Cheap (mostly free!) parent-friendly kids party tips

As a mom to four kids, ages 24 to 14, I've planned a plethora of kids' parties. I'm also a teacher and have hosted numerous classroom events. I've had some great successes and colossal fails. From those experiences, I've compiled a list of tips for parents on planning kids' parties. These parties are geared toward preschool and elementary age kids. These parties work great for large families and parents with toddlers and babies. Speaking as a mom whose husband worked a lot and wasn't always able to help, these tips work great for single-parent parties and those where mom or dad has to pull it off alone.  Being a frugalista, these hints focus on cheap or free homemade party ideas. I've linked online sites with free printable party supplies and decorations, too. Cheap, parent-friendly kids' birthday party tips 

The Hub of Detroit--Free Bikes for Kids, Plus Empowerment

A bicycle is more than just a riding toy. It provides exercise, mobility, transportation, and, sometimes, a job. Bikes can go places cars can't. They cost exponentially less than motor vehicles to maintain. For a kid living in downtown Detroit, a bike may be a magic carpet out of poverty. That's why mission projects like the Hub of Detroit are so vital. The Hub (as it's affectionately called by locals) was formerly Back Alley Bikes. The program is dedicated to providing "cycling education and services with a focus on youth development, sustainable practices, and community access." I guess you could say they break cycles (of poverty, hopelessness) and rebuild new, healthier (bi)cycles. Wouldn't it be nice if there was a program like this in every community? Here's how it works.  read more

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Freelance writer, Top 100 Yahoo! Voices, Yahoo! News, Shine, Michigan, Detroit), blogger, teacher, mom of 4, happily married 25 years. Graduated GVSU 1986, psychology/general education and special education. continuing ed up to present. Certified MI teacher. Writing Michigan history mystery, children's Gothic fantasy. Areas of expertise: education, relationships, mental health, nutrition, history, world cultures. Passions: faith, Catholic church, sustainable living, interfaith initiatives, living simply that others might simply live. Working on MA in EI education.