Welcome! I am a mom to two wonderful kids, a lovely retired greyhound, and a wife to a great husband. Needless to say, there are a lot of daily messes to clean up around our house. Daily Messes is my blog to share ideas on things to do with your kids, snack and meal ideas, crafts, and holiday fun. I hope you find something to enjoy!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Freebies for Kids

As I'm sure every parent knows, kids are sometimes bottomless pits of "I want".  Luckily there a few freebies out there!

Trader Joe's Tree Frog
Many grocery stores give out free cookies (although due to peanut allergies, many keep them behind the counters now. Just ask the bakery counter if they give out kids cookies. You might get one too!). This is usually my kids reward for good behavior during a grocery store outing. It is our last stop before heading to the check out counter. This way, their mouths are happy with a cookie and they (generally) ignore the evil impulse buy items. If you have a Meijer near you, many have a horse ride for $0.01 (also my kids' reward for good behavior).

Other grocery stores offer different things. Whole Foods has a treasure box, which at our location has small bags of chips, pretzels, and cheese puffs (all organic). Trader Joe's offers stickers at the check-out lanes, and the designs vary on the season. Our local Trader Joe's also has a lime green stuffed animal tree frog, which hides around the store. If the kids find it, they have to tell the cashier or customer service desk and they get to pick out of the Treasure Box (lollipops).

Check out your local museums! Many times they have a free day. Where I live, the Art Museum is free on Fridays. The Children's Museum also has a free day occasionally in the summer. Also during the summer, some local communities offer free outdoor movie nights and free local community orchestra concerts.

Working on Lego Build
For the Lego lover in your life, local Lego stores offer a free build one day each (dates/times may vary per store). The lines for this start early and can get long, so be prepared to wait (ie, bring snacks, coloring pages, games, books). The website says ages 6-12, but they let my youngest old make one with his brother. Here's a link to find a store near you, and one to find events.

Story times are often offered at local libraries and bookstores.
Here's a link to Barnes and Noble's website to find a store near you. Barnes and Noble's also offers a Kids Club, which you can sign up up for free and they get a free cupcake or cookie from the book store's Cafe on their birthday.

Disney Stores also offer story times, as well as a coloring page area. Here's a link to find Disney store near you, and one to find special events going on at the stores.

If you have a craft builder in your family, Home Depot offers free workshops for kids 5-12. It is usually the first Saturday of the month. They get a free apron and get to keep the craft they made. If you are interested, click here.

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