Smile Rewards: Great New Incentive For Kids At Smiles Orthodontics!

Hey, Puyallup, looking for an orthodontist the kids will want to go to?

No, I’m not crazy.

rewards card small

Dr. Larson and our friends at Smiles Orthodontics are launching a new program that lets your kids earn points to spend on Amazon. Yes, Amazon!


As you may remember, our older son is a patient at Smiles, and when I told him about this new program he forgot he was a surly tweenager for one full minute while he pumped his fist in the air and said, “Yes!” You might say he’s a fan.

How does it work? Kids earn points for a whole range of things, from taking good care of their teeth to volunteering in the community (love this)! They can also earn points for sharing the Smiles love by doing things like posting pics of their progress on social media and referring friends and family.

Points will be added to a hard, plastic card similar to a credit card. When your kiddo cashes ’em in, he’ll get a code to use on Amazon for ANYTHING-and is there anything Amazon doesn’t sell? I don’t think so.

If your child is already a patient, her current Smile Bucks can be easily converted to this new system. Points can be viewed online 24/7, and there will be options for young patients who aren’t quite ready for braces to earn points, too. Has your kiddo had her evaluation yet? Seven is the perfect age.

No other doctor in the area is offering anything like this rewards program, and if your kids are anything like mine, they are going to love it!

The point, of course, is to keep your kids motivated and feeling positive about their orthodontic treatment. Happy patients are going to take better care of their teeth, and they may even need less treatment time. Here at our house, having our son feel positive about his journey to straighter teeth has been a huge, huge blessing.

I also super love Dr.Larson and his team, and his genuine desire to be a part of this community. My kiddo bumps into one of his bffs almost every time we go in, which makes it easier, too!  You can get more information about Smiles Orthodontics and Dr.Larson at their website. They also have fun updates on Facebook and your other favorite social media. If you are looking for an orthodontist, or wondering if you need one, just give them a call. The friendly staff will set you right up, and initial visits are always free. You can reach them at 253.848.4537. Please do say  you saw ’em on Sounds Fun Mom. Thanks!

Disclosure: We are proud to be sponsored by Smiles Orthodontics. All opinions are my own (or my kid’s).


South Sound Vacation Bible Schools

Looking for a Tacoma, Puyallup, Olympia or Pierce or South King County Vacation Bible School?

Here is our list of area Vacation Bible Schools for 2015. It is compiled almost entirely from reader submissions.

Want to list your school? Simply leave your information in the comments-make sure to include a good link to your website or fb page. We will add them as quickly as we can. This is a free listing. If you are interested larger, paid sponsorship spots in this guide or on the home page, email 

tacoma area Vacation Bible Schools VBS



St.Matthew’s Lutheran Church July 13th-19th 9:00-12 preschool-6th grade  Mt.Everest theme 25.00/child 60.00 max/family

 Fairwood Community UMC VBS  June 29th-July 3rd “Get real: Find Yourself With Jesus”   9AM-3PM Mon-Thur, 9AM-12noon Friday 40/first child-30.00 additional siblings

Kent  Vacation Bible School/VBS

Calvary Chapel  Drive! VBS  July 13th-17th 4year olds-5th grade (just completed) 9:30-12:30 10.00 per child suggested donation/30.00 max, per family. First time visitors free  Mt.Kilimanjaro, “Epic Journey,” theme.

Federal Way

Northwest Church (Federal Way) TBA Link goes to last year’s info.
Marine View Presbyterian Church (NE Tacoma) Two sessions to choose from- July 13-17 OR July 20-24th  9am-12pm. Everest theme; special, optional activity night Thursday of each week 20.00 first child/15.00 siblings
Federal Way United Methodist June 22-26th  9AM-12; Everest theme


Auburn  Vacation Bible School/VBS

Messiah Lutheran  August 3rd-7th Evening 5:30-7:30  Everest theme

Bonney Lake  Vacation Bible School/VBS

Submit your listing in the comments!

Sumner  Vacation Bible School/VBS

Calvary Community Church  June 23rd-26th- 4yrs-5th grade; two times-9-12:30 or 3-6:30; 40.00/child (scholarships available) Wild/jungle theme; Registration is open now

Puyallup Vacation Bible School/VBS

Celebration Lutheran  TBA *Note-their popular preschool is now registering; some classes are full, so do call soon

Bethany Baptist July 13th-17th SonTreasure Island theme 9AM-12; 20.00/child or 50.00/3  4yr olds-6th grade

Pilgrim Lutheran July 13-16  9AM-12 , plus a Thursday evening event  Climbing Everest theme preschool-5th grade

Shepherd of the Hill Presbyterian Church  SonSpark Labs theme June 22nd-26th  9:00-12:30 for kids entering k-6th; suggested donation of .50/child/per day

South Hill Christian June 22nd-26th South Hill runs an annual sports camp with a Christian theme  Evenings 5-8:15  Many friends have told me these are great for sporty kids.

Immanuel Lutheran Immanuel has always hosted VBS, but I don’t see the announcement yet.

Nazarene Church I can’t find an announcement yet, but they’ve hosted one in the past.

Puyallup United Methodist  I don’t see an announcement yet, but they have hosted one in the past

Graham  Vacation Bible School/VBS

Graham Emmaunel August 3rd-5th  Contact church to register/for more info.

Tacoma  Vacation Bible School/VBS

*See Federal Way for NE Tacoma listings

Sound Life Church (Fredrickson area)

Destiny City Church  July 13th-17th 9-12 10.00/child Kids’ Camp, “Seek and Find,” theme

Our Savior Lutheran Church July 13-17 3yrs-6th grade more info tba

Skyline Presbyterian Church  July 26th-30th Evening program; Everest theme

 Fircrest   Vacation Bible School/VBS

Submit your listing in the comments!

Lakewood Vacation Bible School/VBS

Submit your listing in the comments!

University Place  Vacation Bible School/VBS

University Place Presbyterian July 13-17th Everest theme 9:30-12:30 25.00 per child 4yrs-5th grade Register by June 7th


Gig Harbor Vacation Bible School/VBS

Harbor Covenant August 10th-14th Basecamp theme 50.00/child for ages 3-3rd grade-mornings 125.00/child for 4th and 5th grade full day M-Th;AM Friday Lots of info. at the link

Fox Island  Vacation Bible School/VBS

Submit your listing in the comments!

Lacey Vacation Bible Schools/VBS

Sacred Heart Catholic  contact info. at the link. I don’t see anything else right now.

Yelm Vacation Bible School/VBS

Submit your listing in the comments!

Olympia  Vacation Bible Schools/VBS


Mega Sports Camp, Breaking Free – Church of Living Water – July  6th-10th, 9-12noon. Ages 4 thru 5th graders. Cost: $50/child.

Want to include your VBS? You can just leave a comment with all the details!  Please include: Dates/Price/Ages/Theme/Cost   Most importantly? Please leave a link! Thanks so much! Oh, and listings are always free. Of course, if your church wants to talk to me about low cost, paid advertising, including above the fold sponsorship of this guide, I’d be glad to chat! Email me at

Free Summer Concerts And Shows For Kids

Did you know communities around the South Sound host big name kids’ entertainers all summer long For FREE? It’s true! I’ll have these in your calendar, but I know some of you like to plan ahead, so grab your calendar, call some pals, and make plans for a picnic play date with a free show!

Virtually every city hosts free concerts during the summer months. I’ve only listed those specifically geared towards children here.  If you know one I missed, let me know!

free summer concerts and shows for kids tacoma

The complete list continues by city below [Read more…]

.50 Cent Corn Dogs At Sonic All Day May 26th

Need some cheap eats with the kids today? It’s .50 corn dog day at Sonic to celebrate National End of School Day. Yes, I know your kids still have school, and no, I don’t know what the crowds will be like. I just know I like a cheap corn dog. If you go, feel free to leave a report here or on our fb page!


Free 15.00 Credit For Kids’ Clothes At Schoola-Plus, Bonus Half Off And Free Shipping!

We typically stick to deals on local family events and outings, but every once in a while we make an exception for something we think will be of interest to you. This is one of those times!

Schoola, a site that lets you sell gently used kids’ clothing to raise money for your school, is offering up a 15.00 credit for new accounts.

Schoola 2

AND, right now you can get free shipping with a 25.00 purchase BEFORE you apply code, “HALFDAY.”

That means you can add 25.00 worth of merch to your cart, score free shipping and apply your 15.00 credit, and then get another half off that! My total ending up being 2.00-yes, two bucks-for two name brand sweatshirts and three tops shipped to my door!

I do think their regular prices are high for used clothing, but I love the concept of helping schools, and I love 2nd hand shopping generally. This deal is definitely one worth a few minutes of your time if you need new duds for the kids. You can check it out here (yes, this is my affiliate link) Oh, and when you’re finished, you can get your own link and earn 15.00 in credit when your pals use it! Cool, right? It’s also worth checking out if you need a new fundraiser for your school. While it would definitely take some effort, I think it beats the heck out of selling butter braids and wrapping paper!

I don’t know how long the offer will be this generous, so if you want in, head here to check it out sooner rather than later.

Thanks to Hip2Save for the scoop on this deal

South Sound Weekend Kids’ Calendar: Family Fun And Things To Do This Memorial Day Weekend

Need something to do with the kids in Tacoma this weekend? I’ve got a list of free and affordable outings for May 22nd-24th, and yes, we’re working on Memorial Day events, too.

From free crafts in Tacoma, cheap shows in Olympia, and fairs and festivals in Kitsap-it’s another great weekend in the South Sound.

New here? We have an amazing list just like this one up every Friday morning, and lots of fun all the days in between!



All Over 

Kids’ club at Michael’s stores 10AM-12; 2.00 for half hour crafting sessions. It’s a craft stick flag

Dragons Love Tacos Story time at Barnes and Noble  We suggest finding your store and calling directly to confirm. We have found participation in these fun, free events to be inconsistent-even when the store is listed as participating. Olympia and Lakewood seem to be consistently good.

South King County

Engineering Rocks event at Westfield Southcenter  Hands-on activities and demonstrations presented by the society of civil engineers 12-4 in the children’s wing near Crazy 8

Touch tanks at HCC Mast at Redondo  Free and open to the public every Saturday from 10-2  Reader Joanna wrote in to say they Were able to touch creatures in the touch tanks last week.

Tacoma/South Tacoma/Greater Pierce  

Yes, Puyallup, your spray ground is now open! 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. daily beginning Friday, May 22nd – Monday, September 7th. It’s right by the downtown Puyallup library.

Yours are open, too, Tacoma! Daily and free 10AM-8PM on weekends; note the location by the STAR center is closed for repair.

Free BBQ at the Old Cannery in Sumner  Free all beef hot dog and pop Saturday, Sunday, and Monday  Pro Tip: If you buy a couch this will no longer be a free outing!

Craft Saturday at the Job Carr Cabin Museum in Old Town  1-4  Paint a clay pot and plant seeds! Perfect for children 3-8 and their families. Small but fun museum is a replica of the cabin of early settler, Job Carr.

Crafts of the Past at Ft.Nisqually  Traditional crafts are demonstrated Saturdays and Sundays through the fall. Included with fort admission. This outing is probably most interesting to school age children, though younger ones will enjoy running in and around the fort towers. Today’s craft is basketry. Also Sunday

Barnes and Noble Book Fair in Lakewood with princess appearance  A fundraiser for Cherrydale primary school. A princess who looks a lot like Elsa will be there for crafts and story time. 4-6PM.

Children and all ages shows at the Pierce College Science Dome/planetarium  CASH Only at the door-you can use charge cards if you buy tickets in advance.

Electric Run in Puyallup at the fair grounds  Evening event   Entry fees are pricey, but it does look fun!


Visit the South Sound Estuarium   open 11-4 weekends

Olympia Family Theater All About Sound Science Show 5.00 per person/cash or check at the door Interactive science shows with experiments and audience participation. Approximately 45 minutes. These look really great! 10:30AM

Community fun Day at Colombus Park  Call or email to get the kids a fishing spot

Olympia Family Theater presents Pinocchio 2PM

Gig Harbor 

It’s time for the Street Scramble! Solve clues and see how many checkpoints you can find. Walk, run, or bike and choose your distance. Free but advance registration is recommended.

Yes! Your farmer’s market is open! 

Sandcastle toys has been doing Saturday morning storytimes. I don’t see a listing today; you may want to call first. If you’re downtown, visit the Harbor WildWatch exhibit at the Skansie Visitor Center. It’s free and open to the public.

Kitsap Harbor Festival and Harbor Days  booths, kids’ zone, vessel tours, and more.


Historic Fort Steilacoom is now open for Sunday tours ** I think? Someone pointed out that it says Sundays, beginning Memorial Day. So….I’m not sure whether it opens today or next week. Let me knwo if you find out.

Valve Cover Races at the LeMay Family Auto Museum (This is NOT the one in Tacoma). Build a racer out of an engine valve cover! Free, just for fun event for all ages. You should email to register if you want to create and race.

Kitsap Harbor Festival and Harbor Days  booths, kids’ zone, vessel tours, and more.

Olympia Family Theater presents Pinocchio 2PM

Visit the South Sound Estuarium   open 11-4 weekends

Monday/Memorial Day

Go here for a post with a list of Memorial Day observances and Memorial Day events

As always, if you know something we missed or you’d like publicity or advertising for your group, get in touch! You can email me at or use one of the icons up top to find us on your favorite social media.

If you’re new here-welcome! We’d love to have you join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, subscribe to the daily emails, follow us on our NEW Instagram, or just make us your daily habit.

Oh, and do make sure you’ve entered our latest giveaway. We have FIVE prizes. So fun!

College Savings Night At The Mariners! Discount Tickets And Souvenir T-Shirts-Plus Fireworks! Don’t Forget the GET Enrollment Deadline!

Here’s a fun way to save on a night with the Mariners from our friends with the Guaranteed Education Tuition program, or GET.

May 29th is national 529 College Savings Day, and our friends with GET will be hosting GET College Savings Night at Safeco Field. It’s a partnership with the Mariners and Parent Map, and yes, you’re invited!  Families can get discounted tickets that include a souvenir t-shirt, plus it’s a fireworks night. Fun, right?

We went to a game recently, and it was a great family day. Even when the M’s don’t win (though that would sure be nice!) Safeco Field is a great ballpark.

Speaking of savings, don’t forget, the current enrollment deadline for new GET families is approaching FAST.

If just thinking about paying for college stresses you out, I really do urge you to be proactive now.

GET night at the MAriners

While you obviously need to make your own financial decisions, I can tell you that we have had GET accounts for our boys since they were babies, and in looking at the rate of return on our other investments, we realized it has been by FAR the best one we’ve made. We are thrilled that our boys will be able to go off to college with their tuition paid for, and we are especially thrilled that they will be able to graduate without a pile of loans and debt.

We’ve done it by starting early and putting aside a modest amount every month. It really is a case where time is on your side.

You can get more information about saving for your child’s college with GET right here at their site, or you might like a post we did with answers to some of your frequently asked questions here!

You can also call or email the GET Contact Center at 800.955.2318 or  If you’re ready to enroll, simply Click “Start a GET Account” on the GET  homepage to enroll online between  (November 1 – May 31). The on-screen instructions will guide you through the process.

Head here if you’re interested in the Mariners game! 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. The opinions are my own-financial decisions for your family are yours! We were a GET family long before GET sponsored Sounds Fun Mom, and we are very proud to have their support. I would love for you to mention the site if you contact them or enroll!

Kids Skate Free

Here’s another great idea if you’re looking for free summer activities for the kids in Tacoma and Puyallup.

If you’re a fan of Kids Bowl Free, you’ll love Kids Skate Free, too!

Much like the bowling program, your kiddos will get coupons for free skating all summer long when you register for passes on the site.  Passes are for children 12 and under and do not include skate rental ($2-$5)

This summer’s South Sound Locations include Rollin’ 253 Skate & Community Center in Tacoma and Tiffany’s Skate Inn in Puyallup.

Kids skate free

Do note that passes can only be used during certain hours and on certain days, currently Saturdays from 11AM-1PM or 7:30-10:30 and Sunday from 1-5PM at Tiffany’s and 3:30-6PM on Monday or 3:30-5:30 Friday at Rollin’ 253. Do double check your passes before you go.

If you’re a roller skating fan, Tiffany’s has regular specials they announce via their Facebook page. We’re big fans of Melinda and her team!

To get your kiddos signed up, just head here.

By the way, we will have ALL our great summer ideas at the site all summer long. You’ll be able to find them in the menu bar by the end of this month (Crosses fingers!!). Keri is also hard at work on a pdf you’ll be able to print out and share with your fun loving pals.  So, do make sure you’re checking SFM often!

Kids Bowl Free!

We’re previewing summer fun for kids this week, and the Kids Bowl Free program is near the top of our list!


If you’re not familiar with this program, it’s a way cool program where kids get two free games of bowling every day, all summer long. Really, there’s no catch!  It’s an effort to give back to the community and provide a safe, secure, and fun way for kids to spend time this summer. And, yes, bowling alleys are trying to get some business during what would be their slower months. [Read more…]

Meet Apprentice Academy: Summer Art Camps In Gig Harbor

Gig Harbor friends, would you like to send the kiddos to an art camp taught by a real artist? Apprentice Academy offers art camps for Gig Harbor area kids that you won’t find just anywhere.

Owner and artist, Mardie Rees, is a nationally recognized artist and an award winning sculptor. She has a BFA and has been practicing fine art for over a decade. She has had a passion for art since she was a little girl, and she loves to work with students of all ages. She’s also a mother of two herself.  She helps students express themselves artistically as they learn new skills and develop their natural talents.  Of course, kids will also be having a ton of fun. What kid wouldn’t want to work with clay or create a sculpture? Each camp also includes a finished project that your child will get to take home-and these are way beyond macaroni wreaths, friends!

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Classes are open to kids 6-11, including soon-to-be kindergarten students.

I’ve run across very few art camps for children  offering true art instruction in fundamentals like design and composition. If you have a child with a passion for art, I just know she will love these camps. I also know many of you have children with special gifts (I’m bragging for you-it’s o.k.), and I think this is a camp that will be able to nurture them.

All classes are taught at Apprentice Academy’s cheerful, light filled studio, conveniently located in Gig Harbor just over the Purdy Spit.

I was also delighted to see that their camps very reasonably priced.  I can’t think of any place you can get professional instruction from a trained, working artist for this price, and you know I know camps!

There are camp sessions from June 29th-August 27th.  All camps are four days and all themes are available in the morning for 6-8 year olds or the afternoon for 9-11 year olds. I’m guessing your art lovers will want to try them all!

You can check them all out and get registration information here.

I would sign up soon. For a town chock full of kiddos, Gig Harbor is still short on quality happenings for them. I hope you’ll also pass this on to the parents of budding artists you know.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post with a combination of information provided by the client and my opinions. I would LOVE for you to mention Sounds Fun Mom when you register your young artist!