Winter Fun for Free (or almost free)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Yes, ask my boys, and they will say that WINTER is their favorite season! They not only love sledding, snowball fights, and ice skating, but they have discovered skiing. Now all but the last COULD be free or near free! Here are just a few quick ideas for winter fun!

Parks, including taking Fido to the dog parks- Both kids and dogs have a blast! Take a hike, so to speak!

School activities to watch or participate in - Our school system offer indoor swimming one night a week for $1.00/pp. Ballgames can be very exciting, and the dramas, choral and band shows are fantastic! All brought to you at reasonable prices.

Churches are hosting more and more opportunities- Many are offering organized sport activities too. With school’s having to cut many arts and physical education classes, it is timely that churches have compensated.

Museums – Our Indianapolis Children’s Museum offers a free evening every month, and our Indianapolis Art Museum is ALWAYS free! The Indiana State Museum and others, offer free or discounted opportunities.

Fun Food – There are endless ways to make cooking and baking fun with kids! They not only learn to prepare and appreciate the food, but it’s something they feel pride with, when shared with others.

Indoor Play Areas featuring inflatables and tubes- The one close to our home, offers a free evening and has other discounted coupons or discounted evenings available. Some fast food restaurants offer tubes for free…(Well, you probably should buy some food from them!)

Movie Theaters – Many have coupons online or cheaper times of the day, to see the same show.

Visit Another City- Just to see what they have to offer. Maybe they have a special museum or interesting shops, colleges, planetariums, or aquariums.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

As we celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King, we think about the messages he imparted on a generation. These messages are valuable to children, families, and communities. As we were contemplating the title of this blog, the word “tolerance” was suggested. A co-worker correctly pointed out however, that we should not just be “tolerant”, but rather appreciative of others…their differences, their uniqueness, their strengths, and their foibles. Now that the holidays are over and the “winter” doldrums have really arrived, it’s more important than ever to remember families and remember that there are many who continue to need support and appreciation. Those attributes should not just occur during the holiday season, but most especially now, as we celebrate a man who believed in justice, forgiveness, peace, and most importantly…appreciation.

My Experience With Poisons and My Kid

Monday, January 4, 2010

Here’s my story: Imagine you’re babysitting for a family member who needs time away from their toddler. (Sounds like I’m a saint, right?) I bring my toddler, so the two can play.

You’re semi-aware that your relative chews tobacco, but you don’t give it a second thought as you happily watch the two-year-olds at play. Then you notice your lil guy carrying around a shiny pop can…and it hits you…did he just drink whatever’s in that can?

Horrified, you confirm your suspicions…Yep, that’s NOT pop, but a thick, brownish substance (I’m being real nice here, calling it a substance!) in a “recycled” can, that your not-so-favorite-anymore relative left behind for your curious two year old to find! Yuck!

Immediately I remove all cans from the immediate area, and called 911 for poison control. (1-800-222-1222). All ended up fine that day, but did my relative get an ear full!

The point is that poisons surround us all every day. Young children have no idea what’s dangerous and what is not. IT IS ALL OF OUR JOBS TO WATCH OUT FOR ALL THE CHILDREN. This is one of my main messages, as I teach our prevention classes.

Another terrific poison awareness tool brought to my hometown came from our local “4-H’ers”! Some of them had put together displays which demonstrated how common household items either looked, or were similar to, VERY DANGEROUS items around the house…for example: red pills look exactly like candy; medical creams look like toothpaste; anti-freeze looks like juice and has a sweet taste too, etc. (Actually, toothpaste can be dangerous if ingested!) The display demonstrated how scary common items could be! Thanks “4-H’ers”!

American Association of Poison Control Centers. Poisoning is one of the MOST COMMON childhood injuries! FOR MORE GREAT TIPS visit

Contributed by one of PCAIN’s Prevention Education Specialist’s