chatter

gtcys auditions

Don’t miss the GTCYS auditions beginning Friday, June 3 and extending through the 11th. What’s GTCYS? The Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies program serves over 500 elementary through high school students in six school year and three summer orchestras. Beginning to advanced students develop musically and personally in a fun, supportive, and challenging environment. Learn more online at gtcys.org. Auditions are held at Mayflower Church, 106 East Diamond Lake Road, Minneapolis. Need-based financial aid is available.


easy lending

Your kids can get a head start on their summer reading list with booksfree.com. An affordable way for parents to save big on the many books required to read over the summer, booksfree.com helps the whole family enjoy reading in a “Netflix” style subscription-based service. Just point, click and order — and there are never any late fees. Your kids can take their time reading the required summer books for school without getting on a wait list at the library, and once you are done, simply send it back.  

Booksfree.com offers hundreds of titles to its members and has subscription plans starting as low as $40 for three months of service.


boba baby carrier


Our parent product tester says about Boba Carrier, “I love it! It is much better than a Baby Bjorn. I like the waist belt because it offers a lot more support on my back and feels more secure. I think it will work even better as my daughter gets older because it has little foot stirrups for her feet. It is also easy to put on and tighten while it is on — rather than having to take it off to tighten straps.” The Boba Classic comes in six color combos and features spine/pelvis/leg/foot support with foot straps and protective sleeping hood for kids weighing between 15 and 45 pounds. Supports baby’s legs, spine and pelvis. Visit bobababycarrier.com for more information.


kids bowl free!


More than 850 bowling centers across the U.S. are partnering up for a free summer program that allows kids to bowl for free. The Kids Bowl Free Program, a proud supporter of the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award Challenge (PALA), is not only a recognized, qualified recreational activity to use to qualify for PALA, but bowling participation in the program will be reported regularly to the White House. For official PALA guidelines visit presidentschallenge.org, but in general, kids and teens between the ages of 6 and 17 years need to be active 60 minutes a day, at least five days a week for six out of eight weeks. As an alternative, kids can count daily activity steps using a pedometer, with a goal between 11,000 steps and 13,000 steps.


for sunny days


Most kids don’t understand the importance of protecting themselves from the sun, let alone want to put a hat on. But, with a cute and comfortable hat from Wallaroo Hat Company, you will never have to ask them to put one on again — they’ll just do it. With various hats for girls and boys, many of them with the standard UPF 50+, meaning they block out 97.5% of the sun’s UV rays. With instances of melanoma on the rise, it’s best to instill children with good, life saving, sun protection habits. Visit wallaroohats.com to view other patterns and styles.


an app for act


Tech-savvy teens have a new way to prepare for the ACT. The information they need is now right at their fingertips — and it’s FREE. The ACT student application allows students to practice ACT questions, view ACT registration status. admission ticket and scores and more. Find out more at act.org.