A Resource for Families in Athens, Oconee County and the Surrounding Area
Building Families... Building Businesses
LOCALLY OWNED & OPERATED SINCE 1998!
EXPANDED PICTURE PAGES!
Birthdays & Bulldogs Thanks for sharing!
Birthday Parties! featuring the
Birthdays on the Farm BATS: theyâ€™re not creepy nor spooky!
things chores will teach your kids about life
2 Athens-Oconee Parent
“Building Families...Building Businesses” October 2019 • Vol. 21 No. 6 LOCALLY OWNED AND OPERATED SINCE 1998
FOUNDER & PUBLISHER
Shannon H. Baker
DESIGN & PRODUCTION
Anniston Howell WEB MANAGER
Andrea Maria Holt WRITERS AND CONTRIBUTORS
Shannon Baker, Liz Conroy, Sarah Danis, Tiffany Doerr Guerzon, Gregg Murset, Dr. John Norris, Dave Ramsey, Cassie Wright Athens-Oconee Parent Magazine is published six times a year. Reader correspondence and editorial submission welcome.We reserve the right to edit, reject or comment editorially on all material contributed. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced without express written consent of the publisher. Athens-Oconee Parent Magazine reserves the right to refuse any advertising for any reason. The opinions expressed by contributors or writers do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this magazine. Distribution of this product does not constitute an endorsement of the products or services herein. Athens-Oconee Parent Magazine P.O. Box 465, Watkinsville, GA 30677 Advertising: email@example.com Editorial: firstname.lastname@example.org Office & Production: email@example.com Calendar: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: email@example.com
www.athensparent.com PUBLISHED BY
on the cover Clementine (pink party hat) and Daisy (yellow party hat) visit with Vincent Van Goat at Sweet Olive Farm and Rescue. PHOTO BY CASSIE WRIGHT
have always enjoyed celebrating birthdays. I get this honestly. My mom was big into birthdays and did a great job making us feel special on our big day. The only bad part is when you grow up and your husband does not seem to realize that a proper birthday should start off with breakfast in bed! My philosophy is to go all out when celebrating a birthday. (My oldest daughter, however, has reminded me that she does not want a three-ring circus on her birthday like she had on her 5th birthday.) I am trying hard to understand that it is not about what I want but what the birthday person wants. Luckily for me, my youngest daughter, Jane, enjoys a big special day. This is a bit challenging because it is the day after Christmas and it is also the same day as my husband John’s birthday. John has told me that his birthday always felt like an after-thought when he was growing up and that he never had an actual birthday party. So this past year we started doing a half-birthday party celebration for Jane in the summer so she can have a proper party with her friends. Do a little something extra special for a loved one’s birthday this year. Our “Show & Tell” pages include a twist on canned cinnamon rolls that can be part of a special breakfast. Or get the family involved in making a papier mache piñata. This issue also includes our annual “Party List” and features some of the best party places in town, many that do all the work so you can sit back, relax and take in the memories. (Send us your party pictures any time of the year for our picture pages.) And if you can live every day like it is a day to celebrate, then I think you are doing it right! Happy Parenting,
contents Birthday Parties! 8 Sweet Olive Farm and Rescue 10 Awesome Parties for Introverted Kids 13 The Party List
FEATURES 18 5 Things Chores Will Teach Your Kids About Life 20 Relationships & Money: We Can Work It Out 22 Disciplinary Action: Model Behavior 24 To the Bat Box!
DEPARTMENTS 6 Show & Tell 16 Get Out! 28 ’Til we meet again
Jane, Shannon and John on a recent visit to Sweet Olive Farm
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Athens-Oconee Parent Magazine www.athensparent.com 5
They’re Easy! CINNAMON ROLL “PUMPKINS”
A QUICK AND EASY breakfast treat to celebrate the fall season ... which we are hoping by the time this publishes it will start to feel like Fall! What you will need for these is just a can (or two!) of Pillsbury Grands Cinnamon Rolls, and a few drops of orange and green food coloring. Make sure you get the Pillsbury Grands Cinnamon Rolls because you will need the ones that unroll to make life easier. Pop open your can of rolls and unroll the end of the roll about an inch and a half or so. Bend it over on top of itself and gently pinch it together right at the top of the round forming a stem for the pumpkin. Bake the rolls as directed on the package using a baking sheet, making sure you keep them separated and not touching. While they are baking, take about a tablespoon of the frosting from the package and add green food coloring. Add orange food coloring to the remainder of the frosting. Once the rolls are baked, let them cool, then use the green frosting to ice the stem of the pumpkin and give a generous dollop of orange to ice the rest of the roll. Idea and images from Kimber of www.thepinningmomma.com who is a blogger curating content on crafts, recipes, DIY and more!
Compiled by Shannon Baker
Papier Mache Piñata Start with a balloon
papier mache piñata is the most traditional (and the messiest) piñata, but it makes for a great pre-party craft activity.
Step 1 – To make the paste, mix one part water with one part flour. Step 2 – Blow up your balloon (use a standard latex balloon) to the size you want and tie it off. Step 3 – Cut newspaper into strips, then dip each strip into the paste, squeezing off excess paste. Apply to balloon. Step 4 – Layer the newspaper strips onto the balloon until it is covered three to four layers deep. Leave a small area at the tied end of the balloon without paper so you can put in candy later. Step 5 – Let dry for at least 24 hours. Then pop the balloon, leaving the papier mache shell with the opening at the small end which will be the top of the piñata. Step 6 - Put candy into the top opening, then make two small holes on each side near the top where you can tie some string to hang the piñata. Step 7 – Decorate! You can paint the dried papier mache or glue on strips of crepe paper, beads, or googly eyes to make a unique piñata.
Crepe paper finishes off this pumpkin piñata
Pasted newspaper how-to from simplynotable.com; pumpkin piñata from nyhandymanny.com
Send your ideas & photos to P.O. Box 465, Watkinsville, GA 30677 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org 6 Athens-Oconee Parent
Treat a child as though he already is the person he’s capable of becoming.” Haim Ginott The Kids’ Book of Paper Love: Write. Craft. Play. Share.
By Irene Smit and Astrid van der Hulst This “paper celebration in a book” is full of whimsy with 180 pages of fun: a set of bookmarks to cut out, patterned collage paper, a few hidden notebooks to pull out and write or draw in, and so much more. This book is the perfect mix of creativity and unplugged fun for readers of all ages with stickers, postcards, posters, stencils and other fun surprises! Available from Workman Publishing, www.workman.com
Fab wrap! A fun way to wrap gifts without wasting paper is to find pre-cut packaged fabric, remnants – or cut to size from a larger piece of fabric. Most packs are a few dollars and come in a variety of fun patterns. Just wrap the fabric around the gift and fold down the ends. Use ribbon or even strips of a contrasting fabric to tie it all up with a simple bow!
One Spooky Night October 23 at the ACC Library Put on your favorite Halloween disguise and join the ACC Library for their Annual Vintage Halloween Carnival 20th Anniversary Extravaganza, a haunting evening of seasonal tales, costumes, shadow puppetry and surprises! After the performance, enjoy trick-or-treating throughout the library for non-food prizes at every public desk. Journey through the haunted Storyroom, play vintage carnival games and make an assortment of spooky crafts. Puppet show and performance at 6:30pm; Trick-or-treating and other activities at 7pm.
Tess and Jane set up “camp”
tone Mountain Park Camp now offers Safari Tent Rentals to help provide an exciting camping experience. These tents sit on a platform and are ready and set up just waiting for you! Inside the tent you will find a wood floor, electrical outlets, a fan, queen size bed, a lamp and a small dining table. Outside the tent is a small deck, picnic table, charcoal grill, metal fire pit, and water spigot. Just bring your own linens. Stone Mountain Park’s Safari Tents have a great view of the lake and provide an excellent camping experience! Enjoy hiking and nature trails, playground, and the Historical and Environmental Heritage Center all included with the parking pass. We also recommend visiting the Historic Square, a collection of original buildings from around Georgia, built between 1793 and 1875.
ring your family to the Native American Festival and Pow Wow and experience the energy and color of the largest Native American gathering in Georgia. Held November 7-10, 2019, at Stone Mountain Park’s Historic Square, the event showcases Native American culture through dance, music, authentic craft demonstrations, cooking traditions, storytelling, wildlife presentations and more. It was named a Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society. Find that one-of-akind gift in the artists’ marketplace, where world-renowned Native and Native-inspired artists and crafters demonstrate their skills and offer hand-crafted items for sale. Hours are Thursday and Friday 9-3, Saturday 10-6, and Sunday 10-5. www.athensparent.com 7
Sweet Olive Farm and Rescue
Clementine (top) and Daisy share the love with Culprit, the donkey sponsored by Daisy.
ponsoring one of these animals is one of the best ways you can help support their efforts and ensure they are able to continue rescuing animals in need. Your monthly donation covers the majority of the animalâ€™s feed cost, which allows the owners to focus on vet bills, maintenance on the farm, and other monthly costs. Sponsorship makes a great gift. You will receive a sponsorship packet and color photograph of your sponsored friend. Other opportunities include volunteering on the farm, taking a tour, or scheduling a class field trip. Find out more at www.sweetolivefarm.org.
8 Athens-Oconee Parent
oinkybirthday By Shannon Baker • Photos by Cassie Wright
MY 11-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER, Jane, started a new, small school last year called Double Helix Steam School.Every Thursday they transport their students to Sweet Olive Farm and Rescue. Earlier this year, I went with them on one of their Thursday farm days. Our trek took us past downtown Winterville to a 22-acre piece of property with a house, a barn, and a variety of structures to shelter the animals. The owners, Kat Howkins and Susan Pritchett, started their animal rescue journey with dogs at their midtown Atlanta home where they had to get a special permit so that they could house up to 10 dogs. Ironically, the animal control officer who provided them with the special permit told them about a pot-bellied pig who needed a home, and, in 2010, they moved to their current location in Oglethorpe County. As we crossed the parking lot to the farm, we could already see several animals waiting to greet us. Once inside, and with the gate locked behind them, the kids scattered off to seek out their favorite animal, whether it was the alpacas or the horses or one of the newer additions – a piglet named Bernice who they call Bernie Melon because, well, she looks like a watermelon! After spending time with the animals, the children and chaperones began doing farm chores. The kids enjoyed helping, even if it was scooping the animal droppings. I was definitely in awe of a lot of the animals I encountered. They have the largest cow that I have ever seen, appropriately named Boss. TukTuk the emu, who was found roaming across the street from the farm on the coldest day of 2018, is exciting to watch as it
runs around at up to 50 mph then bathes in the mud! Baby June and Baby May are two alpacas who started their journey with hardship and are lucky to be with us today. The two just celebrated their first birthday with a community party! There is a big, beautiful old red barn in the heart of the farm that is used for weddings, birthday parties, yoga, camps ... and a place for the animals, of course! Sweet Olive Farm and Rescue is a 501C3 non-profit animal sanctuary with farm and exotic animals. Besides the animals I have already mentioned, you can find zebu cattle, hogs, donkeys, sheep, goats, chickens and more! Their mission is not only to help animals, but to educate the community about the importance of responsible animal care, ethical eating, and the sentience of all creatures. I asked my daughter what she liked best about Sweet Olive and I think she summed it up pretty good: “The animals are always sweet and Kat, one of the owners – as well as everyone who works there – is very generous. I am glad that they are rescuing animals.” n TOP: A curious chicken, Ginger, checks out what’s going on with Clementine and Bernice. ABOVE: Daisy (left) gives Baby May a hug while Clementine (right) tells Baby June not to spit. LEFT: Photographer Cassie Wright with Bernice
partysensitive When kids had rather hide By Tiffany Doerr Guerzon
Awesome Parties for Introverted Kids
EVERY KID LOVES A birthday party, right? Nope! For a shy or introverted child, big, noisy parties are often events to be dreaded instead of celebrated. So, how can parents mark these important milestones in a way that makes everyone happy? First of all, you know your child best. Careful listening and discussion will reveal what your birthday boy or girl needs and wants in a celebration.
The home-field advantage Some kids will feel most comfortable in their own home, celebrating with a few chosen relatives and friends. Hold a small dinner party with the birthday child’s favorite meal as the main dish. You can still make an intimate gather10 Athens-Oconee Parent
ing special with decorations, a fun game or two, plus a birthday cake.
Keep it small Introverted kids often would prefer to have one or two close friends instead of a gaggle of playmates. “We keep parties very small, with three or four friends at most,” Alycia, mom of a shy daughter, says. A simple after-school playdate with a couple of friends at home could be the perfect birthday celebration. Plan one or two activities, serve cake or cupcakes and call it done! One mom described her experience when she threw her 3-year-old introvert a birthday party with five other preschoolers: “It was the worst party! I believe she hit one of her friends, and by the end of the party, I was crying, too. Now that she is older and I’m more trusting of my own instincts, I ask her what she wants and she plans every party with my help.”
“Don’t look at me!” Present opening and the “Happy Birthday” song can be excruciating experiences for kids who hate having all eyes on them. An easy solution is simply to have the child open the gifts later, after the guests have gone home. Just make sure you or your child send thank-you notes, so friends know that their gift was appreciated. The candles, cake and birthday song present a more difficult problem, because this practice is so expected. Some kids don’t actually like cake, and serving a non-traditional treat such as doughnuts or ice cream can be a hit (a bonus is that guests won’t expect candles). If you do serve cake, make a dramatic entrance by carrying the cake into the room as the guests sing, so that all eyes are on the cake instead of on the birthday girl or boy. Or dispense with the candles and song entirely. Before the event, let your child blow out the candles with just the family present. Take a picture to preserve the memory, then cut up the dessert. Handing out slices of cake or cupcakes at the party can circumvent the expected singing and candles.
Games or no games? Planning with your child is crucial to a happy birthday. Let them choose what ac-
tivities they would like. Sometimes just free play in the backyard is plenty, and won’t put anyone in the spotlight. On the other hand, a busy schedule of games and activities can be helpful to a kid who would prefer less pressure to interact with his or her peers. Again, let the birthday kid choose; they will know what is most comfortable for them. “My shy daughter always liked parties where there were things to distract guests,” mom Gretchen says. “The attention had been drawn away from her and the activity became the emphasis. I never had games that won prizes because she hated the tension of competition.”
Get out of the house Some kids prefer not to have a lot of people on their home turf. Mom Tiffany held a party for her shy daughter outside of their home. “Having a bunch of girls in her ‘space’ or room seemed stressful to her,” she says. “My daughter loved having a movie party. They had junk food and we didn’t open presents in front of the crowd. They had a blast in the theater and it was no pressure.” Sometimes, it’s easier when all of the partygoers are engaged in an organized activity outside of the home. Try an art-making party at a ceramics or painting studio. Bowling, bounce houses, a science museum or a laser-tag space are other options for those kids who don’t mind a noisy atmosphere. Taking a few friends to the movies is another fun birthday treat.
Manage your own expectations Lastly, remember who the party is for. It can be hard for an extroverted parent who is looking forward to throwing a birthday blowout to scale down their expectations. Through careful planning and listening, your shy child can still have a celebration to remember that makes everyone happy. n
Tiffany Doerr Guerzon is a freelance writer, the mother of three children and author of “Save Money on Groceries by Going Back to Basics.” Read more of her writing at TDGuerzon.com. This article first appeared on www.parentmap.com
The Party List Because some details may change after this information was posted, please contact individual people and places to comfirm.
ACC Leisure Services SPLASH PAD BIRTHDAYS AT ROCKSPRINGS PARK The Splash Pad Birthday Party this summer at Rocksprings Park will have you and your guests surrounded by dolphins, coconut trees, and more at the ocean-themed aquatics facility. Party patrons have exclusive use of the splash pad area, as well as the pool picnic area which includes tables and chairs. We offer a 2-hour party package for $100 with exclusive use of the splash pad on Saturday mornings and Thursday evenings. Parties are available during pool season (May-August). Location: Rocksprings Park, 291 Henderson Extension, Athens, 30606 Cost: $100, 25 guest maximum Ages: Any Phone: 706.613.3602 Website: accgov.com/birthdays SANDY CREEK NATURE CENTER Celebrate your birthday at Sandy Creek Nature Center with fun learning! The two-hour party includes a 45-minute nature program. Program topics include: Dynamic Dinos, Space Exploration, Super Snakes, Turtle Time, or Wildlife Adventure. Party-goers will enjoy up-close animal encounters, Discovery Trail hikes, and an inside party room with tables, chairs and kitchen access, including microwave, ice machine and refrigerator. Parties scheduled on Saturdays only. Location: Sandy Creek Nature Center, 205 Old Commerce Road, Athens, 30601 Cost: $95 and $65 for Sandy Creek Nature Center, Inc. members. Space Exploration is $115 and $85. 20 guest maximum Ages: 4-12 Phone: 706-613-3615 Website: www.accgov.com/birthdays ATHENS-CLARKE COUNTY TENNIS CENTER Make your next celebration an energetic affair! The two-hour celebration includes an hour of instruction with a tennis pro and then it’s off to our party room or patio for cake. Location: Athens-Clarke County Tennis Center, 4460 Lexington Road, Athens, 30605 Cost: $80 for up to 8 children; $120 for 9 to 16 children. Ages: 5-12 Phone: 706-613-3991 Website: accgov.com/birthdays ZOO PARTIES AT BEAR HOLLOW ZOO Make your next celebration a wild affair! Our 3-hour zoo parties include use of air-conditioned Zoo Operations Building, a custom zoo tour, and educational animal program. 12 Athens-Oconee Parent
Location: Bear Hollow Zoo at Memorial Park, 293 Gran Ellen Drive, Athens, 30606 Cost: Basic Party Package ($75) and Deluxe Party Package ($125), 30 guest maximum Ages: 2-12 Phone: 706-613-3580 Website: accgov.com/birthdays GYMNASTICS PARTIES AT BISHOP PARK Parties consist of one hour of exciting gymnastics challenges and 30 minutes in one of the party areas. Personal party coach provided. The birthday child will receive a T-shirt, and all guests will receive a gift. Location: Bishop Park Gym, 705 Sunset Drive, Athens, 30606 Cost: $120 for up to 15 children in attendance; $200 for 16 to 25 children; $30 for each additional birthday child. Ages: 3-12 Phone: 706-613-3589 Website: www.accgov.com/birthdays
Alice DePass Studio of Dance Celebrate your birthday with a wonderful dance party! When you schedule your party, you may choose one of our themes or make a special request. You bring the food, and we provide the fun! Each party includes a dance class and crafts, and the opportunity to enjoy an energetic and creative time. Cost: Call for details Ages: 3 and up Phone: 706-769-1177 Website: www.depassstudioofdance.com
Spark at Ann Peden Choose Clay, Jewelry Making or Painting Party; parties include all materials & instruction, great for boys & girls, all ages (adults too). CLAY: Choose from many different projects (mug, wall pocket, birdfeeder, vase, etc.), then we fire it in our kiln to create a beautiful piece of ceramics. JEWELRY MAKING: Celebrate with friends making beautiful handcrafted jewelry; everyone makes a handmade bracelet & necklace with their choice of charm. PAINTING: Make your child’s birthday a paint party! Choose from over 45 different wooden cut outs, make a distressed wood sign or paint a canvas – every child brings home a work of art. See the website for many other specialty parties (unicorn, sword and shield, slime or design your own) Ages: 5 and up
Cost: $20/guest for Clay, $18/guest for Jewelry Making, $18/guest for Painting; minimum 8, maximum 64, parties are 2 hours. Location: Market Center, 1431 Capital Ave, Suite 107 and 109, Watkinsville Ga 30677 Phone: 706-769-2656 Website: www.sparkatannpeden.com
Let ‘Brella Studio bring the Art Truck to YOU! Choose a theme, set the time, and the messy goodness will arrive on wheels. An hour-long session accommodates up to 15 children/10 teens/8 adults. Guests will climb into the mobile studio space and create a special work of art! After that, the mess is driven away, leaving you with a finished project and smiling faces! Pricing starts at $150 for 1 hour with the Art Truck. Contact alyssa@ brellastudio.com for more information!
Funopolis Family Fun Center Make your child’s birthday memorable as they play on their choice of attraction from one of the birthday packages. All packages include: Private Party Room; Party Supplies: Cups, Plates, Napkins; Party Host; Slice of Cheese Pizza AND Cheese Puffs; Unlimited Fountain Drinks; $10 Game Card & Return Visit Coupon; Balloon Centerpiece; Downloadable Invitations; Birthday Child also receives 100 Tickets, Funopolis T-Shirt & Photo Keepsake Ages: All ages Phone: 706-335-3866 Website: www.funopolisfamilyfuncenter.com
The Party List
Leading Edge Gymnastics Academy Tumble, flip, jump, and run, make a birthday extra FUN with a party at LEGA! Let us handle the details, while you celebrate your favorite gymnast or cheerleader with family and friends in our 20,000 square foot facility. LEGA will provide a member of our well-trained staff to assist with the party, standard paper products and punch, goodie bags, a free trial class for all attendees, and clean up! We have four party packages to choose from, so you can make sure the day is perfect for your group. Cost: Varied, depending on the package Ages: All ages Phone: 678-975-7469 Website: legawinder.com/parties.html
Gymnasia Birthday Parties, Play Dates and Family Gatherings are a ton of fun at Gymnasia. Premiere location for Athens to have your party with an Obstacle Course, Gymnastics, Open Gym Time, 30 minutes of instruction, and a Coach for the kids. Affordable and fun. Location: 1091 Baxter St. Athens Phone: 706-510-5834 Website: www.GymnasiaAthens.com
14 Athens-Oconee Parent
Oconee County Parks & Recreation Department The Community Center at Oconee Veterans Park has rooms available to rent for indoor parties and several parks offer picnic pavilions for rental as well. Please call or visit our website for more information. Ages: All ages Phone: 706-769-3965 Website: www.oconeecounty.com/ocprd
Pump It Up Bouncing. Sliding. Climbing. Tumbling. Private party facility filled with interactive inflatables that engage and challenge children. Pump It Up takes care of the organization, child supervision, party set up and cleanup so that parents can relax and enjoy the party too! We have the most flexible food policy in town. Check out our new glow and themed adventure parties from $1 per child, as well as our new picture taking service that’s only $10! Cost: Check Web site or call for party plans Ages: 2 and up Contact: John Begnaud Phone: 706-613-5675 Website: www.pumpitupparty.com
Rebecca Sunshine Band Rock out with Rebecca Sunshine or bring the whole Rebecca Sunshine Band for your music jam party! Rebecca brings a variety of instruments for everyone to play along, and she’ll get everyone dancing and singing together. She can customize the playlist to your party’s theme, and she can incorporate stories and puppets, too! Drop us a line via our website to get your party started. For more information visit our website. Website: www.rebeccasunshineband.com
Rush Trampoline Park For fun, stress-free, party planning, book with Rush! All parties include: • 60 minute jump time for each party guest • Add 30 extra minutes: $5 (per jumper) • Add 60 extra minutes: $10 (per jumper) • Private party room for 40 minutes • Dedicated party room host • Party room setup and cleanup • Plates, utensils, napkins & table covering • Rush socks for every party guest • Bottle of water for all jumpers • Printable and Electronic party invitations • Bring your own drinks/desserts (cake & cupcakes): No Fee • Bring your own food (pizza, sandwiches, etc.): $50 Fee • Water bottle for the birthday guest • 1 free jump pass for the birthday guest Cost: Starts at: $22 per jumper (min. party size is 10) Ages: All ages Phone: 706-548-4470 Website: www.rushathens.com
Sew Sew Studio Book a private sewing party with Sew Sew Studio! Choose from a selection of fabrics and learn to sew a beginner-level project. This is a truly unique celebration experience. Instructors will help every step of the way, and everyone will leave with a handmade party favor! Projects Projects include backpacks, pillowcases, stuffed animal sleeping bags, skirts, and more! Cost: $30 per participant, minimum of 5, materials/pizza included Ages: 9 and up Phone: 678-661-0201 Website: www.SewSewStudio.com www.athensparent.com 15
getout! ONGOING n Farmers Markets Enjoy locally and naturally grown food, crafts, art and sometimes music and cooking demonstrations at these weekly events. ATHENS: Saturdays at Bishop Park 8am-noon; Wednesdays at Creature Comforts Brewing Co. on Hancock 4-7pm, athensfarmersmarket.net WATKINSVILLE: Saturdays at Oconee County Courthouse 8am-1pm, oconeefarmersmarket.org n Frightful Weekends at
Saturdays and Sundays thru Nov. 2 plus Halloween night. 7-11pm. Commerce, GA. www. funopolisfamilyfuncenter.com n Garden Earth Explorers Families join one another for a morning of adventure discovering Garden Earth through songs, puppets, stories, hikes, activities or games. Each week will highlight a new theme such as water, soil, foods we eat, pollination, plants or trees.
Some events, dates and times are subject to change. Please call individual event organizers to confirm schedules. All area codes are 706 unless otherwise noted.
The Garden Earth Explorers program is an informal way to give young naturalists a better understanding about the importance of our shared earth. Thursday mornings will be geared towards ages 3-6, and Saturday mornings will capture the interest of our more advanced learners ages 7-10. This event will not take place during inclement weather or a scheduled festival. Through November 14. 10:15am. Alice H. Richards Children’s Garden at State Botanical Garden of Georgia. Free. 2450 South Milledge Avenue.
Storytime is for all preschool aged children and their caregivers. Come for stories, songs, movement, crafts, and fun! 769-3950
want to swap now and come back in October to pick out a new one for free. 769-3950
n Preschool Story Time at
Let’s build! Join us in creating Lego art and playing Lego-based activities. Lego blocks provided! Children up to age 11. Sundays 1/17 and 12/15. Tuesdays 10/8, 29, 11/12, 26, and 12/10. Oconee County Library. 4pm. 769-3950
n Fantastic Fridays Drop in gymnastics for ages 10 months to 4 years through Dec 6. An instructor supervises the fun while parents and/or caregivers lead their little ones through amazing obstacle courses. Bishop Park Gym, 1011:30am, $5-$7.50/child, 6133589 (No class Nov 1 or 29)
All skill levels, come out for chess! Led by volunteer members of our local Chess and Community Conference who assist players and build skill levels. Open to ages 7-18 years. Athens-Clarke County Library. Mondays. 4-5:30pm. 613-3650
n Tiny Tales on Tuesdays
at Memorial Park
Participants will have story time and participate in a craft! 18 months-6 years. $3-$4/ child and parents/ chaperones accompanying kids are free. Register online at accgov. com 613-3580 n Storytimes
at the OC Library
Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10am and 11am.
the ACC Library
Story program for children ages 18 months to 5 years old and their caregiver. Lively time of sharing books, songs, puppets, nursery rhymes, early literacy and preschool activities. Tues and Wed 9:30-10am and 10:30-11am. 613-3650 n Open Chess Play at the
n Infant Story Time at the Babies love books, too! This is a special Storytime for the youngest readers-to-be, 0-18 months. Share fingerplays, songs and simple books with your babies as they sit in your lap. Mondays. Athens-Clarke County Library. 10:30am. 6133650 n Bedtime Stories at the
Story program for working parents and their children ages 2-5. Join us for stories, rhymes, and lively participation fun. Pajamas, blankets, and stuffed animals welcome. Wednesdays. Athens-Clarke County Library. 7pm. 613-3650 n Get Ready for the
Costume Swap at the OC Library
Collecting costumes through Oct 11 in preparation for the Oconee County Library’s Costume Swap on Saturday, Oct. 12! Bring in your costumes you 16 Athens-Oconee Parent
n Lego Club at the OC
n Athens Mothers’ Center
Come and meet other moms experiencing similar joys and challenges! Tuesday and Friday mornings from 9:30-11:30am year-round (except when Clarke County Schools are closed). Dads are welcome on Fridays. Covenant Presbyterian Church facebook.com/groups/athens. mothers.center.community/ n Fall Fun at Washington
Washington Farms is a family-friendly farm with lots of fun and exciting activities for children of all ages! Through Nov 3. For a list of activities, times, and prices, visit washingtonfarms.net n Pumpkin Festival at
Stone Mountain Park
Play by day and glow by night at Stone Mountain park through Nov 3. 10am-9pm stonemountainpark.com/ Events/Pumpkin-Festival
OCTOBER 2019 3-5 Kindermarket Sale
Baby, kids, teens, women’s, and home goods- all in one sale! Located at the Athens YMCA. Check times and entry fee (Thursday only) online on their Facebook page- Kindermarket of Athens, Georgia, or on our online calendar.
12 Little Athens Pop-Up at
Compiled by Sarah Danis
Georgia Square Mall
Little Athens Children’s Museum will bring their pop-up exhibit to Georgia Square Mall the second Saturday of each month during 2019. 10am-12pm littleathens.org/ about-little-athens
on the Boulevard
Canine costume contest at 3:15. Parade at 4 p.m. Canine Carnival (located at Jittery Joe’s Roaster), where parade participants and spectators meet for food, music, fun, and LOTS of photos until 6pm. barkonboulevard.com
athensparent.com one will vote for their favorites all week! Ages 0-11. Free. Oconee County Library
23 One Spooky Night: A Vintage Halloween Carnival 20th Anniversary Extravaganza at the ACC Library Put on your favorite Halloween disguise and join us for our 20th annual haunting evening of seasonal tales, costumes, shadow puppetry and surprises! See “Show & Tell” on page 7 for details. 613-3650
This Watkinsville outdoor festival is the largest arts & crafts venue in the area. There are plenty of activities for kids and is free to attend. 9-4
21 Pumpkin Decorating
Decorate a pumpkin like your favorite book character (no carving- get creative with art supplies!) to enter in our contest! We’ll have craft supplies and a limited number of pumpkins—please bring your own, if possible. We’ll display the pumpkins all week, and everyone will vote for their favorites! Ages 0-11. Free. Oconee County Library 7693950 2-5pm
Win a prize pack of books! Decorate a pumpkin like your favorite book character no carving- get creative with art supplies!) and bring it to the library Oct. 21-Oct. 25. Every-
Preschool-aged children and caregivers play musical instruments, sing, and dance together. Oconee County Library. 10:30am. 769-3950
at the OC Library
19 Oconee Chamber
14 Baby Music Jam at the OC Library
16 Heritage Days Fall
17 Baby Music Jam Preschool-aged children and caregivers play musical instruments, sing, and dance together. Oconee County Library. 10:30am. 769-3950
Little Athens Children’s Museum will bring their pop-up exhibit to Georgia Square Mall the second Saturday of each month during 2019. 10am-12pm littleathens.org/ about-little-athens
25-26 Haunted House
Do you love scary stories? Come visit our free haunted house inside the library! It’ll be a SCREAM! (May be scary for younger children; please use your best judgement!) Free and open to the public. Oconee County Library 6-8pm
Celebrate our horticultural and agricultural history with crafts, stories, music and hands-on education classes, so that we can better remember the teachings of the past and relate them to the garden work we do today. 10am-2pm. State Botanical Garden of Georgia. Free. 2450 South Milledge Avenue
16 Spotlight on the Arts
Family Fun Day
Enjoy art activites, theatre, dance, literary workshops, performances, musical instrument petting zoo and more. 10am2pm. Various locations. Free and open to the public. arts.uga.edu
5 Toddler Tuesday:
21 Athens Academy
Piece by Piece
Join us for a tour, story time in the galleries and an art activity just for the little ones. Inspired by the exhibition “Mary Lee Bendolph: Quilted Memories,” the program will explore how shapes and patterns create quilts. This free, 40-minute program is designed for families with children ages 18 months to 3 years. Space is limited; please email madison. email@example.com or call 5424883 to reserve a spot. Georgia Museum of Art. 10-11am
9 Little Athens Pop-Up at Georgia Square Mall
Over 35 vendors from across the Southeast with thousands of unique and handmade items. Plenty of free parking. 8am-5pm. Located at 1281 Spartan Lane off Hwy. 441 between Athens and Watkinsville. #acadholidaymarket2019
29 Pagemasters: Kids’ Book & Movie Club at the OC Library
Please get out and support our advertisers who make this FREE family resource possible! ACC Leisure 15 Alice DePass Studio of Dance 3 Athens Academy Holiday Market 27 Athens Academy 19 Athens Dermatology 19 Athens Family Vision/Dr. Springer 19 Baker & Slider Attorneys at Law 21 Brella Studio 14 Cassie Wright Photography 31 Clarke County School District 23 Children First 11 Funopolis 32 Gymnasia 15 Linder & Linder Family Dentistry 3 Manning Brothers 13 Newell Orthodontics 25 Prince Avenue Christian School 25 Pump It Up 4 Rush Trampoline Park 2 Spark! at Ann Peden 13 UGA Spotlight on the Arts 27 Women’s Center of Athens 25
The Spiderwick ChroniclesWhich was better, the book or the movie? We’ll talk about what we think and watch the movie, too! Oconee County Library. 4pm. 769-3950 n www.athensparent.com 17
teachthemwell By Gregg Murset
IF YOU ASK ANY kids if they’d rather do chores or just play video games all day, it’s pretty obvious what they would answer. But, stay strong parents because ignoring the complaints and making your kids do chores can help teach them vital life skills. And not just how to vacuum and do laundry, they can learn characteristics, habits and traits that will slingshot them onto a path of success throughout life including:
Things Chores Will Teach Your Kids About Life
Many kids do not have their first job until well into their teens, when they are in high school, college or even as young adults after college graduation. When done right, chores can actually function as your child’s first job teaching him or her about accountability, quality of work, organization and planning.
Paying your child weekly for chores completed can also help him or her comprehend how pay checks work.
Digital Money Comprehension
Americans are generally a cashless society these days, which can be hard for kids to understand at checkout. When kids see parents shopping online it can look like parents are just picking what they want and having it show up at the house. Kids are not seeing money changing hands and that makes understanding how debit and credit cards work. Using a chore management service that is linked to a debit card for kids can help them practice managing money they cannot see.
Most adults are dealing with debt management whether it is student loans or credit card
debt. When kids do chores to earn money and then are given freedom to spend that money, they learn very quickly the value of the money they are earning and start to comprehend the cost of goods. If your child wants a new toy or game have him or her save money from chores to make the purchase. This will help your child understand delayed gratification and the value of hard work compared to the costs of items.
and don’t allow extra time or pay for uncompleted tasks.
Kids often have busy schedules, but they usually aren’t in charge of managing them. They go to school, sports and other extra-curricular activities when parents say. Give your child chores for the week and then let him or her set a schedule for getting them done before the week is over. Incentivize your child by paying for the chores that get done but stay strong
Kids who start chores at a young age, as young as five, can learn skills they can turn into a neighborhood job as they grow up. For example, pet sitting or lawn care for the neighbors. By teaching them that hard work pays from a young age you will be inspiring your kids to put down the phones and gaming controllers to go out and make an income instead. n
Gregg is the co-founder and CEO of BusyKid and is best known as the groundbreaking inventor of My Job Chart which grew to nearly 1 million members in four years. A father of six, Gregg is a certified financial planner and consultant who also became a leading advocate for sound parenting, child accountability and financial literacy.
REAL-LIFE LESSONS With the BusyKid App
usyKid is the first chore/allowance app where children can earn, save, share, spend, and invest real money wisely. The just released, BusyKid app,is available for free download in the Apple and Google Play stores. Studies continue to show that millions of Americans have no savings, are weighted down with huge debt and fail to take advantage of a mostly-positive stock market. These issues stem a great deal from the lack of financial education in the U.S., but BusyKid has been designed to provide real “life lessons” through hands-on experience earning, saving, sharing, spending, and investing real allowance each week. “I’m not sure if there has ever been a more critical time for financial education,” said BusyKid Co-Founder/CEO Gregg Murset. “It’s not just about counting pennies or having dollars in the wallet anymore. Technology has made money invisible, and handling it remotely can be confusing for anyone, especially children. For the majority of our kids, schools will never teach them the important financial lessons they need to navigate adulthood, so they make it up as they go. This is why it’s critically important for parents to jump in as soon as possible to make sure they’re ready.”
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Couples in healthy marriages
By Dave Ramsey
We Can Work It Out ARE YOU ARGUING WITH your spouse about money? You’re not alone. When you put together couples and money, you’re bound to get a few spats. Did you know money is the number one issue married couples fight about? When it comes to marital problems, money fights are the second leading cause of divorce, behind infidelity. It’s no secret that cultivating a solid marriage takes time and work. No matter how much you love your spouse, trying to merge your lives – and your money – can be a bumpy (but still beautiful!) ride. Here are seven mistakes couples make when it comes to their money and relationship – and how you can avoid them.
They Keep Separate Bank Accounts Some couples think the best way to avoid money arguments is to keep separate checking accounts. His paycheck goes in one account, hers goes into another, and they each pay bills separately. No harm, no foul, right? Wrong. This lays the groundwork for financial problems as time goes on.
n How to work on it:
Marriage is a partnership. The officiant said, “And now you are one.” Both parties need to be involved in the finances. Separating the money and splitting the bills is a bad idea that only leads to more money and relationship problems down the road. Don’t keep separate accounts. Put all of your money together and begin to look at it as a whole.
They Disagree About Their Lifestyle Let’s say you’re perfectly content shopping at Goodwill when you need to update your threads, but your spouse loves to buy name-brand items at full price. If you have 20 Athens-Oconee Parent
an income that doesn’t support expensive tastes, that’s going to be a problem.
n How to work on it:
Marriage is all about compromise. If one of you is attached to name-brand items, consider shopping at an outlet mall to snag those brands at affordable prices. Because the bottom line is: your lifestyle needs to line up with what your actual income is –not what you wish it was. You might want to live like a perfectly curated Instagram post, but don’t let yourself fall down that rabbit hole. Especially when there aren’t enough zeros in your bank account.
They Let Personality Differences Come Between Them Everyone’s personality is different, and opposites tend to attract. Chances are, one of you loves working numbers (the nerd) and the other one would rather not be tied down by what the numbers show (the free spirit). One of you might be the saver and the other is more inclined to spend. While that can cause some marital problems, it isn’t the real issue. The source of the problem is whenever one of you neglects to hear the other’s input. Or when one of you bows out from participating in the financial dealings altogether.
n How to work on it:
Listen up, financial nerds. Don’t keep the money details all to yourself. And stop acting like a know-it-all while using your “knowledge” to boss around your free-spirit spouse. And if you’re the more carefree spouse, don’t just nod your head and say, “That looks great, dear.” You have a vote in the budget meetings! Give feedback, criticism and encouragement. News flash: you’re both on the same team here, so work on the budget together! Use your personality differences to become a united, stronger team.
They Let Salary Differences Divide Them For most couples, one of them probably makes more money than the other. Rarely will you both be making the exact same salary. But whether the amount comes to $50 or $50,000 more a year, the same problem can arise. Instead of seeing the full pot as “our money,” you might think you have leverage over the other – all thanks to a few extra digits on your paycheck. Sometimes the spouse bringing in the most money can feel entitled to the most say. Don’t even go there. That’s just asking for more money and relationship troubles.
n How to work on it:
It’s not “yours” or “mine” – it’s “ours.” There’s no reason to hold a higher income over the other’s head. You’re on the same team. Start acting like it.
They Commit Financial Unfaithfulness Being unfaithful to your spouse doesn’t always involve an affair. Sometimes it’s when you’re unfaithful to a shared financial vision by opening a side bank account or stashing away cash. That’s deceitful. The same applies if you have a credit card your spouse knows nothing about.
n How to work on it:
Be open and honest about any side checking/savings accounts or secret credit cards you have. It’s time to own up to the truth and clear the air. Then, work toward establishing financial trust again. Recommit to your shared goal and remember why you’re doing it. You’re in this together!
are twice as likely to discuss money dreams together. They Let Their Expectations Get the Best of Them One of the biggest dividers between couples and money is when they have unmet expectations. The quickest way to feel unfulfilled and unsatisfied with your spouse and financial goals is when you expect things to go a certain way only to find out reality is a bit different. If you’ve always thought you have to immediately buy a house after getting married, you might feel let down when you celebrate your first anniversary in the apartment you’re renting. Don’t let your unrealistic expectations pave the way for marital problems and discord!
n How to work on it:
There is no rule stating married couples have to buy a home, start a family, or go on a trip to Paris during their first year of marriage. If those things aren’t feasible for you right now, stop worrying. Get your finances in order now so that later you can make your dreams a reality. (And when it
does come time to buy your first home, we recommend you save at least 10% for a down payment – or 20% if you want to avoid PMI – and only take out a 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage.)
They Let the Kids Run the Show Your kids are begging you for the latest video game. You think about how well they’ve behaved lately and figure, why not? But your spouse is upset because it isn’t in the budget. Hello, impending money argument! Whether it’s buying them toys, giving them an allowance, or just paying for their sports equipment—kids have a way of shedding light on couples and their money habits.
n How to work on it:
Talk about it and make a plan. Decide together how to budget for the things your children need. But what about all of their pesky wants? Discuss the possibility of establishing chores and a commission (or
allowance) for the work they do. This can help them establish a great work ethic all while teaching them how important it is to wait for the things you want in life! Marriage is a partnership. It’s time to stop making these money mistakes and find common ground. Sure, it’s tricky to figure out how to not fight about money, but you can learn how to discuss your finances in a more productive way. You married your spouse for a reason. Believe it or not, you need their skills – especially the ones you don’t have. That free spirit or nerd can bring valuable insight and knowledge to the table. They’re your teammate, and it’s time to start treating them like one. n
America’s trusted voice on money and business, Dave Ramsey is a personal money-management expert and extremely popular national radio personality. His seven best-selling books have sold more than 11 million copies combined. Visit www.DaveRamsey.com to take your free assessment.
disciplinaryaction *Used here as a verb! By Dr. John Norris
22 Athens-Oconee Parent
havior was wrong, or what to do instead. What lesson does spanking teach? That big people can hit little people? That the strong may hit the weak? That it is acceptable to use violence to get what you want? That violence can be a part of a loving relationship? Do you really think the mind of a young child is capable of drawing more complex conclusions than these? What lessons do you think are drawn? Fear? Is that really what you want to teach your child? To be afraid of you? If you really want to teach respect and obedience, not fear, there are better ways! The word “discipline” has its historical roots in the Latin words disciplania which means “pupil” and disciplinus with means “to teach”. Unfortunately, people have come to equate discipline with punishment, often at the expense of the teaching. For many parents, a recalibration is in order. An important first step is to reflect on your own upbringing. When you are tired, frustrated, or facing a new parenting situation requiring discipline, the easiest thing to do is to resort to the approaches we know the best--those we experienced. If you enjoyed a childhood filled with love and effective discipline, this will serve you well. However, if you have bad childhood memories you do not wish to
repeat, then you need to work at recalling, understanding and changing these patterns. Now is the time to start! For older infants and young toddlers: safety proofing the environment, continual monitoring of their activities, distraction from dangerous objects or situations, or substitution of an object with something safer, are often sufficient. Their behavior will predictably worsen when they are tired, hungry, or bored. Try to anticipate these situations and avoid or intervene before the meltdown occurs. Properly administered timeouts can be very effective for toddlers and pre-schoolers. I strongly recommend using a kitchen timer to make the timing seem less arbitrary and fairer. The standard rule is one minute of time-out per year of age of the child. Time-out is a calming down period for all participants and should include social isolation of the child on a chair, stool, step, or in their crib, or room. Importantly, the timer only starts once the tantrum stops.
With older children, additional considerations arise.
ONE OF THE BEST gifts parents and caregivers can give to their children is safe, consistent, effective discipline. Unfortunately, many caregivers struggle with this important parenting art. Below, I will present a rational philosophy of discipline and summarize some of the more successful methods available. Finally, I will recommend some books that I feel nicely detail these approaches. First, we need to deal with the 800 pound gorilla in the room – spanking. Spanking as a form of discipline is as old as the hills and quite widespread. What it isn’t---is effective! How do we know this? Spanking is one of the best-studied parenting behaviors and the evidence shows that “spanking is associated with less long-term compliance and evidence of conscience”. In addition, a recent meta-analysis, summarizing the results of 75 research studies representing data from 160,927 children, showed associations between spanking and low moral internalization on the one hand, and increased aggression, antisocial behavior, mental health problems, negative parent-child relationships, impaired cognitive ability, low self-esteem and risk of physical abuse on the other. Many of these negative results persisted into adulthood! So why doesn’t spanking work? Children learn by more complicated ways than just which behaviors lead to punishment. Successful socialization requires that children internalize the reasons for behaving in a certain way. Effective discipline is more about teaching than punishment. Spanking does not teach children why their be-
Model* Behavior Children –indeed, probably all of us –hate hypocrisy. Thus, you must make every effort to model the types of behaviors you hope your child will exhibit. Children are always watching and listening!
So if you want your children to treat you and others with respect, treat your spouse, children, neighbors, co-workers, etc., with respect. If you want your children to learn control of their emotions when frustrated, control yours. If you want your children to speak civilly when angry, monitor your language when upset. If you want your children to use moderation with media use, be careful when and how you use your computer/ cell phone/tablet, etc,. If you want children to work through problems rather than stomp around, slam doors, and throw things, show them how! Another key is consistency. Mom, Dad, Grandma, the babysitter, etc., must have and enforce the same sets of rules and have the same sorts of behavioral expectations. Nothing confuses a child more than to have different care-givers apply different rules under the same circumstances. The use of routine – storing shoes, coats, bookbags, etc., in specific places –and only those places; and eating at regular times, sleeping at regular times, regular time for homework, regular bath-times, regular chores, etc., will provide some structure and regularity to your child’s life and take away many of the daily power struggles.
put your toys away after you are finished with them.” “Daddy really likes how well you and your sister played together just now.” “Grandma really likes how you take good care of your new book.”
Natural consequences are another powerful teacher. If through some action (or inaction) your child loses something, breaks one of their favorite toys, or is late with a school project, the act itself should provide all the behavior modification you require. Furthermore, as children age, it is increasingly appropriate for them to deal with problems of their own creation – you have enough of your own. If they procrastinate on their school project and then have to throw it together in a flurry, that is their problem – not yours. If their room/desk/locker is a disaster and they can never find anything, that is their problem – not yours. Actions (or inactions) have consequences – at least they should! THIS is how responsibility is learned; not by having us continually bail them out of their troubles. Providing choices can be another empowering method which provides children with some control and eliminates their simple reply of “no”. For example, “Which jammies do you want to wear tonight?”, rather than “Are you ready for bed?” – a definite non-starter! Or, “We can go to the park after you finish cleaning your room.” This now puts them in control. Another much under-utilized discipline tool is praising good behavior. What draws our attention are the bad things and the things we don’t like. We all need to work harder to provide specific praise for good behavior! “Mommy really likes it when you
As has famously been said, “Insanity is repeating the same thing over and over and expecting a different result”. Yet that is exactly how many of us parent. We say and react the same way over and over, hoping this time they will listen. When confronted with a behavioral problem, psychologists talk about the ABCs. The B stands for behavior and is entirely under your child’s control. The A stands for antecedent, or triggering event, and these are things that can often be avoided, modified or, at least, anticipated. Likewise, the C stands for consequences and, if how you are responding is not working, YOU need to adapt by changing your response. If consistently applied, these general principles will make for a more peaceful home-life. If you feel the need for more detailed guidance, I recommend the following books as being parent-friendly, easy to understand, filled with examples, and, most im-
portantly, effective. For children ages 2-12, I recommend 1-2-3 Magic. Dr. Phelan’s award-winning book breaks problem behaviors into those you wish to stop (e.g, whining, tantrums, back-talk) and those you wish to start (e.g, bedtime, bathtime, homework). The 1-2-3 counting method is designed to stop problem behaviors and is centered around the use of time-out with a preceding warning system. The book also provides detailed guidance for how to adapt this program to situations such as misbehavior in public, in the car, etc. The methods for motivating starting behaviors are more complex but so are the target behaviors. For older children or teens, I like Have a New Kid by Friday by Dr. Kevin Leman. Filled with humor, sympathy, and practical examples, it’s really two books in one. The first part provides general instructions for managing behavior, and the second part contains an alphabetically organized appendix of recommendations for a whole host of behavior problems. Finally, instilling respect and good behavior in your child is a marathon, not a sprint! Use good judgment in picking your battles. It can occasionally be okay to let mild things slide. Good luck! n
John Norris, MD, PhD, FAAP is an assistant professor of Medicine with the AU/UGA Medical Partnership. www.athensparent.com 23
batessentials They’re not creepy nor spooky!
By Liz Conroy • Photos by Kristen Lear, BAT EDUCATION SPECIALIST AND PHD STUDENT AT UGA’S WARNELL SCHOOL OF FORESTRY AND NATURAL RESOURCES
To the Bat Box!
HOW ENCOURAGING TO DISCOVER that many youngsters today are unafraid of bats! Parents often say that Stellaluna, a picture book by Janell Cannon, helps children appreciate these beneficial flying mammals. In fact, many families seem interested in learning about bats and why we need them. Unfortunately, other people fear bats. To them, bats are part of Halloween and haunted houses, can fly blindly into someone’s hair, or bite someone to drink blood. Some people think they are flying mice! Most bats are also nocturnal. So as creatures of the night, bats are especially mysterious and scary. Bats are not rodents, nor are they blind. They are mammals of the order Chiroptera
Bat houses along the Greenway near downtown Athens
(“hand-wing”). This name derives from their elongated finger bones—the part of their skeleton that supports their wings. They have good eyes and can see better than humans. Bats also use echolocation— making sounds that echo off an object back to the bat. Laci Pattavina is a wildlife biologist with Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) and chairperson of the Georgia Working Bat Group. Since elementary school she has loved watching wildlife. As a UGA student, she interned with a Georgia DNR state mammologist, Trina Morris, and grew interested in bats. She describes all of our 16 different species of bats in Georgia as insectivores
By Kristen Lear
Most bat moms only have one pup (baby) per year. The longest recorded bat lived over 40 years in the wild! The fastest animal in straight, powered flight is the Mexican free-tailed bat that can fly up to 100 mph! Bats are very clean animals! Just like cats, they spend a lot of time grooming themselves! Most bat species are social and live in colonies. They communicate with each other just like we do! The smallest bat in the world is a Bumblebee bat and weighs less then a penny, and is the size of your thumb tip. The largest bats in the world are flying foxes, which have wingspans of up to 6 feet (but they weigh less than 2 pounds)!
24 Athens-Oconee Parent
Mexican long-tongued bat (left) and a Mexican long-nosed bat (right) in Nuevo Leon, Mexico
BOOKS ABOUT BATS Girl Scouts build bat houses with Kristen Lear’s guidance
(insect-eaters). “They eat mosquitoes and many insect pests,” she says. “The enormous numbers of insects they eat each night reduce the need for and cost of pesticides.” Yet myths abound about bats. Pattavina offers scientific facts to help dispel these tales. “Bats don’t attack people. If they do fly near someone, it’s likely because an insect is nearby, and they are going after it. If a person is in a swimming pool or lake, a bat may swoop down simply to grab a sip of water.” Three species of vampire bats do exist in places such as the very southern tip of Texas and from Mexico down to Argentina, but there are none in Georgia. Rabies occurs in less than 1% of bats so most bats don’t have the disease. Nonetheless, it’s best to never touch a wild animal; if someone is bitten by an animal, do seek medical attention, Pattavina adds. Bats face many dangers in 26 Athens-Oconee Parent
today’s world. Their numbers are declining due to habitat loss and fragmentation as urbanization spreads and wild lands are not preserved. “Other dangers for bats include a fungal disease (White Nose Syndrome) which harms our cave-dwelling bats. There are also increasing numbers of wind turbines—a popular form of renewable energy. Unfortunately these kill many bats and birds as well,” Pattavina notes. How can people get bats safely out of the house? The best approach is to wait until the bats leave and keep them from returning to the house. Pattavina cautions, “Please don’t exclude bats from the house from April 1 until July 31. This is when mother bats have their pups.” The pups will grow big enough to fly out with their parents at sunset in August. Then it’s safe to put up a screen or barrier to prevent them from flying back inside. Most bats leave buildings during winter.
They either migrate or hide in a woodpile or cave. That’s another good time to seal up any openings. There are many other ways to help bats. Bat expert, Kristen Lear, has appreciated bats since childhood. Her interest began when she hiked at night with her Girl Scout troop and learned to listen for owls calling and even the bats’ echolocation clicks. Today, as a PhD student in Integrative Conservation at UGA’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, her dissertation research focuses on conservation of an endangered pollinating bat through “bat- friendly” agave management in Mexico. Lear lists several reasons humans need to help bats. “Around the world, there are 1400 species of bats. They provide pest control by eating insects; others pollinate flowers so that we have foods such as mangos, bananas, and cacao for chocolate. Fruit-eating bats
NON-FICTION: Bats by Gail Gibbons Bats (Nighttime Animals) by Lynn M. Stone Bats (My First Animal Library) by Martha E. H. Rustad Bats (A Lerner Natural Science Book) by Sylvia A. Johnson FICTION: Bat Jamboree by Kathi Appelt Stellaluna by Janell Cannon Nightsong by Ari Beck Bats at the Library by Brian Lies
disperse seeds to help replant and regrow tropical forests. It makes sense for humans to protect them.” Ways to help bats locally may be as simple as allowing dead trees (snags) to remain on the property if the snags are far enough from the house. Dead trees provide bats with places to roost. Disturbing bats in caves can make them leave the cave and abandon their young, she notes. Don’t use bright lights or make loud noises while in there. Decontaminating boots, clothes, and gear after going in a cave helps prevent the spread of the fungus that causes the deadly White Nose Syndrome. Keeping cats indoors is helpful, too. Even when well-fed, free-roaming cats kill and maim many small animals. Lear also suggests participation in Adopt a Bat programs as a birthday present, a Girl or Boy Scout project, or a class project. Such programs support bat rehab centers and conservation centers that need
funds to help conserve bats. “You’ll get an information kit and pictures of the bat you ‘adopted’,” she says. Build (kits are available) or buy a bat house to put up in the yard where it’s okay for guano to drop down to the ground from the open bottom. “Bats can be picky,” she cautions. “It may take them a few years to move in. And it needs to be where it gets six hours of direct sun since the babies need warmth. Put it at least twelve to fifteen feet high so bats can easily swoop out of it.” After all, bats are open air flyers and need room to swoop. Some trees are too shady, allow predators to climb, or have too many branches to be a good place for a bat house, she warns. With their many contributions to the world, bats deserve protection. Read Stellaluna with the family soon and consider the wondrous world of bats and all they do. n Liz Conroy is an Athens-based freelance writer.
â€™tilwemeetagain Expanded pages!
Birthdays Daniel: this ONE is rea
James celebrates his 1st birthday
Mia (4) at her princess birthday party at Pump It Up!
Oren turns 2!
Evelyn celebrates her 1st birthday
Zoe takes the cake on her first birthday!
Claiborne with Eva as Cinderella
Liza Grace sparkles at her 4th birthday mermaid party!
Coraline celebrates her 1st birthday with a Mary Poppins themed party
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Send your photos and info to facebook at Athens-Oconee Parent Magazine.
Kids love to see their picture, and you’ll love the keepsake!
Izabella, 14, Jacob,13, Trey, 12, Ripley, 5, Colt, 4, Brooklyn, 2, and Bodhi, 1
Sammy “Buzz” and a special friend!
Joseph and Savannah
The Vonks love Georgia football! Emilia - Go Dawgs!
Scarlett Claire, 3 and Clayton, 11 mo.
Harlin at UGA’s first home game this year
Bulldogs Lauren and Hairy Dawg
Jim Bob McElroy and his son, Garrison, won The Gameday ESPN Home Depot Sign Contest. Their prize was two tickets to the UGA/Notre Dame game. What an awesome memory for these two! John Dover, 3 mo., and
Everett and Claiborne
Carter (6), Lawson (3) and Lanie Beth (1) love football Saturdays! Go Dawgs!
Georgia 23, Notre Dame 17
Suri, 2 1/2, is proud to be a UGA fan!
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Parks - future Running Back!
Noelle, 10 mo., and Sydney, 4
Collins, 8, Brooks, 6, and Carter, 5 ... Go Dawgs!