Cool stuff + Great Pictures = New ideas for you!
Westerville's Hey Diddle Diddle stocks these $4.50 packages of a dozen small cards to slip into your kid's lunchbox.Messages of motherly affection on one side ("I love spending time with you") are counterbalanced with trivia your child can use to ward off wedgies ("The stomach has to produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks to keepfrom digesting itself").
38 N. State St., Westerville, 614-818-5437;
Terrible Two shoes
Finally! Footwear that says "I'm 2, I'm terrible and I have shoes to match!" The Franklin Park Conservatory's Botanica Gift Shop carries this fabulous line of fearsome slippers ($19) created by Vermont-based manufacturer Rich Frog. They come in bear, monster, duck, princess and fairy models.
1777 E. Broad St., Downtown, 614-645-8733; fpconservatory.org
What can your young athletes say they have in common with Michael Phelps? A state-of-thescience sports drink, of course.This one, manufactured by Texas-based Human Performance Labs and carried locally at GNC, Sports Authority and Discount Drug Mart stores, delivers protein-heavy nutrition when you mix it with water. A tasty range of flavors was developed with kids in mind, says founder Dr. John Ivy. Try a Workout or Recovery formula for about $3 a packet. Find store locations at puresport.com
Primal Elements Soap
What kid is going to be able to keep their hands off the soap when they see it's got little plastic duckies or footballs inside the see-through, glycerin bar? Not yours, we dare say! Westerville's encircle, an artsy gift shop, carries this fun line of soaps for $7.50 each. 30-34 N. State St., Westerville, 614-891-9123; encircleart.com
Here's a new way to share jewelry with your stylish tween or teen: Get yourselves a SuMi Studios adjustable bracelet. These woven-fabric cuffs ($19, with embedded shell and found-object items sewn in) have a thick clear-plastic thread running through the core that you can tighten to fit any size wrist. Pusecker exhibits at a number of arts festivals in Central Ohio or you can visit her studio.
3663 Milton Ave., Clintonville,
One of the original eco-friendly shopping bags and now that we know we're supposed to be cleaning the darn things every time we use them, Babbubags' fabric physique (100% nylon) makes it easy to toss them in the washing machine. In Central Ohio, you find them for $8 each at shops as diverse as the Collier West boutique and Pistacia Vera bakery.
Collier West, 787 N. High St., Short North, 614-294-9378; Pistacia Vera, 541 S. Third St, German Village, 614-220-9070