Inspiring news for and about Central Ohio parents!

Inspiring news for and about Central Ohio parents! Got an inspiring tip for our next issue? Send it to jmantey@gmail.com with Parent Pulse in the subject line.

When Iris Coker first learned about the Diaper Gap - the term for the disparity between upper-class and lower-class families' ability to buy diapers - and that nationwide state assistance programs do not cover the cost of diapers, she was in disbelief.

"And when I discovered there wasn't an active diaper bank here in Columbus, I just felt called to do something about it," said Coker, senior community manager at Resource marketing agency.

Coker, co-founder Lara Smith (Coker's co-worker at Resource) and their team of volunteers launched the Columbus Diaper Coalition in late November. Through various diaper drives and donations, the coalition - which is partnering in its first year with Fruit of the Vine and Northside food pantries - plans to provide a steady supply of diapers to families in the 43201, 43224 and 43231 zip codes.

"We believe that access to diapers is a basic human need," Coker said.

Want to get involved? Visit columbusdiapercoalition.org for a list of local businesses that are accepting diaper donations on the coalition's behalf (size 4 diapers are in particularly high demand). The coalition is also holding a Zumbathon to raise money for diapers at 12:30 p.m. Dec. 1 at AussieFIT in Hilliard.

A new 2,200-square-foot child's play cafe opened in Westerville last month. Peapod Play Cafe (4874 Thompson Road) offers dozens of stations for children to play, draw and imagine, complete with a coffee snack bar (coffee provided by local java-making favorite Silver Bridge) with Wi-Fi for the adults. Admission is $10 per child for those age 7 and younger, and rates decrease if additional children are in your playtime group. Adults get in free.

If it is a teen's cabin fever you are looking to cure and sledding isn't cutting it anymore, visit Scioto Audubon Metro Park's new Columbus Rotary outdoor obstacle course. The half mile of rope, tire and climbing challenges, which hit the park in late October, will wear anybody out in the best way possible.

Expecting? Take your gender reveal party to a new level at Great Expectations Ultrasound Studio, which opened in September at the intersection of Shrock Road and Cleveland Avenue on the Northeast side. Depending on the selected package (ranging from $59 to $249), up to 20 guests can sit comfortably and watch as you get an ultrasound and discover the gender of your baby. The reveal parties are just one of many ultrasound packages the studio offers. The retail space also sells the basics like pregnancy support belts, herbal heat packs and Daddy Duty Survival Kits (baby wipes, salad tongs for diaper disposal, etc.).

-Jackie Mantey