Athens Oconee Parent Magazine Dec2018

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A Resource for Families in Athens, Oconee County and the Surrounding Area

Holiday 2018

Building Families... Building Businesses


ANNIVERSARY! Family Time Holiday Crafts Growing Up Parent! Get Out This Holiday & Winter



Toys& Gifts



Shannon H.Baker (right) at a photo shoot; Henry Howell (far right) appeared on our March 2001 cover




At age 26, I was working for the local newspaper and city magazine selling ads. I loved the creativity involved, holding the magazine in my hand when it published, and meeting all the advertisers along the way. But when my daughter, Anniston, turned two and I would leave for work, she would cry a sadness that really tugged at my heart. Around that time, a man who had worked at the paper for over 30 years was retiring. We all gathered in the conference room, he had his piece of cake, and that was that. It was then I knew that I wanted more than just a slice of cake. Having a young daughter, I realized that the Athens I knew as a student was so much more than football and bars. Athens and Oconee County was a great place for children to grow up, and for families to build their lives. Parents needed resources and ideas. They needed ways to connect with other parents. So I took my love for magazines and what a local parent magazine could provide, then knocked on advertisers’ doors with just a concept. Twenty-six businesses said “Yes” and the rest is, as they say, history. Now it is 20 years later. My two-year-old is now 22 (she’s featured on the cover). I have an 18-year-old son, Henry, and 10-year-old daughter, Jane. But family is more than just who you married or who you gave birth to. All of my advertisers are part of our parenting family. The Parent staff are definitely family, one of whom has been keeping me on track from the beginning. Over the years our editors, photographers, sales staff, Web managers and deliverers have worked together to make this product happen. I love every one of them! Athens-Oconee is a wonderful close-knit community, and I am glad that I stayed after graduating from the University of Georgia. The past 20 years have been amazing. We have weathered the transition into the digital age with But personally, I don’t think anything beats sitting down with a good ‘ol printed magazine. I hope you agree.

My utmost gratitude to our supporters,

Shannon Howell Baker Henry, Shannon, Anniston and Jane

2 Athens-Oconee Parent

“Building Families...Building Businesses” Holiday 2018 • Vol. 21 No. 1 LOCALLY OWNED AND OPERATED SINCE 1998


Shannon H. Baker


A.W. Blalock


Sarah Danis


Anniston Howell WEB MANAGER


Shannon H. Baker, A.W. Blalock, Liz Conroy, Sarah Danis, Chris Parsons, Jonathan C. Robinson, Kim Turner 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: Editorial: Office & Production: Calendar: Website: PUBLISHED BY

on the cover Anniston Howell, daughter of publisher Shannon H. Baker, appeared at age 2 on our very first cover with Blue Kitty in December 1998! Annie, now 22, poses with Django, the Baker family’s Boston Terrier. PHOTOGRAPH BY SHANNON HOWELL BAKER 3



ANNIVERSARY! “Building Families ... Building Business” has always been the theme of Athens-Oconee Parent, and we’re happy to say that many of the advertisers in our first issue are still going strong and are still vital to our community. Alice Depass Studio of Dance has been in every issue since our first issue in 1998; Alice says it has been her best spent money in advertising. We have seen some of our advertisers’ children grow up on our pages like Abigail Springer, daughter of Dr. Russell Springer of Athens Family Vision. Abigail shared with readers her school life, her travels and her dreams through photos used in her dad’s advertisements. The children of Dr. A. Scott Linder Family Dentistry have smiled their way through the pages as kids to young adults. We especially want to mention everyone who advertised during our first year, and give a shout-out to those who have been regular supporters over the years.

We thank these advertisers who supported us our first year:

Alice Depass, Athens Regional Medical Center (now Piedmont), Athens Academy, Teen Matters - Northeast Health District, Premium Rugs, St. Mary’s, Hodgson’s Pharmacy, Watkinsville Pediatrics (Now Pediatric Partners), Locos , Five Points Chiropractic, Family Counseling Service, Barron’s, Good Dirt, Flower & Gift Basket, University Spirit, Kelly Realty, Georgia Square Mall, Oliver Urology (Now Urology Group of Athens), Jason Thrasher, Westminster Christian Academy, Northwest Mortgage (Now Wells Fargo), The Varsity, Athens Associates in Family Practice, YMCA, YWCO, Coldwell Banker Upchurch Realty, First Presbyterian Weekday School, Southworks

Dr. Russell Springer and Abigail

The Linder children

And we thank these regular advertisers who have supported us over the past 20 years:

Alice Depass, Athens Academy, A. Scott Linder Family Dentistry, Athens Dentistry for Children, Funopolis Family Fun Center, Pump it UP, Rush, ACC Leisure Services, Manning Brothers, Clarke County School District, Athens Family Vision, Newell Orthodontics, The Classic Center, Northeast Georgia Health District, Women’s Center of Athens, Children First, Oconee County Parks and Recreation, Wild Intelligence, The University of Georgia, St. Joesph School, Oconee Youth School of Performance, Women’s Healthcare Associates, Athens YMCA, Prince Avenue Christian School, Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation, Artini’s 4 Athens-Oconee Parent



is the season of family dinners and holiday movie marathons and Amazon boxes piling up at our door. It’s the holiday season. 2018 has just flown by! I hope it’s been an amazing year for you and your family. This issue is an extra special one for us here at the Athens-Oconee Parent Magazine – it’s our 20th Anniversary Issue! What a ride it has been! Our publisher/ owner Shannon and production director Tim have given this community an amazing resource with the magazine. I’ve only been a part of it for a little over 3 years, but it’s been a blessing to my life. I’m so appreciative that they took a chance on hiring this middle school teacher to take on working for AOPM. I have the best time working on each issue! When I see it finally in print, it’s seriously like opening up a long-awaited Christmas present each time! I hope you enjoy it even half as much I do. I’m excited for all that we have to share with you in this issue! We’re sharing our favorite holiday crafts from the past twenty years. Liz Conroy has information to help us keep our kids’ social media limited over the holidays; as always, Dr. Jon Robinson shares great parenting advice with our readers; and Kim Turner reminds us the importance of giving back with volunteering, especially during the holidays. And you’ll love our Toy & Gift Guide with great suggestions for everyone in your family. We would love to have you input on ideas for future articles or things you’d like to have us share with our readers. Help us make the next twenty years even better than the first!

Sarah Danis



8 Our Favorite Holiday Crafts 10 Random Acts of Kindness 12 Social Media: Keeping Up With Teens


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Sarah, Oliver, and Trey on a fall festival hayride


PAGES 19-29

DEPARTMENTS 6 Show & Tell 14 On Your Mind: “Yes, Colton ...” 16 Get Out! 30 ’Til We Meet Again

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Athens-Oconee Parent Magazine 5



Compiled by Sarah Danis

Party Pleasers!


ausage balls are a staple for parties and get togethers during the holiday season in the Danis household.My husband is the expert! Shortly after we started dating back years ago, we actually had a date night making sausage balls for his work event. That was my first time trying his recipe for sausage balls and they were so yummy! This recipe is a little different than the recipe we have been using for years, but when we tried these for the first time, we loved them! They are Keto-friendly, which is a great perk for those folks trying to watch their carb intake. Ingredients: 1 pound bulk Italian sausage (you can use mild or hot) 1 cup blanched almond flour 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (we like to use pepperjack too) 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1 large egg 1 tablespoon dried minced onions 2 teaspoons baking powder To make: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for ease in clean up. Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and, using your hands, mix until well incorporated. Form the meat mixture into 1 1/2 to 2 inch balls and place them on a baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Thanks to peaceloveandlow for this yummy recipe!



ast winter, my son was just shy of two years old at Christmas-time. We knew we needed a way to keep him from messing too much with our Christmas tree and ornaments. I had heard about felt trees, but when I searched for them online, they were just too expensive for me to purchase. I decided to make my own with some advice from Chelsea at The hardest part I had was getting the felt to stick to the wall consistently. Chelsea says masking tape is key, so that’s what we’ll be using this year! I bought a big piece of green felt to make the tree and then smaller felt in packs to make the ornaments, star, and gifts. It’s so much fun for kids to be able to “decorate” their own tree! On the blog post we are sharing a link to, Chelsea recommends using chalk to draw your tree onto the felt, which is a great idea! You’ll also want a hot glue gun to glue the decorations on your gifts and ornaments before attaching to the tree. A bucket or bin is important to have a place to put the ornaments and decorations. Thanks to for the great image and instructions!

Send your ideas & photos to P.O. Box 465, Watkinsville, GA 30677 or e-mail 6 Athens-Oconee Parent


Every piece of the universe, even the tiniest little snow crystal, matters somehow. I have a place in the pattern, and so do you. Thinking of you this holiday season!” - T.A. Barron Facebook Giveaways!

Visit us at Athens-Oconee Parent Magazine where we’ll be giving away two of our holiday books.


Thankful, written by beloved children’s author Eileen Spinelli and illustrated by Archie Preston, combines charming rhymes and whimsical illustrations to convey the importance of being thankful for everyday blessings. Like the gardener, thankful for every green sprout, and the firefighter, for putting the fire out. Meant to be read aloud, this heartwarming board book will be a treasured keepsake for parents and children alike.

The beloved characters from Sydney Taylor’s Allof-a-Kind Family return in this heartwarming picture book – perfect for gift-giving! Acclaimed author Emily Jenkins and Caldecott Award-winning artist Paul O. Zelinsky bring the beloved All-ofa-Kind Family: Hanukkah to life. Join them back in 1912, on the Lower East Side of NYC, and watch as preparations for Hanukkah are made. First published in 1951, Taylor’s chapter books have become time-honored favorites. The All-of-a-Kind Family is as relevant – and necessary – today as when it was first written.

Oliver the Ornament is a tale of one family’s cherished Christmas ornaments. The story centers on Oliver, who has been with this family since Mom and Dad’s very first date. Years later, Oliver, now injured and bullied, still has the magic of Christmas in his heart. The story follows Oliver’s excitement for Christmas, his heartbreak, and his determination to overcome all odds to save the day. The storybook is accompanied with an adorable Christmas ornament, Oliver. This holiday season Oliver the Ornament is partnering with a number of children’s hospitals to donate new books to their patients.

Where’s Santa? Whether you want to eat breakfast with Santa, mingle with Kringle, or dine with the Grinch, we have the 411! What’s better than seeing our kids light up for a great photo opportunity? Be aware that some have a fee and registration may be required. Above: Trevor, Brady, and Connor with Santa

Saturday, December 8

• Breakfast with Santa at The Classic Center • Breakfast with Santa at Sandy Creek Nature Center • Mingle with Kringle at OCAF Art Center in Watkinsville

Saturday, December 15

• Breakfast with Santa at Memorial Park • Breakfast with The Grinch at Rocksprings Park

Troy Tastes... Restaurant: Hot Thomas Troy’s Score: 4 1/2 napkins


went to Hot Thomas in Watkinsville and I liked their ribs! They were great. They were chewy and tender, flavorful and moist. The sauce was sour and a sweet aftertaste. I tried all of their sides (thanks, Grandpa, for sharing). The mac and cheese was homemade and really cheesy. I love baked beans and these were some of the best I have had! The green beans were scrumptious they were flavored with bacon. Yummm. I have never had Brunswick stew before and I liked it and would get it again. I had sweet tea and they brought a half of gallon to the table for free refills! The best part? They had lots and lots and lots of candy you could buy at the checkout stand. It’s like they knew I was coming! I got Sour Patch Kids, a Blow Pop, a chocolate bar, and gummies. Overall, one of the best BBQ places I have been to. Thanks for the invite, Hot Thomas! Troy Aldrich is a local 10-year-old who enjoys food and is over the kids menu at most restaurants – but not everywhere. His reviews started as a summer teaching tool on opinion writing and appear in each issue of Athens-Oconee Parent Magazine. Troy guides parents to great places to take their kids to eat – from a kid’s point of view. Each restaurant is given a rating on a scale of 5 napkins. For more kid’s reviews go to 7

familytime FAMILY & FRIENDS

Hands Wreath

You’ll need: • clean, flat cardboard (you could also use a paper plate) • heavy contruction paper or light poster board in colors of your choice (for example, greens and red for Christmas, blues and white for Hanukkah) • large glue stick • scissors (kid-friendly for the younger ones) • pencil for tracing hands • ribbon or twine for hanging


Holiday Crafts Over the past 20 years Athens-Oconee Parent Magazine has presented craft ideas that bring the whole family together. Here are four of our holiday favorites to make and enjoy regardless of how you celebrate!

8 Athens-Oconee Parent

Cut a circle from the cardboard (ours is a 9” circle). Then cut a smaller circle from the middle to create a cardboard ring. This will be the base for your wreath. Gather family and friends and begin to trace around the hands onto the green paper. Our wreath has 25 hands from five different people using a dark green and a light green for variety, but you could use just one color. Now start cutting out the traced hands. They don’t have to be perfect! Next, lay your cardboard ring onto a flat surface – the kitchen table is a great place to bring everyone together. Start by gluing hands around and covering the cardboard ring as your base. Then glue more hands over these, continuing until the wreath is covered. Cut small circles from the red paper and glue onto the hands to represent red berries. We made a “bow” from a child’s hand, but you could style and decorate your wreath any way you want. Attach a length of twine or ribbon to the back of the cardboard. Your wreath is ready to hang and enjoy the memories of making it together! By A.W. Blalock

Woodsy Ornaments


hese woodsy ornaments make great holiday decorations and unique gifts. The best part is that the twigs can be found right outside your door! Select sturdy twigs of a similar thickness, then cut to desired lengths. First, lay out the twigs and play around with the sizes to create stars, trees ... or any shape you want. Once you’ve “dry fitted” your design, glue together with a hot glue gun (parent supervision needed here). After your ornaments have dried, you can paint, add sequins or glitter, or tie on bows and hanging loops from twine, ribbon or raffia. By Chris Parsons

Pot of Fudge This project was one of our first homemade gift ideas from Holiday 1999. Everyone can join in painting small terracotta pots, then filling with nobake fudge to give as hostess gifts or thoughtful surprises for teachers, neighbors, friends and grandparents.

NO-BAKE FUDGE 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar 1 5-ounce can evaporated milk 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows, or 2 cups regular marshmallows 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional, but we love them) Combine sugar, milk and salt in a 2-quart saucepan and gradually bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add chocolate ships and marshmallows, stirring constantly until well blended. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract and nuts (if desired). Beat until smooth. Pour mixture into a buttered 8x8 inch dish. Cool at room temperature until set.

HAND-PAINTED FLOWER POT Kids will love painting bright flowers, shapes and messages on small, inexpensive terracotta pots. Use water-based acrylic or tempera paints for easy clean-up. Let the painted pots dry completely, then line with festive foil and fill with no-bake fudge. By Shannon H. Baker

Pine Cone Bird Feeder You’ll need: • pine cone • peanut butter • bird seed • ribbon or twine for hanging Begin by tying a length of ribbon or twine to the top of the pine cone (we found it easier to do this first). With a spoon or plastic knife, dip out a little of the peanut butter and start spreading it onto the pine cone scales, leaving a bit of the cone at the top plain so it’s easier to hold and turn while working. Pour the bird seed into a tray or box, then roll the pine cone in the seed until the peanut butter is covered. Hang your feeder onto a tree branch. The birds will soon find it and thank you! By A.W. Blalock 9

bekind By Kim Turner


Random Acts of Kindness


hen we look at old Norman Rockwell pictures of the holidays, we don’t see images of Black Friday store lines or families too busy on their devices to open up their presents. A lot of parents work hard to give their children everything on their holiday lists, but find themselves feeling unappreciated and worried that their kids are headed towards a bad case of affluenza. Last year, the average family racked up over $1,000 in holiday debt and spent six months trying to pay that off. But does that really make their kids feel happy and secure? What we know is that kids, just like their parents, feel happier when they practice gratitude and give back in some way to their schools, neighborhoods, and communities. One mom, Cheri Fogerty, who authored the book, How to Get Happier And More Grateful Children in Just 21 Days, is quoted as saying, “It isn’t being happy that makes us grateful. It’s being grateful that makes us happy.”

So, how do you get your kids to have a more grateful heart if they don’t have one already? You can start by asking them on the way to school or at the dinner table to tell you something good that happened during their day (In my family, we do “apples and onions” at dinner). Model for them by telling them things that you appreciate about them or other people in your life. Those who study the long-term effects of gratitude have found that a daily or even weekly practice of gratitude can help with a variety of positive outcomes including overall happiness. In order to get your kids’ empathy and gratitude “muscles” opportunities to flex, they need to put their gratitude in action. Doing for others helps kids to get out of their heads and life circumstances and focus on the external world and others’ experiences. Gratitude in action could be helping a neighbor, collecting for a cause or doing organized volunteer work. It can be small or large – all that is required is that they are doing something for someone else.

The Kindness Club

Here are some example of local families and their holiday volunteer/ gratitude in action projects. You can borrow one of their traditions or create a family holiday tradition of your own.


onnie and Beth Holliday have been doing a Holiday advent calendar for several years. Their family performs Random Acts of Christmas Kindness each day of December leading up to Christmas. The acts don’t have to be big things or cost much (in some cases any) money. They just have to be something that you do for someone else. Some examples include bringing treats for the custodians at their girls’ school, hiding dollar bills in the toy aisle of the Dollar Store, and filling a little free library or pantry. Beth says, “To see your children get excited about blessing others and being generous to them is priceless! Let these serve as the beginning of the brainstorming. Be inventive, be creative, and above all, be kind.” She got her ideas from kindness-advent/ but there are many versions on Pinterest.


The Athens Academy Preschool Kindness Club was started two years ago by K4 teacher Judy Fox to spread a little kindness and cheer. Here, along with faculty advisers Judy Fox and DeDe Guest, they visit their friends at Morningside of Athens Assisted Living Facility for a little trick or treating fun! 10 Athens-Oconee Parent

anet Fielding, a Kindergarten teacher at Chase Street Elementary, and her husband Andy began volunteering with her son, J.S., now 24, at a young age. The Fielding family would participate in Thanksgiving day meal preparation and serve at shelters or churches. In addition, they had J.S. shop and buy Christmas gifts for people who may not be able to have a happy holiday otherwise. J.S., now an adult, shops and donates on his own as well as coming back to Chase yearly to play Santa’s elf to help the kids experience a little bit of Christmas magic!

Above, left to right: Dani and Ellery Mendell with refugee friends; Lexie and Kerrington Holliday perform random acts of kindness each day of December leading up to Christmas day, like filling a Little Free Library. Lexie shops for inexpensive but thoughtful or much-needed items to give to others.


iz and Brooks Mendell and their daughters, who celebrate Hanukkah, have found some fun traditions to do on Christmas Eve or on Christmas Day when almost everything in town is closed. For several years, they’ve babysat for local churches with other members of their synagogue, Congregation Children of Israel. Liz describes, “Those churches, in turn, babysit for us during our holy days of Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah. It is so fun for our kids to interact and play with children from the churches. They have learned so much about what Christmas is all about. They see that other families and children attend services just like they do – and it has led to many discussions about Christianity and Judaism.” In addition, the Mendells have visited refugee families in Clarkston on Christmas Day as well as other days of the year.


hese are just a handful of ideas of what your family could do together this holiday season. When families find activities that are personally meaningful to them, they are more likely to be invested. If your family loves sports, maybe volunteer to play games with families involved in the Interfaith Hospitality Program. Or if your kids love to bake, they could make cupcakes for the birthday of a kid staying at the Athens Area Homeless Shelter or the Project Safe Shelter. Remember, after gaining some perspective even the Grinch’s heart grew by three sizes. So, maybe, just maybe, your family too can find some holiday spirit that will last the whole year through. n Kim Turner is a Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice and the Co-Founder of Strong Girls, LLC and Strong Girls Serve, Inc. She lives in Athens with her husband and two strong girls ages 10 and 13. For more information, go to and

What our readers are saying on Facebook ... Mary Jill Springer ... Athens-Oconee Parent Magazine is a staple, a must-read, and a great resource for parents, newcomers and our community. We ! it, and Athens Family Vision Clinic proudly supports Athens-Oconee Parent Magazine. 11


socialmedia By Liz Conroy

Keeping Up With Teens


dolescent brains are not fully developed. Impulsive and risk-taking behavior occur more frequently; wisdom and caution come later. When teens use social media, they may forget that what they post can follow them for years to come. Ted Futris, associate professor and extension specialist in UGA’s Dept. of Human Development and Family Science, is the father of a 13-year-old and 16-year-old. He understands what it’s like to have teens launching into social media.

“Being involved in your child’s life means knowing who your kid’s friends are because you want them to be safe. It also means being involved in their social media life.”

Social media use is tougher to monitor than knowing your child’s companions in person. Futris points out social media use can be done privately, so your adolescent may announce, “This is mine; it’s not your business.” Actually, it IS the parents’ business. “Parents need to share with their teens that they care about what’s going on in their lives, online or out in the world, because they care about their safety.” He recommends open and frequent talks about social media use. “It’s best to have a discussion about setting clear ground rules on social media use, similar to the family rules about going out, going to bed, and curfews.” The conversation begins with basics. For example, talk about when children can be online and when it’s time to for all electronics to be turned off. This allows time for the brain to calm down before bed and gives the eyes rest from bright screens. Futris says the job of the parent is to set clear and fair limits to keep children safe, although youngsters may protest. Futris recommends setting boundaries early for any child using social media, especially on posting videos and photos. Adolescents need serious talks with adults about the 12 Athens-Oconee Parent

Noah, 13, and Nicholas Futris, 16, represent the modern meaning of “social” as they focus on social media at home.

reality that whatever they post online will stay online and can hurt them later. He recalls that he had to step in when his older son took a video of his younger brother showing some silly behavior. Futris told him that the video could not be posted and needed to be deleted from the device. “Something posted may seem funny now, but you never know who may look at it,” he says. “With Snapchat, someone can take a quick screen shot of it before it disappears, and it is there forever.” For example, in the future, college and job interviews may go well initially but then go downhill depending on what the interviewers find online. “They can google you and see what pops up with your name

RESOURCES • The Accidental Bully • Think What’s Next PL6B2DED86929BF82B) • Watch what you tweet: how social media can affect college admissions https:// kids-social-media-college-admissions/ index.html

and what kind of character you have. They will look at what kind of things you do or have done. You never know who may look at what you post even years from now.” When should conversations about using social media start? Futris recommends engaging in these discussions when kids are at around ten-years-old or begin showing interest in social media. “It’s not a one-time conversation but a series of short and to-the-point discussions. Teens tend to tune-out adults who go on and on.” Seek chances to talk WITH your kids rather than TO your kids. He says, “If you see a troubling Facebook posting, ask your children: ‘What do you think other people will think of that person?’” Futris urges parents to have their kids help develop realistic rules for social media use that include practical consequences when a rule is ignored. “A parent needs to be able to follow up on a consequence,” he says. Futris offers other tips on allowing your child to have a social media page, but he says, “I have to be one of your friends. Don’t worry I won’t reply to anything. But I need to be able to check.” Parents also can install software controls, especially for younger kids. Teach children to be alert to viruses and not to download any app without asking a responsible adult first. Discuss how important it is for kids to actually know the people they contact. Predators are clever at disguising themselves on social media. Finally, keep lines of communication open with your adolescents since social media is constantly changing! Jessica Magnarella, owner of a local graphic design firm (mPrint Design), is the mother of a “tween” not yet involved in social media. Like Futris, she believes in preparing kids to use social media carefully. When her son begins to show interest, she may allow Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat with “friends only” settings (14 to 15-years-old). As for YouTube, she would “keep parental controls on that until he is 17 or 18.” Magnarella also shares the same widely-held concern that Futris and many other parents have: “That everything he posts becomes a virtual history of him that may be there for his lifetime.” Her other concerns include how social media use becomes a “big time drain” for youngsters and that “it is designed to be addictive.” Parents need to set time limits, she adds. As for other limits, Magnarella has several expectations when her son begins to use social media: To be linked to any of his accounts, to expect courteous messaging, no sharing personal details with strangers or making plans to meet or give home address, no downloading of files without parental permission. If rules are broken then she would want to discuss why it happened and go over the implications. Finally, she notes, “Device confiscation could be in order depending on behavior.” n Liz Conroy is an Athens-based freelance journalist who also encourages discussions with young people and their use of social media.

What our readers are saying on Facebook ... Rebecca Belcher McCants ... Lots of great information in AOP! I love all the new ideas and latest trends that are talked about. This is definitely a community-oriented magazine that is great for plugging in to events, programs, and help groups. It’s really awesome and I hope to see it around a very long time! 13

onyourmind By Jonathan C. Robinson, Ph.D.

“Yes, Colton...”

d D

ear Dr. Robinson,

My teenage son, Colton, is fast maturing and, as all teens do, challenging convention. Recently, he asked me why we celebrate Christmas in the dead of winter, since the best estimates place Jesus’ birth in early Spring. He long ago challenged the existence of Santa Claus. He, of course, wants to hang with all of his friends, but he also indulges us by accepting family time and traditions. What can I tell him about the timing of Christmas? Signed, Puzzled Dear Puzzled, You have a great son there! He sounds thoughtful, mature, considerate, and inquisitive, as well as challenging. If you aren’t getting a whiff of an emotional fever, no need to active listen his queries. However, I encourage you to be prepared for a thoughtful discussion. You may start with, “Wow! You ask some great questions. Who are you and what have you done with my son? (LOL) Seriously, though, let me do some research and get back with you.” Later, with research in hand, plan a time to sit down and discuss what you know with him, beginning, of course, with, “I have some thoughts about your questions. Can I share them with you?” Remember, getting permission from your child and teen always sets the tone for them to be accepting and attentive. What I know about the Christmas holiday is that the time was actually a pagan winter holiday for which Christians gave a new meaning. The date gave a wider attention to sharing the gospel, even if it may be

14 Athens-Oconee Parent

factually inaccurate as to the chronological birth of our Savior. Then Santa came out of Norway as St. Nicholas, adding the joys of blessing, sharing and relationship to our Christian message. I pray that your son continues to foster blessing, sharing, and relationship in your family year round with such thought-provoking questions. I hope you are now “puzzled no more.”

Dear Dr. Robinson,

So, Joey, my five-year-old, is really a handful. Always on the go. Wants what he wants. God’s grace is helping me keep it together raising our son. He is so excited about Christmas this year that he wants to stay up, meet Santa, and start opening up presents right after giving Santa his milk and cookies. When I try to tell him that his plans are not possible, he ramps up and throws a fit. Help! Signed, Exasperated Dear E, Okay. Deep breaths. You got this. My first question is this, “Who’s in charge?” In chapter 3 of my book, Teachable Moments: Building Blocks of Christian Parenting, I note that children will always test the limits. Why? They want assurance that limits are there. When a child has no limits, he becomes anxious and fearful, hence the always on the go and wanting what he wants. Start with using your active listening to help Joey understand his feelings behind his demands. Telling him that it’s not

possible before his emotional fever is gone is giving him an opinion and solution he’s not ready to hear. This will only ramp him up all the more. When his emotional fever is down because of your active listening, then you can offer solutions…with his permission. If he seems to ramp up again despite your best efforts, consider letting him try to stay up to wait for Santa. Give him a nice palette by the fireplace, settle him in, but make sure he knows all of the rest of you will be fast asleep. After Joey falls asleep, bring the Santa presents in, drink half the milk and take a bite out of the cookies, and then go back to bed. When morning comes and Joey wakes up, active listen his disappointment first, but quickly refocus his attention on the presents and Christmas morning activities. My prayers are for you folks and your strong-willed child. Let me know how it goes. n Dr. Robinson is a licensed, clinical psychologist. His specialty is in school-clinical, child psychology, with emphasis on child development, parenting and family counseling. He is also author of Teachable Moments: Building Blocks of Christian Parenting, now available nationwide in bookstores and on-line as an e-book. 15


Compiled by Sarah Danis

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.


n Athens Library

n Ice Skating

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 10:3011am. 613-3650

6 Athens Downtown

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.

6 It’s Hanukkah Time at

Athens on Ice public skating will be offered in Akins Arena at the 440 Foundry Pavilion at The Classic Center. Visit for opening dates and times.

n Storytimes at the

Oconee County Library

Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10am and 11am. Storytime is for all preschool aged children and their caregivers. Come for stories, songs, movement, crafts, and fun! Free and open to the public. 769-3950

Preschool Story Time

Social Group

n Farmers Markets

n Mitten Tree and

Holiday Cards for Heroes at the Oconee County Library

• Throughout December. We are collecting warm clothes like mittens, hats, and scarves for kids in need! Come decorate our mitten tree with your donations and help keep kids warm this winter. • Who is your hero? A fire fighter? A doctor? The garbage collector? Drop in anytime at our Card Creation Station in the Children’s Area to make a card for your heroes, and we will deliver them for you! 769-3950

n Bogart Library

Story Time

Fall in love with stories, rhymes and songs every Wednesday! Ages 3 to 8. Free. Located at the Bogart Ag Building (141 Thompson Street) while the Bogart Library is closed for renovation.10:30am. 614-9231 16 Athens-Oconee Parent

Parade of Lights

Enjoy locally and naturally grown food, crafts, art, crafts and cooking demonstrations at these weekly events. • Athens: Saturdays through December 22nd at Bishop Park 8am-noon; Wednesdays through November 14th at Creature Comforts Brewing Company 4-7pm, • Watkinsville: Saturdays through November at Oconee County Courthouse. 8am-1pm, downtown Watkinsville, oconee

NOVEMBER 2018 28-29 Cirque Dreams Holidaze Get out and see this new cirque adventure, Broadway musical, and family holiday spectacular wrapped in one! This incomparable phenomenon features over 300 imaginative costumes, 20 world-class astonishing acts, the finest singers, original music and seasonal favorites celebrating the most wonderful time of the year from Thanksgiving to Chanukah, Christmas and New Year’s. Classic Center. 7:30pm.

the Athens Library

30 Hot Chocolate on Main in Watkinsville This year the event will be held on the hill above Oconee State Bank’s Main Office. Please be sure to stop by the booth for FREE homemade cocoa and variety of toppings and treats! Visits with Santa from 6-8pm.

30-Dec. 2 OCAF Annual Holiday Market

The OCAF Holiday Market will include pottery, paintings, fiber art, stained and fused glass, jewelry, sculpture, photography, woodwork, and more from over 70 artists. Also available will be tasty home-made treats. 11/30 5-8pm, 12/1-12/2 10am-5pm. Admission for all three days is $3 for adults. Kids under 13 free. Free parking. The Artists’ Shoppe will remain open TuesSat, 10am-4pm, through 12/22. Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation (OCAF). 769-4565.

DECEMBER 2018 1 Watkinsville

Christmas Parade

3 Visit with Santa at the Oconee County Library Come visit with Santa Claus and take your picture with him! Free and open to the public. 4-5:30 pm. 769-3950

We are celebrating the season of lights and want you to join us! Hanukkah is just around the corner, and we can’t wait to share an afternoon of stories and crafts. Whether you celebrate Hanukkah in your home or want to learn about this wonderful holiday, you won’t want to miss the fun. Kids 3-11 and their caregiver. 3:30pm. 613-3650

7 Oconee County High School Performance

OCHS Concert Choir, Musical Theater & Show Choir will perform at the Oconee County Civic Center. $5. 7pm.

8 OCAF Mingle with Kringle mingle-with-kringle

8 Breakfast with Santa at

Sandy Creek Nature Center

8 Breakfast with Santa at The Classic Center

8 Christmas in Oglethorpe

Parade, food vendors, arts and crafts vendors, and a visit from Santa Claus. The parade starts at noon this year and will come through downtown Lexington. The food and arts and crafts vendors will be available from 11am - 4pm around the Courthouse. Oglethorpe/ 10 Visit with Santa at

the Oconee County Library

Come visit with Santa Claus and take your picture with him! Free and open to the public. 4-5:30 769-3950

enjoy during our Holiday Open House. Santa will be available and children will be able to create a holiday craft with our staff. Our gift shop will be well stocked with books, jewelry, toys and the perfect gifts for folks on your list. 2-4pm. Free

or male caregiver (moms are welcome, too). Explore the sights and sounds of Havana, Cuba, and antique cars in this special bilingual storytime. Create vintage car crafts to go. Kids 4-11 and their caregiver. 11am. 613-3650

22-23 The Nutcracker at The Classic Center

12 Georgia Children’s Book Award Voting Kickoff at the Athens Library

Presented by the National Ballet of Odessa from Ukraine; Dec. 22 at 4pm, Dec. 23 at 2pm. call, click or stop by the box office for tickets. 706-357-4444,

10 Santa’s Missing Mail Puppet Show at the Oconee County Library Join us for a fun puppet show for the whole family! You’ll meet some silly characters who have to help save Christmas by figuring out who is stealing Santa’s mail. Free. 7pm. 769-3950

13 Baby Music Jam

at the Oconee County Library

Join us for a sing-a-long and lots of fun! Children and caregivers play musical instruments, sing, and dance together. Free and open to the public. 10:30am. 769-3950

15 Breakfast with Santa at Memorial Park

15 Breakfast with The Grinch at Rocksprings Park 2775/Rocksprings-Park-andCommunity-Center

22 State Botanical Garden of Georgia Holiday Open House We will have the Visitor Center and Conservatory decorated for the season – for you and your family to

26-28 Athens Academy Winter Camp 2018

9:00am - 3:00pm (Early drop-off and Extended Day services available for an additional fee). Open to ALL students in the surrounding community grades K4-6. Activities include art, drama, music, team sports, games, library time, the camp store and a special activity based on each day’s theme. Campers will be grouped according to age and will be supervised by qualified, caring, and enthusiastic counselors. To register visit winter_camp_2018.

JANUARY 2019 2-4 Athens Academy Winter Camp 2018

See Dec. 26-28 above for information. To register visit forms/winter_camp_2018.

5 Dad and Me Storytime: All the Way to Havana at the Athens Library

Every year, children around Georgia vote for the winners of the Georgia Children’s Picture Book Award and the Georgia Children’s Book Award. Join us for a book “petting zoo” and meet this year’s nominees! With crafts to go. Kids 6-11 and their caregiver. 11am. 613-3650

19 Frozen Movie SingAlong at the Oconee County Library Get ready to sing along and act out your favorite songs and characters! And, you can make your own magical snow wand! Costumes encouraged. Popcorn provided! Rated PG. Free and open to the public. 2pm. 769-3950

25 Pagemasters: Kids’ Book & Movie Club at the Oconee County Library - A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle Which was better, the book or the movie? We’ll talk about what we think and watch the movie, too! We’ll have copies of the book available at the Circulation desk for check-out all month long. For elementary school-ages. 4pm 769-3950 n

Jump in your Cara Cara and spend the morning at the library with your dad 17

18 Athens-Oconee Parent

Slumberkins are cuddly creatures with intention. They support important topics such as self-esteem and authenticity, navigating difficult times. There are many characters for different situations and books available for the characters too!

“We LOVE this product. The animals are super soft and cute, and the book that goes with it is wonderful. The meaning and wording had momma misty-eyed. We look forward to getting the whole set!” Toy Tester Family


For kids of ALL ages ... from baby to grandparents! Aura Stealth Drone is a telekinetic, gesture-controlled toy drone. Wearing a special Gesturebotics™ controller, kids pilot the drone by simply moving their hands – just like a super hero! Kids can fly Aura Stealth up and down, forward and backward, left and right, and even perform cool tricks like a sideways flip – all with just the wave of a hand!

Pure Essential Oils and Bath Bombs Gift Sets allow you to relax with the 6-piece aromatherapy set. Their unique set of 8 bath bombs will allow you to enjoy luxurious baths combined with a rich, elegant aromatherapy session that will let you relax, detox, invigorate and enjoy yourself.

Visit us at Athens-Oconee Parent Magazine on facebook for a chance to win some of our toys & gifts in this issue! 19

Tock the Learning Clock is a friendly robot that introduces kids to Analog and digital clock skills. Musical fun mode rewards right answers with a dance, while question mode challenges kids to match the hands to the digital display. Analog hands encourage hands-on learning, while digital time display functions as a working clock. “Ok to wake” light lets kids know when it’s OK to get out of bed and boogie.

My First Yoga Mat is great to play together as your child builds concentration and body awareness, develops coordination, balance and fine motor skillsThe colorful, interactive yoga mat has 16 soft, touch-sensitive pads that respond to little hands and feet for interactive game play! bbluv Reversible Play Mat is perfect for on-the-go entertainment with baby and young children during this holiday season. Bright and colored, this playmat is super thick and covers a large area. Made from non-toxic and easy-to-clean material.

“This is such a cute concept that both me and my daughter were excited to play with the Rescue Runt pup. It teaches how adopting or rescuing pets is such a feel-good way to your heart. My daughter removed pretend fleas and brushed its fur until it was finally perky-eared and smiling.” Toy Tester Family

Rescue Runts need a home to call their own! The super soft plush puppies arrive in their crate packaging with matted fur full of fleas, dirty paws, bruises and bumps, tears in their eyes, and downturned ears. Care for your Rescue Runt using the included grooming kit. Toy Tester Family

My First Game: Petting Zoo is family fun on the farm with a touch-and-feel matching game made just for toddlers. Includes the Petting Zoo, six textured animals, and a textured “touch and feel” spinner. Supports tactile awareness, introduces matching skills, and builds vocabulary and language skills.

Design and Drill: My First Workbench. Play meets construction with this building set that develops fine motor skills, patterning (an early math skill!), and more! Great for hours of unplugged play. “I knew that my younger children would enjoy this toy. However, I was surprised by how much my ’tween liked it. It is great for fidgety hands and they enjoy making different pictures with the plastic nails and screws. Everything stores inside which the parents loved.” Toy Tester Family

20 Athens-Oconee Parent

Feltman Brothers Doll is a lifelike limited edition collector’s doll. Caroline is baby scented and features the softest skin, real eyelashes, and an adorable pixie cut! Comes with a birth certificate and four pieces of hand embroidered, classic Feltman Brothers clothing – a dress, bonnet, booties, and bloomers!

Flying Sushi Kitchen is an exciting challenge where the sushi chef must put together full orders by plucking the flying sushi out of the air with Chop sticks and placing them on the sushi platter before the time runs out. “The kids loved this game! They would laugh and laugh. This really helps with dexterity and even has adapters for the sushi sticks. It kept them busy for a good amount of time, which is always nice.” Toy Tester Family

Crayola Color Chemistry is jam-packed with playful experiments exploring your favorite subject color! The Color Chemistry set includes an easy-to-read instruction booklet that’s packed with 50 colorful science-y activities to try out at home. And there are enough Crayola materials and supplies to do 16 experiments right out of the box!

Tonka Mighty Builders Rig Case Set helps little workers to take their construction creations to new heights with this super fun playset. It comes with all the accessories and riggings to keep little ones busy and entertained for hours during their construction play time.

American Doll Girl Luciana Vega is the 2018 Girl of the Year. In her story, Luciana knows she has the skills and smarts to become an astronaut and reach Mars one day. But she also learns that being a good leader and team player right here on Earth is the best first step to achieving her goal. 21

LilGadgets Connect+ Pro Headphones

What our readers are saying on Facebook ... Alice DePass ... This is my go-to magazine for information and education. I have advertised with Athens-Oconee Parent Magazine since the first issue and will continue to do so! This magazine is an excellent resource for parents, grandparents and more. The information is not limited to children 0-10. There is sound information for parents of teens as well as a calendar of monthly events that I use regularly. If you have not checked out this magazine, I suggest that you do! I will always support this magazine and I look forward to it being an important part of our community for many years. Jacki Gaytan ... When we first moved to Athens 12 years ago this magazine helped me learn about the Athens community. The calendar is an invaluable resource where I found out about all the local things to do, especially with a newborn. Without this magazine, I would never have known about the Athens Mothers Center where I met some of my closest friends and found my “village”. I also look at the advertisers as reference as my go-to for all things local. I will actually save the ad in case I need say, an orthodontist, etc. I love reading the articles and learning more about my community.

Botley the Coding Robot is here to introduce coding in an easy, friendly way. Children as young as 5 can learn to code with Botley, and with his advanced features, he will grow with them for many play filled years to come. Botley is 100% screen free and includes a 77-piece activity set the only robot to offer that! He can detect objects and move around them, follow looping command, navigate obstacle courses, and follow black lines.

are padded, light-weight, and smaller in size to fit over-theears of children 6 and up. With the SharePort, there’s no need for a splitter! 1 side of the Connect+ Pro plugs into the device and the other can have another headphone plug into it to share audio! Volume Limited with Adult Worthy, Quality Audio: The max volume is set at 93db with internal 40mm drivers and a range of 20Hz to 20kHz.

The Field helps inspire real world, screen-free, and imaginative play, free of batteries and featuring lush green grass, hedging, traditional wooden farm gates, farm animals, a tractor, and more! Creative play is proven to have intellectual, emotional and social benefits.

“Both children were on their I-pads when I brought The Field in. I laid it on the bed and said it was time to bring their littlest pet shops to the farm. They both got really excited and had fun role-playing. I love the simple idea and how versatile it is!” Toy Tester Family

Tiny Dancer Necklace. Your little dancer will treasure this special piece for years to come. Made by Isabelle Grace using fine silver and accented in 22kt gold or oxidized.

Schleich Horse Club Riding Center playset comes with a rider figure and multiple horses! With movable doors and windows and fences that can be connected in different ways, the “horsing around” imaginative fun is endless.

22 Athens-Oconee Parent

Domino Junior Friends: Deluxe is a game of fun Tyrannosaurus proportions! The stunt dominoes have been engineered to allow for easier set up for little hands. Set up is no problem with the easy-to-use domino spacer tool. Add in your dino friends to create cool chain reaction stunts! The included 100 dominoes and 3 dino stunts provide endless fun for kids ages 3 and up.

PLAYMOBIL Hidden Temple with T-Rex lets kids join the explorers as they embark on a new adventure on Dino island. Simply rub the map to reveal a hidden path where X marks the spot! Protect the team from the unfriendly T-Rex or enemy explorers with the functioning laser gun! Kids can also use the included UV flashlight to reveal cool glow-in-the dark features, such as with the ruins crystal eyes, jungle plant, and more!

Kurio Smartwatch is a sleek, hi-tech Bluetooth smartwatch made specifically for kids, and it’s packed with apps & games for out-of-the-box fun! Take selfies and videos, play single and two-player games, message friends, listen to music, plus everything you need in a smartwatch – activity tracker, alarm/stopwatch, calculator, calendar and so much more! Plus, parents can add vital information like blood type and allergies to an ‘In Case of an Emergency’ (I.C.E.) app. 23

Gear Beast Phone Holder is a universal smartphone pocket lanyard with ribbon necklace and breakaway safety clasp. Keeps your hands free and your phone nearby. Great for walking, no pockets, etc. Find it at

Tiny Hands Challenge helps you team up and compete in outrageously fun physical stunts using TINY HANDS! Big fun for everyone – a hilarious team vs team party game that’s great for the whole family! Comes with 150+ hilarious challenges – balancing, bouncing and stacking has never been so challenging…or hilarious!

Pour Your Heart Out and Fill Me In Journal are part friendship journals, part game. The perfect way to bond with your friends – and even get to know yourself a little better. This unique keepsake features fun questions like “What would your reality show be called?” And more serious ones like “What is something you wish you could tell your past self?”

This Moment Is Your Life (And So Is This One) Geomagworld helps children of all ages develop and train their minds, imagination and curiosity through the science of magnetic construction. All Geomagworld products are based on the free building philosophy which encourages creativity and promotes freedom play to increase fine motor skills, and they are great for STEM learning.

24 Athens-Oconee Parent

is an engaging guide, packed with simple exercises and endearing full-color artwork. It provides a handy starting point for bringing mindfulness into your daily life. Chapters on meditation, yoga, and mindful breathing explain the benefits of these practices.

Make It Real Woven Wall Hanging help ’tweens to add a bit of stylish boho décor to their room with the DIY Woven Wall Hanging kit! Weavers of all levels will love this instructional kit that features everything they need to create three beautiful wall hangings.

What our readers are saying on Facebook ...

Making in the Moment Make Your Own Putty Creations. Stretchy and satisfying, create seven custom putties. Create colorful shimmering putties that sparkle and shine with confetti and glitter, or make glowing putty by mixing in the included phosphorescent powder. Explore color changing putty and see how the temperature of your hands creates a reaction.

Marianne Cassisa Cannon ... I love this magazine. We moved to Athens when my daughter was six months old and it was a fabulous resource. I especially loved the birthday party edition. The magazine helped me find the Athens Mothers’ Center, where I made many lasting friendships. This magazine is an integral resource to the community. Rachel Price Tandy ... This magazine is my go-to essential resource for everything from health issues and birthday party planning to cool summer activities! I count on this publication and so appreciate all that it offers my family. Ann Peden ... I constantly receive business (birthday parties booked) because my information was seen here!! Love the exposure!!!

STMT DIY Signature Spa helps you to create your own spa experience! Create face masks, salt scrub, shimmer lotion, and roller perfumes with everything included in the set! Make custom creations to share with friends and family or keep the relaxation to yourself.

Garnet Hill Character Hats are unique and utterly

Jaylene Katt ... Love the magazine; it’s a great resource with the articles and especially the advertising. We moved here a year ago from Las Vegas and are still getting familiar with the area. It’s been very helpful especially things for the kids or family-friendly – in every aspect. Thank you!

irresistible. Each hand-crocheted hat instantly transforms the wearer with a magical mix of fantasy dress-up and fashionable practicality. 25

What our readers are saying on Facebook ...

PinBox 3000 is constructed and engineered by you! This is the ultimate DIY project where hands-on problem solving is used to assemble your own pinball machine. Simply punch out the pieces and fold them into place, no extra tools are required. The PinBox 3000 is sturdy and durable with fully functioning flippers and ball launcher. Choose your theme, make your rules, and create your own unique pinball game from scratch!

Mannajai Sabounchi Linder ... Athens Oconee Parent Magazine is great for keeping busy parents plugged into our community and events going on around us. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve used the publication as a resource for planning birthday parties, meals and other family activities. The articles are very useful and help provide parents and others with relative information to help guide our children in today’s crazy world. It takes a village! The Jackbox Party Pack 3 allows you to use your phones

Taylor Dougherty ... We’re new to Athens and Oconee County and love having a resource, like this magazine, to help us get acquainted with our new home! Moving to an area with small children can be difficult and this helps us find our way and begin exploring the area! (Especially, family/kid-friendly places!)

or tablets as controllers, and play with up to 8 players, plus an audience of up to 10,000! This is a digital game and available on a variety of platforms. “This is a great party game. Especially great when you have more than a few people disengaged and staring at their phones, because you use your phone to participate.” Toy Tester Family

SculptaPalooza is a new game for party fun: the hilariously creative, ridiculously fun, squishy, squashy sculpting party game! Teams race against the clock to sculpt, guess, and win. You can sculpt with your eyes closed, sculpt a prop to act out your scene, or tag-team play in the Lightning round.

Emillie Skinner ... We love your magazine! It is so helpful for everything from where to plan a party to children’s and adult health, to learning about local events and businesses! Could not do without it!


Could not do without it!”

26 Athens-Oconee Parent

Sequence has you play a card from your hand, and place a chip on a corresponding space on the game board. When you have five in a row, it’s a Sequence! Each player or team tries to score the required number of five-card sequences before their opponents. Exciting gameplay develops STEM skills like strategy.

Discovery Extreme Chemistry Lab has materials to conduct over 20 fun experiments and simple chemical reactions for a fun, hands-on, interactive learning experience! From fizzing and foaming eruptions, to glowing worms and galactic spheres, kids will love the opportunity to experiment and make their own crazy concoctions!

Kijaro Kubie can be configured into an insulated poncho, hammock, ground cover, sleeping bag, pillow, hammock liner, underquilt, and shade canopy! So whether it’s at the game or on the trail, the Kubie is what you need. Whirly Board is a balance board that is about having fun, while getting exercise and improving skills. The most versatile balance board, fun challenge for beginners, but difficult to master for long term enjoyment and progression.

Swagtron Hoverboard T380 is an advanced smart hoverboard featuring dual 300-watt motors, iOS/Android app connectivity and a built-in Bluetooth speaker. For beginners who are just starting out, the T380 also comes with a learning mode that reduces input sensitivity to allow first-time riders to get a feel for their new Swagboard. “Everyone from my ten-year-old to my eighteen-year-old loved this hoverboard! They ride around inside the house, they ride around outside (with a helmet) and they like how easy it is to turn and stop. Having a built-in bluetooth speaker is really cool! The battery lasts really long. The kids say it feels like floating around.� Toy Tester Family 27

What our readers are saying on Facebook ... Jenny Richardson ... I’ve been a fan of your magazine since it began. My family was on the cover nearly 10 years ago. It always has great information about things that families need to think about whether it is summer camp opportunities or deeper issues related to health or emotional well being. I work at a local school and love the pictures also. Seeing families from our community makes it very relatable. Christie Reed ... This magazine is a go-to source for me. I know the businesses that advertise here are trustworthy. This magazine has the pulse of the community and that is important!


I know the businesses that advertise here are trustworthy.”

Atomic Dotty Reversible Apron

Johnnie Small Earrings are per-

mixes Mid-Century Modern and classic polka dots in turquoise and black with a pop of orange. It has a back side and a front side with several pockets. Making this great for cooking, art projects, doing make-up, and more!

fect for days when you just want to feel a little glam cleaning the house or running errands.

YETI Rambler Mug is the toughest, most over-engineered camp mug out there, because your hard-earned warm mug of chili after a long day deserves nothing less. 18/8 stainless steel keeps contents hot (or cold) and hands protected. Find it at acehard

Elizabeth Arden’s My Fifth Avenue is a sparkling fresh floral scent that evokes the energy of one of the most famous streets in the world, featuring crisp citrus notes complemented by an embrace of feminine florals.

Notion monitors motion, water, alarms and temperature. No need to purchase unique sensors for each application – just choose the tasks you want during setup. Download the mobile app, plug in the bridge and attach your sensors with the included adhesive. No subscription fees. Get notified on your phone when your kids open the front door. Easily check to make sure you closed the garage. Works with the Nest platform too.

Microgreen Grower helps you to breathe a little life into your kitchen. Each microgreens growing kit comes with a Seattle Seed starter pack of soil and microgreen seeds to transform any home chef into an urban farmer too. Fits on windowsills and countertops.

28 Athens-Oconee Parent 29


Kids love to see their picture, and you’ll love the keepsake!

Send your photos and info to facebook at Athens-Oconee Parent Magazine. Eli, 11, Hartley Mae, 8, and Millie Kate, 3

Clockwise from top left: Aubree, 7, Charlie, 7, Declan, 2.5, Rylen, 20 mo., and Parks, 2.5

Brooks, 5, Collins, 7, and Carter, 4

Sierra, 9 Kylie, 6, and Charlotte, 7

Emmett, 15 months

Isabelle, 12

Sam, 11, and Troy, 10

Izabella, 13, Jacob, 12, Trey, 11, Ripley, 4, Colt, 3, Brooklyn, 2, and Bodhi, 3 mo.

Cooper, 2, Parker, 7 mo., and Tucker, 3

Taylor, 6, and Tiana, 8

Tyler, 9

Vann, 5, and Maggie, 2

Please support our advertisers who make this FREE family resource possible! Alice DePass Studio of Dance 23

Clarke County School District 12

Encore Dance Theatre 23

Newell Orthodontics 13

Athens Academy 11

Classic Center: The Nutcracker 17

Funopolis 29

Pump It Up 18

Athens Dentistry for Children 3

Classic Center: Cirque Dreams 21

Full Circle Farm 23

Rush Trampoline Park 31

Athens Family Vision/Dr. Springer 11

Classic Center: Athens On ice 32

Linder & Linder Family Dentistry 27

Women’s Center of Athens 3

Berry’s Tree Farm 13

Classic Center: Breakfast with Santa 32

Manning Brothers 29

Children First 29

NE GA Health Department 15

30 Athens-Oconee Parent

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