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.comwith Parent Pulse in the subject line.

Clintonville-based writer Wolfgang Parker has written Crime Cats, a children's book series set in south Clintonville and featuring the community's real-life felines. The project began as a creative gift for his 18 nieces and nephews but, said Parker, "Over the nine months I worked on it, I had found the book had grown into a full-fledged celebration of Clintonville, and I knew I wanted to share it with everyone."

You can purchase a copy at Clintonville Community Market, Wholly Craft, Colonial Candy Shoppe, Cover to Cover Bookstore and Laughing Ogre Comics; proceeds go to the Crime Cats Relief Fund, which helps provide medical care to Clintonville cats.

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Playtime is the main character at the new uptown Westerville store Naturally Curious Kids Toy Store. Started by a mother-daughter team with teaching and school psychology backgrounds, the store (located at 13 E. College Ave.) emphasizes the importance of play in product - from lifelike puppets to toys for children who are blind - and in design. Visiting kids can climb an indoor treehouse or play dress-up while their parents shop.

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Older kids will want to play at Game U, a video-game-making school that opened in July in Powell (9926 Brewster Lane). The business was started by Mike Kawas, a father of two with nearly two decades of experience working in the gaming industry (among other titles, he was an art director at LucasArts and Activision). Game U is an after-school program, and its curriculum is composed of game design, 3-D modeling, programming, illustration, creative writing and more. Check out the class schedule at Game-U.com.

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Does Dad need a break? Check out the meet-up group Columbus Dads, which is part of a national father-support organization called City Dads. Started last November, nearly 80 Columbus dads and their kids meet once every few weeks to visit the zoo, COSI or a park. There's a dad's night out once a month, too, where just the men meet up to tour a brewery or go to dinner. To join the group, visit meetup.com/ColumbusDadsGroup.

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And for new moms, Fitness Matters, a private fitness studio in Worthington, offers postpartum, pelvic-pain physical therapy. Certified women's health physical therapists offer $90 45-minute sessions to teach strengthening exercises and activity modification to strengthen pelvic floor muscles and prevent back pain following a birth.

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But if you're looking for a fitness routine and don't have time for a gym, check out BustedBinky.com, a Columbus website that sells unique kids' gifts and includes workout info for losing the baby weight sans gym membership. It's written by new mom and the site's owner, Frances Maass.