Follow the Bouncing Ball
Turn off the electronics and send the kids outside to play with an OgoDisk Mini set ($29.99) from OgoSport. Trust us: Even adults will want to play with this toy, which challenges players to hit a Koosh-type ball between 12-inch handheld trampolines. A Mezo set ($34.99) with 15-inch disks also is available.
Available at Learning Express Toys, 180 F Market St., New Albany, 614-933-0333; 1349 W. Lane Ave., Upper Arlington, 614-485-0005; 7227 N. High St. (The Shops at Worthington Place), Worthington, 614-880-0333; learningexpress.com.
Young readers will enjoy either—or both—of these New York Times best-sellers. “Pax” (suggested retail $16.99) tells the story of a boy and his pet fox, for which author Sara Pennypacker won a National Book Award. In “The Girl Who Drank the Moon” (suggested retail $17.95), a 2017 Newbery Medal winner, Kelly Barnhill crafts an imaginative tale about a magical girl raised by a witch in a forest as trouble brews outside.
Available at The Book Loft, 631 S. Third St. (German Village), Columbus; 614-464-1774; bookloft.com.
The LilyPad Sewable Electronics Kit ($99.95) combines STEM and crafts, allowing kids to complete basic circuits and create wearable technology. The LilyPad system uses conductive thread, LEDs and other supplies on four projects: a glowing pin, illuminated mask, light-up plush and night-light pennant. It's a unique twist on DIY tech.
Available through 4-H at shop4-h.org.
Mail Order Mystery ($77 to $85) engages amateur sleuths in a six-week saga that unfolds via the post office. Three storylines are available: Treasure Hunt, Enchanted Slumber and Spies, Lies and Serious Bad Guys. Recipients get weekly letters and objects from characters in the story to help them solve the puzzle, with a trinket or souvenir in the final mailing. The delivery schedule can be customized.
Available at mailordermystery.com.
Better Than Mentos
Budding MythBusters and chemists will have a blast with Pop Bottle Science ($17.95) by Workman Publishing. The kit features 79 experiments on topics including buoyancy, inertia and photosynthesis. Kids can build a volcano, quicksand, a tornado-maker and more in the included bottle.
Available at Lakeshore Learning Materials, 2148 Polaris Parkway, Columbus; 614-846-1710; lakeshorelearning.com.