Our new issue is out this week and if you haven’t already found a copy, remember you can always use this tool http://www.columbusparent.com/content/pages/locations.html to find the pick-up location nearest you.
So a couple of things we want to point out. First, we’ve got a new columnist, Joel Oliphint, who will be contributing his wit and wisdom about being a dad on a bimonthly basis. We think you’ll really enjoy reading his first one http://www.columbusparent.com/content/stories/2012/02/OTG-oliphint.html. AND we’re hoping you’ll help us come up with a title for his new column. Throughout February on our Facebook page, we’ll be starting threads seeking suggestions for a title. If your suggestion is chosen as the winner, then you’ll receive a family four-pack of tickets to an upcoming Columbus Children’s Theatre show! So read the column and then get creative!
Also, keep an eye on our Facebook page for another really great ticket give-away: At some point soon, we’ll be giving away another family four-pack of tickets to see BalletMet’s production of Sleeping Beauty https://www.balletmet.org/current-performance#2! So be sure to check our page www.facebook.com/columbusparentmagazine early and often!
Is learning how to knit, crochet, embroider, use a sewing machine, all of the preceding on your bucket list? Our friends at Wholly Craft in Clintonville (creators of our Hands On feature each month) are taking registrations now for their February classes in all of the preceding. And if you’ve got a crafty kid with the fine motor skills and social maturity to hang with the grownups, then they’re welcome to enroll, too (the shop says ages 12 and up are generally no problem at all, and to just check with the instructor about younger kids).
Also coming up, we just wanted to point out a one-session Valentine Workshop with Elizabeth Jones of Poshta Designs. She’ll teach you how to make tear-out valentines using card-making techniques like stamping, die-cutting and embellishing. The workshop takes place on Wednesday, Feb. 8 from 6-8 p.m. and costs $20 total ($15 class fee and $5 materials fee).
To register for the workshop or any of the Wholly Craft classes, click here http://www.whollycraft.com/index.php/shop/#9. You can also register by calling 614-447-3445 or stopping by the shop at 3169 N. High St., in Clintonville. They’re open from 1-8 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 12 noon-7 p.m. Saturdays, and 12 noon-5 p.m. Sundays. They are closed on Tuesdays.
Coming Monday, it’s Columbus Parent’s February issue. And if you thought our annual January Childcare directory was a monumental work, wait until you see our Schools Directory. This is the most comprehensive list of Central Ohio schools ever compiled (and dare we say, it might be the Ohio Department of Education database just for including ALL schools, including the private and parochial schools). We’ve included district report-card rankings, full contact information, descriptions of the charter schools (most tend to have a specific focus), tuition, grades served and current enrollments.
And of course we have our usual assortment of fun and information articles. The Age Appropriate news feature stories address the issue of allergies, while our Family Finance columnist Denise Trowbridge has compiled a super useful guide to money-saving apps for smartphones.
There’s a great Valentine’s Day craft project from our friends at Wholly Craft, plus we found another free indoor play space for you, a hidden gem of a restaurant your kids will love out in Union County, and we shine the Neighborhood Spotlight on Marysville. Oh, and we’ve even got date night ideas for you and your honey this Valentine’s Day. So whether you pick up http://www.columbusparent.com/content/pages/locations.html or click on www.columbusparent.com, be sure to check out the new issue next week!
Here’s a checklist of reading material worth perusing — this year’s award-winning books. Each January, parents and children can find a list of the year’s best reading when the annual American Library Association youth media awards are announced.
These awards — particularly the Caldecott Medal for distinguished picture book and the Newbery Medal for distinguished literature — are the Oscars of children’s literature.
Here are some of the top picks from this year’s list of winners, which were announced on Jan. 23:
Chris Raschka's A Ball for Daisy, a tale for preschool children about a puppy's ball destroyed by another dog, won the Caldecott Medal. The book explores the joy and anguish of the young with impressionist illustrations.
Caldecott honor books: Blackout by John Rocco, Grandpa Green by Lane Smith and Me . . . Jane by Patrick McDonnell
Jack Gantos' Dead End in Norvelt won the Newbery Medal. In the wild story, for age 10 and older, the title character (who shares the author's name) spends his time while grounded writing obituaries of the people who founded his town.
Newbery honor books: Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai; and Breaking Stalin's Nose, written and illustrated by Eugene Yelchin.
Other winners of the award season include:
Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley — Michael L. Printz Award for young-adult literature and William C. Morris Award for debut author of a teen book
Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans by Kadir Nelson — Coretta Scott King author award
Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom by Shane W. Evans — Coretta Scott King illustrator award
Close to Famous by Joan Bauer, Wonderstruck: A Novel in Words and Pictures by Brian Selznick and The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen — Schneider Family Book Awards for artistic expression of the disability experience
Diego Rivera: His World and Ours by Duncan Tonatiuh — Pura Belpre illustrator award for portrayal of the Latino experience
Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall — Belpre author award
Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade by Melissa Sweet — Robert F. Silbert Informational Book Award
Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy by Bil Wright — Stonewall Book Award for books relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience
Tales for Very Picky Eaters by Josh Schneider — Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for beginning-reader book
The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery by Steve Sheinkin — Young Adult Library Services Association award for nonfiction (ages 12 to 18)
Trying to organize a classroom party or meals for a new mom?
There’s an online tool that can help. Check out http://www.signupgenius.com/index.cfm. The free website lets users create an event and invite others to sign up to bring items, volunteer to help or RSVP.
The easy-to-use site allows users to email the organizer with questions and even sends reminder notices as the event draws near.
When users sign up, they receive an email that allows them to load the details onto their online calendar.
It’s a great way for busy parents to keep track of their commitments.
—Melissa Kossler Dutton
It’s never too early to start making plans for the summer! If your high school student is looking for an alternative to camp, OSU’s Stone Lab gives them the opportunity to learn and earn college credit.
This summer, Stone Lab will offer six week-long courses at their campus on Lake Erie. Course topics center around science and include fishing, birds and biology. The courses are a hands-on, fun way for students to delve deeper into their academic interests. Plus, classes typically run from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., leaving students to explore the Lake Erie area in their free time.
Applications are online now, and can be found at stonelab.osu.edu. Forms are due by March 19, and include information on costs for the program and tuition assistance.
Calling all Houdini wannabes! MAGI-FEST, the Columbus magic convention, takes place Jan. 26 to Jan. 28 at the Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel, 50 N. Third St.
The family-friendly convention offers children and adults to the chance to see tricks performed, improve their skills and shop a variety of magic vendors.
The event also includes a magic show at 7:30 on Jan. 28. The magic show, which is held at the Palace Theater, 34 W. Broad St., is open to the public as well as convention goers. The two-hour show features several magicians.
Magic Show tickets cost $20 for adults and $10 for children aged 12 and under. Tickets can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 614-469-0939. Show tickets also can be purchased at the CAPA Ticket Office, 39 E. State St.
For convention registration information, visit http://www.magifest.org/Main.aspx.
—Melissa Kossler Dutton
It’s officially that time of year again: The Girl Scouts around the country began selling their famous cookies last Saturday. Until March 25, troops will be promoting fan favorites like Thin Mints, Trefoils and Samoas. Each box of Girl Scout cookies is $3.50.
If you are a fan of a fruity treat, try the newest flavor. Called Savannah Smiles, it has a lemon flavor with a sweet addition of powdered sugar. Also available this year is a cookbook, “Cookie Creations: Celebrating 100 Years of Girl Scouting.” It contains unique recipes — and you better believe the cookies are the main ingredients!
If you don’t have a Girl Scout selling in your neighborhood, never fear! An app released last year for Android and iPhone allows users to find the locations of booths selling Girl Scout cookies. Visit www.gsooh.org for more details.
From our games guru, Shawn Sines, comes a review of a game suitable for the older kids in your house:
“Final Fantasy XIII-2” ($60, Rated T for Teen, Xbox 360 and Sony PS3)
Fans of the long running fantasy game series should anticipate this continuation of last year’s epic tale.
This time out the tale told from the perspective of Serah, a girl freed from a crystal curse in Final Fantasy XIII by her sister Lightning as she crosses the world and time attempting to discover why her heroic sister vanished soon after those events.
Final Fantasy is a strategic role-playing game set in a science fiction and fantasy world. Players lead a party of adventurers through timed battles with visually stunning foes.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 improves on the original game with a new open world and a new cast of dynamic heroes. Best aimed at teens, this series is known for its extended gameplay time.
National Geographic will be tucking a miniature science museum into the Pottery Barn Kids store for several upcoming Saturdays.
It's all part of a Little Explorers program designed to allow kids hands-on activities surrounding cool themes. Children 3 and older are invited to learn, explore, take quizzes, and even sing songs.
The first session, this Saturday, Jan. 21, features bugs! Children will be awarded with a badge for every session they attend with a special prize going to children who come to all three (the next two dates and their themes are Feb. 18 with bugs and March 24 with maps). Reservations are suggested by not required.
To learn more and reserve a spot, call the Pottery Barn Kids Store at Polaris Fashion Place, 614-880-3948.
Event: National Geographic Little Explorers
Date: Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012
Time: 10 a.m.
Place: Pottery Barn Kids, Polaris Fashion Place
Have you resolved to find a new job in 2012?
There are plenty of free job-hunting resources available in Columbus. A good place to start is New Directions Career Center. The non-profit organization is offering free resume reviews next month.
Resume experts will be available for private consultation from 10 a.m. until noon, Feb. 7 at the Whitehall Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, 4371 East Broad St.
This service allows registered individuals 15-minute sessions with a resume specialist. To register, call 614-654-2275.
—Melissa Kossler Dutton
Lace up your snow boots and head to the Hocking Hills this Saturday, Jan. 21, for the Annual Hocking Hills Winter Hike.
It's a tradition that spans six miles and nearly fifty years and is held snow or shine.
More than 5,000 hikers are expected to walk the marked route that day. Hikers are welcome to warm up with complimentary refreshments before and after the hike which starts from the Old Man's Cave Visitor's Center. Layered clothes and sturdy shoes are just a couple of the recommendations.
For a full list of clothing and hiking tips as well as pictures from previous hikes, visit: www.heartofhocking.com and click on Winter Hike 2012.
Event: Annual Winter Hike at Hocking Hills
Date: Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012
Time: Continuous starts from 9 a.m.-11 a.m.
Start: Old Man's Cave Visitor's Center
Cost: Free, donations are encouraged
Franklin Park Conservatory launches a new yoga class for kids tomorrow. It’s called “Yoga Play” and is aimed at kids, ages 6 to 12. The class, taught by certified yoga instructor Courtney Denning, will take place once a month on the second Saturday of each month from 10-11:30 a.m.
You can pre-register and buy multiple-class passes (ranging from about $4-$5 per class for Conservatory members, or from $6.25-$7 per class for non-members). Or you can just show up and pay a drop-in rate of $7 for Conservatory members (or $9 for non-members).
Call 614-645-5923 to pre-register or ask for more information, or visit their website at http://www.fpconservatory.org/programsadultclasses.htm.
FYI, tomorrow is also the opening of the Conservatory’s orchid show, with special kids’ activities from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Calling all young classical musicians! The New Albany Symphony Orchestra is currently accepting applications for its 2012 Student Concerto Competition, which will be held on Saturday, March 3 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Graves Piano Recital Hall, 5298 Karl Road. The competition is open to all students ages 19 and under as of June 1, 2012. There is a $40 application fee.
Each applicant must provide their own accompanist, and should perform one movement from a concerto from the orchestral repertoire. The winner of the competition will receive a $250 prize and will perform at the New Albany Symphony Orchestra’s April 15, 2012 concert at 3 p.m. at the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts.
The application deadline is Friday, February 10, 2012. For additional information or to apply online, visit www.NewAlbanySymphony.com.
Still in the spirit of giving from the holiday season? This Saturday, Jan. 14, the YWCA will be hosting its fifth annual diaper drive, an event to collect pull-up diapers for families in need around Central Ohio.
From 10 a.m.-12 noon, you can swing by Nationwide Arena and drop off new packages of diapers. Diapers in sizes 4, 5 and 6 are most needed, as the YWCA uses 4,000 of them a month.
This year’s drive brings some extra incentive: there are 500 ticket vouchers available for the upcoming performance of “Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic.” Families who donate diapers can receive up to two vouchers for either the Feb. 1 or Feb. 2 show.
If you would like to learn more about how you can help the YWCA Family Center or other ways to donate, visit their website: ywcacolumbus.org.
From Nancy Gilson, Dispatch arts editor and children’s book aficionado, comes a review with a nice tie-in to our January cover animal theme!
Extraordinary Endangered Animals (Abrams, 157 pages, $24.95, age 10 and older) by Sandrine Silhol and Gaelle Guerive, illustrated by Marie Doucedame
The Earth enjoys a richness of critters — more than one million species of animals.
But of those, nearly 43,000 are endangered and could become extinct.
Thirty-five of these precious, precarious creatures are featured in Extraordinary Endangered Animals, a big, lush book loaded with photographs and information.
The animals are arranged by continent and each is presented with its individual traits and habits described. For instance:
Europe is home to the Western spadefoot toad, the male of which “sings” to attract females;
Asia hosts the Bactrian camel, the two-humped version found only the Gobi Desert;
North America has the sea otter, which, when it wants to sleep, can wrap its body in algae as an anchor;
South America claims the Amazon river dolphin, a mysterious freshwater version;
In Africa dwells the Ethiopian wolf, whose cubs are cared for and fed by the entire pack;
And Oceana boasts coral, which really is an animal and the only one visible from space.
A large, color portrait of each animal (photographs were taken by a variety of artists) is accompanied by additional smaller photographs, fact-filled text, a map of its habitat and small, color sketches by Marie Doucedame.
The theme of living harmoniously with nature spans the book’s more than 150 pages. At the end, readers are given a variety of ways to help endangered animals.
Those who want to further pursue the topic can check out another recent book by the publisher: 50 Ways to Save the Earth.
Theme parks aren’t the only place for character breakfasts! As the Columbus Children’s Theatre begins its run of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” they are adding to the fun with two opportunities to mix and mingle with the stars of the show.
On Saturday, Jan. 14, the group will host character breakfasts at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. The Goldilocks Pancake Party will take place at Callahan’s, and guests can enjoy pancakes and activities with Goldilocks and her furry friends.
Tickets for the breakfast are $25 for kids and $17 for adults. And don’t forget to catch the show! “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” will be performed Jan. 12-15 and Jan. 19-22. Show times vary depending on the day, and tickets range from $10-$20. Visit www.colschildrenstheatre.org for more information.
Delight in some fun music! The world-renowned Harlem Gospel Choir is making its way to Columbus for a January performance. Since its inception 25 years ago, the choir has dazzled many (including the Pope!) with their jazz, blues and gospel tunes.
On Jan. 26, the Harlem Gospel Choir will showcase their talent at the Capitol Theatre. Presented by CAPA and the King Arts Complex, the show will feature nine of their members singing well-known songs with musical accompaniment.
The concert will begin at 8 p.m., and tickets range from $25.50-$30. Call 614-469-0939 or visit capa.com to purchase tickets. Or, check out the Harlem Gospel Choir and their history online: harlemgospelchoir.com.
As 2012 begins, there are plenty of opportunities for family fun. Tomorrow evening, Downtown Delaware continues its First Friday celebrations into the new year. From 6 to 9 p.m., stroll the city streets and support the local shops and restaurants (many of them will have special hours for the festivities!).
More information about the Main Street Delaware organization or the First Friday events can be found at mainstreetdelaware.com.
Several years ago, I wrote a story for Columbus Parent seeking advice from a couple who had been married for more than 50 years. Two things they said stuck with me. First, they carved out time every week to have a date night. Many of their dates took place right in their living room while the kids were asleep in their rooms. The couple said they would open a bottle of wine, put out a plate of cheese and fruit and discuss their week, their kids and their future. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?
The other nugget I loved was that almost every evening after dinner, the family would take a walk around the neighborhood. With today’s hectic schedules that hardly seems possible but I think it’s worth a try.
During this winter break, my husband and I have bundled the kids up for walks several times. The kids whine and complain at the start but it doesn’t last long. We’ve enjoyed our neighbors’ Christmas lights, listening to nighttime noises and discovering our neighborhood after dark.
We have even visited the kids’ school and played on the playground. There’s something magical about swinging under the stars or zipping down a tunnel slide in the dark.
Try it. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.