalmero, @1337wine, @ashleypalmero, and @anaflores!

Bonus:  Upload your pictures or use existing pictures from Facebook!  Using FacebookConnect, you can select from your existing photo albums or use friends!  It was super simple to do!  Don’t forget you can also resize the area around the face to select – for optimal mashup potential!

Halloween Tailgating

There are a lot of fun events going on before Halloween even gets here!  Don’t wait until the end of the month; check your newspaper for local events!

1 – Bass Pro Shop! You heard me right!  I have been more and more impressed with the activities offered here!  Oct. 24/25 and Oct. 30/31, get there early and stay for different crafts and activities offered throughout the day and store!  Make a leather craft, rope a bronco, partake in kid costume parades, paint a craft pumpkin, roast marshmallows, and lots of other GREAT events!

2 – Lakeshore Learning Store! Enjoy making a different Halloween themed craft each Saturday during the month of October.  Crafts include silly scarecrows, countdown calendars, and other things to drive you batty while your child has a lot of fun!  All locations from 11am-3pm.

3 – Pumpkin Patches! This was one of my favorite October traditions!  Find a local pumpkin patch, maybe as cool as this oneSouth Texas Maize!  Right outside of San Antonio, TX…it even has a corn maze (one kid friendly and one more difficult!)  Help you kids select their own pumpkins, snack on fall snacks, take a hayride, and automatically have the picture backdrop for Halloween pictures.

I’ll also continue to update this post as I find more family friendly events as well!  Check back for that and my next post on alternatives to trick or treating or ways to spice it up!

Top 8: Kid Websites

As a geeky mommy, my daughter has safely been playing on the computer since she was two.  She has great fine-motor skills, able to open Windows, and typing her name.  (I even taught her select all because she wanted to delete quickly.)

She also spends a lot of time (healthy amounts of time, of course) play on different online games.  She was an excellent critic as I was refining this list…as there were several sites we’re not mentioning for a reason.  These sites were fun, educational, and most important easy for her to use.  She had no problems navigating around the site and finding activities she was interested in doing.  They were challenging and age appropriate.  Some of the sites below are also for kids through middle school.  Take advantage of all the free websites out there for our children.

1. National Geographic for Kids“A Parents’ Choice Recommended Winner” in 2008, this site has games, videos, interactive activities, printable suggestions and crafts.

  • My Page – personalize your child’s page, easily find favorite activities,
  • Get the full list of activities here.  (It goes on for FOREVER!)

2. PBS KIds One of my daughter’s favorite sites, these site has tons of resources for parents and resources.  (Almost all these sites have resources for parents too.)

  • Games – games that corresponds with all the kid’s favorites.
  • Music – get up and dance with your child!
  • Coloring – print out the pages and take them with you in the car to entertain them on errands.
  • PBS Go! – watch different clips from shows, shows not shown on TV and also create an account and save scores as your child plays!

3. NickThe main Nickelodeon site, not only does it link you to the other sites it provides games, videos, events, deals, and tons of other activities!

  • Sign up for the newsletter.
  • Games – all the regular Nickelodeon shows for the slightly older aged crowd.
  • Neopets – Quickly create an account for your child and let them pick a Neopet to play, choosing colors, names, and powers.  An online, reality village for kids.  The pre-WoW game, earn points, buy things for your pet.  Feed and dress your Neopet too.  18 different lands for your child to explore!

Nick Jr. There are tons of games and activities that can be played WITHOUT playing.  Shows are targeted from young preschool through 6 year olds.  Another Nick site for preschool shows, Noggin offers even more games and activities.

  • Sign up for the newsletter.
  • Videos unseen on TV.

4. Kids.govTwo different age groups (K-5 and 6-8), the website includes government links and external sites.

  • Sections include: Arts, Careers, Computer and Technology, Fun Stuff, Government, Health/Fitness/Safety, Math, Money, Science, Social Studies, and State websites
  • Check out everything here.

5. DisneyTons of different activities, printables, games, videos, and clips from preschool through tween shows.  Find out information about visiting Disney, upcoming local events,

  • Text MOBILE to DISNEY (347639) to get new text alerts and other alerts from Disney.
  • My Page – personalize your child’s page so they see the same activities each time.

6. Discovery Kids Fun and games, videos to watch, upcoming TV shows, and regularly syndicated shows.

  • Ready, Set, LearnA lot of activities younger kids, games include Magic School Bus and other popular shows.
  • Educational activities, learn about mummies, and other age appropriate, scientific activities!
  • Beyond – Education videos that will take your child all over the world.
  • Games – games for younger and older kids, everything from the mindless to the mindful.  Lots of challenging quizzes.

7. Character Sites – Through the years my daughters tastes in shows has matures from Thomas the Train to Olivia the Pig.  A lot of times shows will have games and printables on the TV website it’s currently playing on…but the author/creator will often have their own website as well.  Don’t just stop at the normal channels, make use of Google and make sure you’ve found all the time consuming activities available.  🙂

8. Scholastic KidsOffers spotlights on different authors for school aged kids.

  • Videos with clips of special events, meet the authors/celebrities, and information on your favorite series.
  • Their blog includes random book recommendations, unknown facts, and contests.
  • Games include online, puzzle, and downloadable games.
  • You can also send out cute e-cards.
  • Play different writing games.
  • Choose your own adventures fun for you AND your child

I didn’t go into a lot of detail of any of these sites.  I wanted to point out a couple unknown sites and if they were already popular I hoped to point activities that have been well broadcasted yet.

Please help your children explore these sites safely and enjoy the time you’re given back while they’re lost in the other kind of online entertainment.

University Bowl 101…

At University Bowl, take advantage of the free student bowling program.  Students bowl their first game free, Monday through Friday, 9am-12pm.  Make sure you print out the consent form first.  Shoes are required but available for a discounted rate – $2.25 per pass holder.

Also make sure you join them on Aug. 5th for Customer Appreciation Day!  From 5pm-7pm, bowl for FREE!  First come, first served, limit to 2 games per person!  Shoe rentals for only $1.79!

Want to hear about all the specials in the future?  Become a fan on FB and join their mailing lists.

If you give a mouse a cookie…

The Magik Theater located in downtown San Antonio only produces plays based on children books.  I know they visited my daughter’s public elementary school to preform “School House Rock” and they also visited her private summer school program to give another theatrical performance.

Seating 600 parents and children, the list of performances are rich and fun.  They recently announced the return of the production, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”, which we were wait listed for when we waltzed up, expecting to get a ticket to the show on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.  They did find us a seat but suggested in the future either purchasing the tickets online or coming on a slower day (weekday or night).  Times normally range from Mon/Tue-Friday from 9:45 and 11:30, with additional showings on Friday at 7pm and Saturday at 2pm.  Plenty of options for everyone.

Up-coming shows include “The Kid who Ran for President” and “The Nutcracker: A Holiday Comedy.”  After the show, kids have a chance to buy souvenirs and get their programs signed by the enthusiastic cast members.  We normally buy the shirt from the show to support the theater and then ask the cast members to sign it.  (They’ve always had sharpie markers – bring a camera though, GREAT Kodak moment.)

They also have a small snack bar and you can eat during the performance.  There’s a balcony but don’t sit up there if your kid is the kind to want to jump…

Especially if you’re looking for a place to entertain the kiddos, out of the heat, head to the Magik Theater while its showing from July 29 – August 15!

There’s also a very nice park, right outside the theater, covered with a lot of trees.  It has swings, slides, and many forts, a very clean, large, and comfortable downtown playground and picnic area.

Follow on FB and Twitter to get the most up to date news, their mailing list also includes summer camp information!  Look for the “Buy one, get one FREE” coupon in your Entertainment book (buy 2009’s for ONLY $7.99, normally $25!!!), every school’s favorite fundraiser!

***Final note:  Is your child’s birthday coming up and you’ve already done the Chuck E. Cheese thing?  Create a magical time and bring the party to the theater!  With 3 options, your child will enjoy the play with their friends and have everything set up with the supplies you bring when the show concludes.  Pay a little extra and even get costumed cast mates to make cameos!

Cow Appreciation Day

***We all need a little humor in our lives…

At Chick-fil-a, the second Friday of July is Cow Appreciation Day.  If you dress like a cow you will get a FREE combo meal, if your child is dressed like a cow, they will also get a free kid’s meal.

Don’t have a cow costume?!  No problem!  Print out this cow mask.

NOTE:  Chick-fil-a does differentiate between full cow and partial cow costumes:

Full cow == head to toe effort     => FREE Combo meal
Partial cow == wearing the mask    => FREE Entrée

Maybe you could wear all white and be an albino cow?

Passport to Adventure!

Those of you familar with the uber-outdoors retailer, REI, knows how important being outside is.  Did you also know what an interactive website they have?!  Got kids?  Download this Passport to Adventure geared towards kids 5-12.  After they complete the journal they can send in for their free own special prize“binoculars or a whistle that turn into other cool tools including a compass, magnifying glass and more!” The website also offers numerous other printable activities, great for exploring outside.  You can also click on their interactive map to find family friendly activities, across the US.

6 kid-activities for the 6th day of the week…

Throughout the year, not just during the summer, join the following places for kid-friendly events:

  1. Lakeshore Learning – store offers a Saturday arts and craft activity.  Not only are the crafts cleverly designed but also very intricate and interesting.  We normally go for about an hour or so, doing the craft and then going around the store and playing with all the toys laid out on display.  We sometimes bring a friend or meet someone there.  On holidays they offer multiple things to do, perfect gifts for all the grandparents, aunts and uncles.
  2. Lowe’s – signup because supplies and slots go by for this bi-monthly clinic for kids…make a putting green, pirate ship, and many more fun things, again FREE!  Activities are from 10-11 and you get the Lowe’s apron on the first visit to collect pins for each craft.
  3. Home Depot – on the first Saturday of every month, visit here for another hammer and nails activity.  They’ll also get a kid-size apron and activity pin, FREE!
  4. Michael’s – Called the Knack, this Michael’s website is for kids and educators.  Check out the calendar event for different crafts scheduled…as well as joining the club!  Receive special offers, birthday specials, and event news!
  5. San Antonio Audubon Society – 2nd Saturdays have gone to the birds!  Join the society for a junior walk, everyone welcomed…binoculars available!
  6. Houston Street Fair – the last Saturday of every month, from 12pm-6pm, come down for this FREE family event with a different theme each month.  Bring a lawn chair and enjoy local crafts and foods…

Kid-approved* summer activities…

*Based on the approval of one 6 year old girl…but I think you’ll agree.

The only ones who look forward to the summertime are educational professionals…everyone else knows that for 2 and a half months, everything entertaining you can do with your children will be done within the first week.  After that, creative juices stop flowing as freely.

This summer, instead of dreading the summer schedule, use this post as a guide to family-fun, found in San Antonio (and wherever chain establishments exist.)  Use it also as suggestions for searching local places in your city!

Check here for the best valued Chuck E. Cheese coupons (click on the link with the “Best Daily Deal” sticker).  100 tokens for $10 (normally you’d pay $25 for that many…)  You’ll also get this coupon the first time you register on Chuck E. Cheese’s website, also print out reward calendars and certificates worth more FREE tokens.  During my last visit I asked about weekly programs and they didn’t know of any…

The City of San Antonio’s Park and Recreation Department offers cost-effective summer programs to keep your kids engaged and outdoors.  More information on the San Antonio Youth Sports – this website has Boys & Girls Club, YMCA, and other kid organization game schedules…also has information about golf camps and other clinics.

Weekly summer activities throughout the week:

Family Summer Film Festivals:

  1. Regal Entertainment GroupFamily Festival Film Festival at 10am on Tuesday s and Wednesdays take your kids to the movies, for FREE!
  2. AMC TheatersSummer Movie Camp $1 admission…all proceeds go to charity!  Shows start at 10am on Wednesday.  During this time you can also get the AMC KidsPack (drink, popcorn, candy) for only $3!

Peter Piper Pizza is celebrating schools out with Summer Kid’s Days, every Tuesday from 11-1pm…$3.49 gets you 2 slices of pizza, a drink, dessert, and fun activities, different themes each week.

Incredible Pizza offers a different deal every day…check out their website (sign up for their mailing list too – they’re pretty good coupons!)

*This place gets CRAZY busy…go earlier in the day or during the school year for the most enjoyable days…

Bet you wouldn’t have guess this!  Bass Pro Shop has an entire summer calendar of fun activities – every Saturday and Sunday from 12-6pm!  Different crafts every weekend, you and your child can make a lure, birdhouse and leather keychain!  Free s’mores cookout!  Free casting pond to learn fishing skills, workshops (offered Tues/Thur/Sat/Sun, free pin for each 30 minute workshop you attend…different workshops from 3-7pm, check schedule), laser shooting, photographs – everything is FREE!!  They even have a kid’s website!  While in-store don’t forget to pick up your FREE summer guide, 48 pages of everything you need to know while outdoors.

Check back for new posts – I’ll keep the activities coming!