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Indy’sChild DECEMBER 2012 | FREE


is child's play

KEEPING the season bright is homeschooling

RIGHT for you?

12 DAY S




*Additional fees may apply. DECEMBER 2012 [ indy’s child ] 3

contents 12.12



commentary + parenting



Tips to help avoid holiday burnout

22 | CHOOSING A PRESCHOOL IS CHILD'S PLAY Finding the right program for your child 44 | MAKING FAMILY A PRIORITY THIS HOLIDAY SEASON How one local mother does it

46 | INDY'S CHILD 12 DAYS OF GIVEAWAYS! 51 | I S HOMESCHOOLING RIGHT FOR YOU? The pros and cons of being your child's primary teacher



53 | TRUE CONFESSIONS OF A STAY-AT-HOME-DAD These toys are better off left on the shelf



One local mom's story




26 | education/childcare GUIDE


38 55 61 62

| | | |




on the cover isadora bancheth



movie: The Smurfs book: Sleeping Beauty food: General Tso Chicken

interesting fact: Isa is in love with the English group “One Direction” and Harry is her Favorite

clothing provided by Kids Fly Too!

when I grow up...

I wanna be a rock star!

super hero: Wonder Woman color: Pink ice cream: Vanilla sport: Gymnastics tv show: Super Why subject: Arts & Sports candy: Twix

[ Photos by Hannah Hilliard Photography ]

DECEMBER 2012 [ indy’s child ] 5

in every issue

Indy’s Child

[ publisher’s note ]

FOUNDING PUBLISHER Barbara Wynne | PUBLISHER Mary Wynne Cox | EDITOR Susan Bryant | SALES & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Jennica Zalewski | CREATIVE DIRECTOR Katie Pfierman |

The Season with Special Reasons I admit that Thanksgiving is my very favorite holiday. I love sharing that special day with family members and everyone chips in with their favorite recipes so the side dishes are unique. Likewise, as one of the elders in the group, I can have my own Thanksgiving by appreciating the blessings of having a large and loving family. December is special because often we see the truly generous side of our community. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, you are probably involved in trying to help others enjoy this special time of year. You may hear the bell-ringers that represent the Salvation Army and feel that the good works they do need your support. I personally take time to thank them because they are volunteers caring about others and subjected to cold weather. This is my second year of organizing Holiday Baskets for Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center. It is a group effort of Indianapolis Racquet Club juniors participating on teams or playing in my classes. We talk about how important caring and sharing is to make everyone experience the Season with the Reason. Indianapolis has so many festive opportunities for families. Many performances at Beef and Boards are holidayoriented including performances of The Christmas Carol. The Children’s Museum has expanded Jolly Days to include more fun and games. Christmas at the Zoo will feature new special Dolphin Shows. The Indianapolis Symphony is presenting its Yuletide Celebration with many new orchestrations. Plus, more trains have been added to Jingle Rails at the Eiteljorg Museum. The Nutcracker Ballet has two offerings. The Butler Ballet production ends December 2nd. A very creative production of The Nutcracker Ballet will be held December 21-23 at the Scottish Rite Cathedral. The Indianapolis School of Ballet will have several guest artists, but local ballet students will perform the majority of the roles. This unique presentation takes on an interesting setting: Artistic Director Victoria Lyras’ interpretation of the holiday classic starts with a festive Victorian gathering in scenic designer C. David Higgin’s replica of the Morris-Butler House parlor, a Historic Landmarks of Indiana museum house. This sounds like a very interesting production. Best wishes to all of our Indy’s Child readers to enjoy the Season with Special Reasons with your family and friends and may the joys and blessings of the month of December warm your heart.

Barbara Wynne Founding Publisher 6 INDYSCHILD.COM

EVENTS COORDINATOR & PUBLIC RELATIONS Wendy Cox | BUSINESS MANAGER Roxanne Burns | ADVERTISING COORDINATOR Karen Ring | EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Wendy Schrepferman | AD CREATION Heather Lipe | CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Barbara Wynne, Wendy Schrepferman, Carrie Bishop, Sarah McCosham, Katrina Holtmeier, Brooke Reynolds, Mary Susan Buhner, Pete Gilbert, Kim Harms of The Children’s Museum, Katherine Squadroni of Riley/IU Health, Taylor Newell of Indianapolis Downtown, Hollie Adams of St. Vincent Health, Carla Knapp of The Indianapolis Zoo, Marge Eberts & Peggy Gisler CONTACT US 921 E. 86th Street., Suite 130 | Indianapolis, IN 46240 PHONE: 317.722.8500 | FAX: 317.722.8510 EMAIL:

COPYRIGHT Indy’s Child Parenting Magazine is published monthly. Copyright 2012 by Midwest Parenting Publications, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited. Distribution of this magazine does not constitute an endorsement of products, commentary or services herein. For information on subscriptions, editorial guidelines, advertising rates and more visit

DECEMBER 2012 [ indy’s child ] 7

in every issue

[ community spotlight ]

community S POT L IGH T

meridian music’s 5th annual music marathon food drive On Friday, December 7th at 3:30 pm, music will fill the air of Meridian Music’s Munger Hall in Carmel. Area students representing many instruments, genres and skill levels will

celebrate the winter solstice at the indianapolis museum of art In the United States and the rest of the northern hemisphere, the first day of the winter season is the day of the year when the sun is farthest south. This day, December 21st, is known as the winter solstice. The IMA’s Annual Winter Solstice celebration will take place on Thursday, December 20th from 5:00 pm - 8:30 pm.

perform into the evening. The music will start up again the following morning, Saturday, December 8th at 8:00 am and last throughout the day. Meridian Music welcomes the general public to attend this event and asks all performers and audience members to donate at least one non-perishable food item.

Bundle up and head to the museum grounds for an ice carving demonstration, art-making and music. Cozy up

Meridian Music is located at 12725 Old Meridian Street in

to the bonfire with hot chocolate and holiday treats available for purchase from Nourish Café, or warm up in the

Carmel. For more information, call 317-575-9588.

Lilly House where you will enjoy historic holiday decorations and music. The IMA will be open from 11:00 am until 9:00 pm. Admission and parking are free.

If you are unable to attend the performances, please consider bringing a non-perishable food item to the

Visit for information on this

Meridian Music store. They will continue to accept items

and other special events at the IMA.

from the general public through January 5, 2013.

a christmas carol at the indiana repertory theatre

greetings from cards from santa!

The IRT’s timeless Christmas classic, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, runs on the main stage November 23 through December 24. In this time-honored tradition, Scrooge is taught the true meaning of

The Nor th Pole is abuzz with preparations for the

Christmas by a trio of ghosts who show him his past, present and future. From the story of the three

magical holiday season, and Cards from Santa are

ghosts and Scrooge’s redemption, to the classic lines of “bah humbug” and “God bless us everyone,”

now available! Be sure to include all the children on

IRT’s cast and crew promises a holiday tradition that will delight the human spirit in all of us.

your list! Cards from Santa began in 2009 and is based on a beloved childhood Christmas tradition.

For tickets and information, call the IRT ticket office at 317-635-5252.

Receiving a personalized Card From Santa will highlight your child’s sense of excitement and anticipation in the days and weeks leading up to

helping those still in need

Christmas. Along with Santa’s personalized message, each high quality, brightly colored card contains a

Hurricane Sandy left her indelible mark last month. Events such as this are often distressing to children.

beautiful picture to color and two holiday activities.

One way to help them understand and process these situations is to empower them to make a

Your family will treasure these cards for many years

difference in the lives of others. Consider making a family donation to your local Red Cross chapter. Visit

to come. Whether you’re a parent, aunt, uncle, to donate online. You may also call 1-800-RED-CROSS

grandparent, or just a close friend, please let Santa

or send a donation to American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

know who wants a special card this year! For more information, visit


online buzz check OUT


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“Where is your favorite place in Indy to catch the holiday spirit?” Castleton Mall... it's always decorated so pretty and all the shoppers get me into the holiday spirit! – Anita J. Broad Ripple during the day shopping local and Mass Ave. at night shopping local. – Brooke H. The Children's Museum!!! – Heather L. Conner Prairie for the Gingerbread Houses! – Caroline M. Nothing beats the Circle!!! For me its not Christmas until we get the kids bundled up and take a stroll around the Circle to see the lights, drop a letter in Santa's mailbox and have some hot cocoa. Its perfect!!! – Laura M. Vanilla Bean Bakery with their decorated cake pops and cake truffles! Tiny delicious holiday works of art! – Kristine C. The light display at Reynolds Farm Equipment in Fishers-just wouldn't be Christmas without it - and it's FREE! – Samantha S.

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12 DAYS of


•••••••••• Indiana Repertory Theatre Tickets

Disney On Ice: Worlds of Fantasy

Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre Tickets

LIKE our Facebook page for a chance to win! DECEMBER 2012 [ indy’s child ] 9

Get the Family

OUT Holiday Break! Over the

The holiday break is great, right? The kids are home from school for consecutive weeks, giving the entire family the chance to spend quality time together watching seasonal movies, decorating, baking – you get the idea. All this is just great until the kids start to get restless (when I was younger, this happened around day 0.5). Now you’re faced with a dilemma: how do you keep the kids entertained without draining your entire holiday gift budget?

Museum of Art through Jan. 6. Who knows, maybe you’ll

The Indiana Ice play all of their home games Downtown this

absorb some new ideas for your own home decor! FREE

year at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and Pan Am Plaza. Catch


a game Dec. 22, 30, Jan. 4 or 5. Get in the game for $11 at Bankers Life or $10 at Pan Am with discounted prices for

Calm the commotion with some locomotion with Jingle Rails

kids, seniors and military service members. The Pacers also

at The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and

play four home games over the holiday break at Bankers Life

Western Art through Jan. 6, an intricate model train diorama

and the Colts take on the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil

complete with a miniature Downtown cityscape. $10 adults,

Stadium Dec. 30.

$6 kids (5–17), children 4 & under FREE.

Speaking of Pan Am Plaza, test out your own skills on the ice at the Indiana/World Skating Academy on public skating

Step into a scene from A Christmas Story, play with some

evenings for only $6.50 (get $2.50 off if you bring your own

classic American toys and hang with Radio Disney during


Here is a list of fun, inexpensive events and activities for the

Winterfest at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana

entire family in Downtown Indianapolis over the holiday break.

History Center Dec. 17 – 30.

While you’re Downtown, bundle up and take a walk by Monument Circle to admire the Circle of Lights®

Take in a fun holiday experience that features the Yule Slide, Jingles the Jolly Bear, visits from Santa, the Snow Castle, ice fishing and cookie making at Jolly Days Winter Wonderland at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis through Jan. 6. Stop by the museum’s Lilly Theater at no extra charge for a showing of The Magic Snowman based on the classic children’s tale Stone Soup. $17.50 adults, $12.50 kids (2–17).

See the amazing holiday lights display during Christmas at the Zoo at the Indianapolis Zoo through Dec. 30. Take the Holiday Train Ride, see a holiday-themed dolphin show, decorate cookies and find one of 10 hidden mistletoes for a

presented by the Contractors of Quality Connection and Electrical Workers of IBEW 481 (until Jan. 12). The 4,784 lights on the monument have lit Downtown for the holidays for 50 years (since 1962!).

chance to win a Dolphin In-Water Adventure. $9.50 adults, $7.50 kids.

Downtown Indianapolis offers a fantastic variety of fun things to do on any budget, especially during the holiday season.

Catch Christmas at the Puppet Studio Dec. 22 and 27, a

For more information on Downtown events, visit www.indydt.

Explore holiday decorative ideas of the 1930s and 1940s

Christmas variety show filled with music and audience

com, download the Indy Downtown mobile app and follow @

during Christmas at the Lilly House at the Indianapolis

participation at Peewinkle's Puppet Studio. $10.

IndyDT on Twitter. Happy holidays!


DECEMBER 2012 [ indy’s child ] 11


[ pediatric health ]

Assessing a Child’s Fever When should you be concerned? “Fever” can be a scary word for parents—sometimes, inordinately so. After all, a fever indicates your child’s body is doing what it’s supposed to do to fight infection. Learning what to do for a child with a fever and when a fever might indicate something serious should be on every parent’s to-do list.

— Diarrhea

— Sore throat

— Difficulty breathing

— Stomach pain

Honey, you feel warm

— Dry mouth

— Vomiting

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), a child has a fever if his or her temperature exceeds 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit when measured orally or 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit when taken rectally. Many parents prefer to take their toddlers’ temperatures by mouth, but the AAFP reports that rectal temperature taking yields the most accurate results. Either way, it is best to use a digital thermometer.

— Lack of appetite

Infections are the most common cause of fever, but immunizations, wearing too many clothes and heat exposure can also cause a toddler’s body temperature to rise above its normal 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (99.6 degrees if measured rectally). Most of the time, a fever isn’t cause for alarm in an otherwise healthy child, especially one who remains alert, still wants to play and continues to eat and drink normally. Your toddler may not need medication if his or her fever isn’t causing pain or discomfort, however, acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help relieve symptoms and reduce the fever.

What to do and when Some fevers—those that last more than several days are associated with petechiae (a pinpoint rash) or mental


status change—may require more immediate medical attention. A primary care provider may also need to evaluate a child who displays the following symptoms, regardless of his or her temperature:

Whether your child’s fever warrants swift medical attention, a phone call to your primary care provider or simply careful monitoring at home, you’ll want to make him or her as comfortable as possible. If not drinking well, offer him or her an electrolyte-replenishing liquid, water, gelatin or ice pops to stave off dehydration. Do not attempt to actively cool your child with cold water/baths or alcohol rubs. Dress your child in his or her favorite pair of lightweight cotton pajamas and ensure he or she gets plenty of sleep. With proper care, your little one will likely be back to his or her active self in no time.     For other information about caring for a child with a fever, visit and search for “fever”.

This article was reviewed by David Zipes, M.D., medical director, pediatric hospital medicine, Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St. Vincent.


[ pediatric health ]

Home Safe Home Prevent burn injuries and fires Dr. Rajiv Sood

— Burn candles on a flat, steady surface where children and pets can’t tip them over.

Dr. Rajiv Sood is the co-medical director of the Riley Hospital for Children Burn Center at Indiana University Health.

— Unplug your clothing iron and curling iron when not in use. — Set your water heater thermostat at 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

As a parent, your child’s safety is always on your mind, but are you relying on luck alone to prevent a burn injury or a deadly fire? You shouldn’t because your family’s life may depend on it. Put the odds in your favor by implementing preventive measures now and making sure EVERY member of your family knows what to do in case of a fire - especially as the Christmas season nears. Involve your child where appropriate and learn how simple precautions and a little planning can help keep your family safe.

— Install smoke detectors on each level of the home, near the kitchen and in each bedroom. Test the alarms monthly and replace batteries yearly. — Have a fire extinguisher, and ensure family members know where it’s stored and how to use it.

Hatch a lifesaving plan

Prevention is always the best strategy

— Post your local fire department’s number in your home. Teach your child how and when to use 9-1-1.

— Do not put your Christmas tree near a heat source. Discard a live tree promptly when it becomes dry.

— As a family, create a home evacuation plan in case of a fire. Sketch out your home’s floor plan and discuss each potential exit.

— Do not overload electrical outlets with holiday decorations. Check holiday lights for frayed wires, bare spots and broken sockets.

— Demonstrate and practice the Stop, Drop, Roll method. Tell your child that if his clothing is on fire, he must immediately stop what he’s doing, drop to the ground, and roll until the fire is out.

— Keep a fireplace screen in front of the fireplace. Teach your child the danger of touching or moving it. — Keep space heaters away from flammable materials. Turn them off when leaving a room or going to bed. — Never leave food cooking on a stove unattended. Keep pot handles turned toward the back of the stove.

— Explain to your child that if he sees smoke, he should cover his mouth and stay low to the floor when exiting the house to minimize breathing in smoke. — Practice makes perfect. Practice evacuating the home during the day and at night. Don’t assume your family knows how to escape in a time of high stress.

— Do not allow people to smoke in your home. Keep matches and lighters out of reach.

Don’t leave your child’s safety to chance when it comes to accidental burns and fire. Implement safety measures now and teach your child what to do in the case of an emergency.

— Only use the clothes dryer when you are home.

For more information visit our


DECEMBER 2012 [ indy’s child ] 15

Keeping the Season Tips to Help Avoid Holiday Burnout It’s that time of year again - time for family, festivities and fun as we celebrate the holiday season. Unfortunately for many people, the holidays instead become defined by hectic shopping trips, stressful family events and to-do lists that never seem to end. Add kids into the mix, and things can become exponentially more stressful. It’s easy to become burned out by the holidays. Read on for some simple tips on keeping the season merry and bright, staying a sane and happy parent and maintaining perspective on what the holidays are really about.

Managing Expectations Once you get married and start your own family, former family traditions become tricky. For example, both you and your spouse used to spend Christmas morning at your respective 16 INDYSCHILD.COM

B R I G HT Sarah McCosham

households, but now you want to start your own traditions. Heather, mom to a 2 year-old toddler and 4 month-old fraternal twins, says that it hasn’t been easy transitioning from old traditions to new ones. “I really wanted Christmas morning to be our own little family (meaning me, my husband and our kids) but we have immediate family that is used to seeing us every year on Christmas. Trying to do our own thing and not hurt anyone's feelings has been tough; however, it's really important to me that we establish our own traditions now that we have kids.” In fact, managing family expectations is one of the most overwhelming holiday stressors, says Dr. Liz Boyd, Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department at Indiana UniversityPurdue University Indianapolis. “The holidays increase the expectations or demand a person feels in the family role. Even if that person has negotiated a good balance for most of the

year, that increased demand can throw things off and create a situation where there is too much to do and not enough time to do it.” When dealing with family, it’s best to be clear about what your expectations are for the holidays. Pick a few family traditions you’d like to be part of, and be sure to let extended family know ahead of time what your plans are. By going into the holidays with just a few commitments and reasonable expectations, you’ll be able to really enjoy the time spent with your family.

Shopping…With Kids Holiday shopping is stressful enough when it’s just you – add a carful of kids and shopping becomes next to impossible. According to Terri Potter, a toy seller at Kids Inc., parents should first take kids to a store for a “looking” day where they can observe what types of toys their kids enjoy. “Later on, parents can return (by themselves) and select those books, games and toys that they feel best fit the needs of their child,” she explains. Depending on the age and disposition of your children, a “looking day” could easily turn into a series of tantrums, as they don’t understand why they can’t have everything they want now. In this case, the Toy Experts at Indianapolis’ Imagination Station suggest taking the kids along as you shop for others, which helps teach them about the joy of giving. “Make sure to set expectations early on,” says Debi, one of Imagination Station’s Experts. She continues, “Teach them that the holiday isn't just about buying. Our family takes advantage of opportunities to give: we ‘adopt’ a child through Compassion International, we fill at least one shoebox for ‘Operation Christmas Child’ and we donate toys at local toy drives. Generosity and greed are both qualities learned very early in life.” Setting budgets and guidelines for your own kids at an early age is also key. My husband and I have a long-standing tradition where we focus on the “four gift rule: something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read.” By paring down lists to a manageable number, we can focus on buying more meaningful gifts for our family. Finally, seek out gifts that will encourage imaginative play and cognitive development, such as books. Long after the excitement of Christmas morning has dissipated, these gifts stick around. “Several years ago I was at a birthday party where a six year-old boy got loads of plastic toys,” remembers Shirley Mullin of Kids Inc. “He exclaimed over each one, but when he unwrapped the dinosaur book I had taken, he tossed it aside. Later on, he couldn’t be found. He was eventually discovered in a quiet corner looking at the book.”

Remembering What’s Important It’s easy to get swept up by the holiday season, but as a parent, it’s especially important to slow down and remember what’s really important. By coming up with a game plan ahead of time, the focus of the holidays can be on spending quality time with your family. Advises Boyd, “Consider what is actually most important to you, and align your actions with those values. Don’t compare yourself to others, to memories of ‘perfect’ holidays in the past or even to media images of the ‘ideal’ holiday.” Creating family memories is something Heather and her husband are actively trying to do with their three kids. For example, they’ve come up with traditions that don’t involve lots of preparation or money, such as “pajama night” where everyone dons a new pair of holiday pj’s and loads into the minivan to admire the holiday lights. Above all, Heather says she wants to keep the holidays simple and family-oriented. “We want to focus more on being together rather than buying, buying, buying - we don't need presents galore under the tree - that's really not what Christmas is about.” DECEMBER 2012 [ indy’s child ] 17

around town

[ children's museum profile ]

2012 TOP TEN KID –TESTED, KID –APPROVED TOY RESULTS ANNOUNCED Holiday Shopping Just Got Easier for Gift-Givers It is the year of important “votes”, 2012!  Adults voted for political candidates while young visitors to The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis cast their ballots for favorite new toys of the season. Decisions were not made lightly. The hottest new toys were tried and tested in The Museum Store. Playthings that passed the test earned thumbs up by our inquisitive kid experts. Our young voters may not recognize it, but interactive, educational toys that spark imagination and creativity top the list…just the way The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis likes it. Drum Roll Please! The annual Top Ten Kid-Tested, Kid-Approved Toy List is…

1. Toop Top (made by Tosy) — a motorized, stackable, light-up top that can battle with other Toop Tops 2.  Train Table (made by Brio) — children’s train table with wooden tracks, trains and toy figures 3.  Remote Control Car (made by Hot Wheels) — Camaro with lots of power and a full function remote control 4.  Stomp Rocket (made by The D & L Company) — a stomp of your foot and a blast of air propels the foam rocket a hundred feet into the air 5.  Do A Dot (made Do A Dot) — paint colors in sponge-tip bottles that serve as the paint applicators 6.  Spooner Board (made by Spooner Inc.) — a virtually indestructible balance board that spins, flips, slides, wobbles and more 7.  Micro Drifters Zip Cars (made by Daydream Toy) — vibrating bristles power vehicles around an interchangeable track 8.  Rody-Inflatable horse (made by Gymnic) — made of latex-free vinyl that helps children learn balance and coordination while having a great time bouncing 18 INDYSCHILD.COM

9.  Hyper Wheels (made by Hot Wheels) — two motorcycles on a launcher that speed off when a lever is pulled 10. Stunt Remote Control Car (made by Mindscope) — it spirals, spins, flips over, does wheelies and has multi-colored lights Santa will no doubt be checking this list twice as will adults in need of holiday gift ideas for the children in their lives. “A plethora of options can seem overwhelming for adults trying to differentiate what toy is best for what age group or what object may provide the most engagement,” said Dr. Jeffrey H. Patchen, president and CEO, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. “Our wonderful employees are on hand to share the results of the test and help make the gift selection process less formidable.”  Also for the holidays, a Black Friday 30% discount will be available on Nov. 25, 2012 from 8:30-10 a.m. for all purchases made within The Museum Store during The Children’s Museum’s annual Santa’s Big Arrival event. Shipping and gift wrapping are available. In addition to purchases within The Children’s Museum Store, museum memberships also make a great family or grandparent holiday purchase. Memberships may be purchased at the museum, online at or by calling (317) 334-4000. Museum admission is not required to visit The Museum Store. Store hours are from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays; the store will be open until 2 p.m. on Dec. 24 to make those last minute holiday purchases.  

DECEMBER 2012 [ indy’s child ] 19

around town

[ zoo profile ]

Become part of a holiday tradition with Christmas at the Zoo Carla Knapp

Surround yourself with the magic and beauty of the holiday season as the Indianapolis Zoo hosts its 44th year of Christmas at the Zoo presented by Donatos and Teachers Credit Union. The Indianapolis Zoo was the first zoo in the United States to hold a holiday lights event and since then, Christmas at the Zoo has come to be known for its spectacular holiday lights and displays. This year will be no exception! From 5-9pm Wednesdays through Sundays from Nov. 23-Dec. 30, become a part of this growing holiday tradition. A visit to Christmas at the Zoo is unlike any other time of year, bringing together the best of the holiday season with a “wild” twist! As the sun sets, the warm glow of twinkling lights can be seen all over the Zoo, creating a magical nighttime experience. Don’t miss the We Three Trees display presented by Indianapolis Honda Dealers, All-A-Glow Light Show and all-new lights throughout Encounters. The Holiday Train Ride presented by Marathon gives guests a perfect view of all the energy-efficient holiday LED lights sponsored by Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC. While taking in the lights, guests can warm up with a cup of hot cocoa and enjoy the sounds of carolers singing near the fireside. Plus,


lots of family-friendly activities await in White River Gardens inside Santa’s Toy Shop, including cookie decorating with Mrs. Claus, letters to Santa, and visits and photo ops with Kris Kringle himself! Guests can also satisfy their sweet tooth with fudge, cinnamon rolls, caramel apples and more at Santa’s Sweet Shop. Several of the Zoo’s more robust animals will be out late to enjoy the cooler weather, and with smaller crowds, guests can enjoy a more personal Zoo experience. When visitors’ cheeks start to get rosy, they can dash inside to enjoy the animals in the Dolphin Dome, Deserts and Oceans exhibits. Holiday-themed dolphin shows will help visitors get into the Christmas spirit. Plus, two lucky guests will have the chance to return for a once-in-alifetime Zoo experience as those who find the locations of 10 mistletoes hidden around the Zoo can register to win one of two Dolphin In-Water Adventures! Christmas at the Zoo is included with regular Zoo admission and is free for Zoo members. For more information, visit or follow the Zoo on Facebook and Twitter.

DECEMBER 2012 [ indy’s child ] 21

ch osing a preschool

is Child's P lay Finding the right program for your child Wendy Schrepferman, M. A. Elementary Education

In recent years, full-day kindergarten has become the norm for many of our country’s young children. As a result more parents are choosing to send their children to preschool in an effort to prepare them for entering a traditional school setting. Researching and deciding upon a program for your child can be a long process. Fortunately, understanding the traits of a quality preschool is not. 22 INDYSCHILD.COM

It might seem reversed, but appreciating the origins of kindergarten is the best

The process to become accredited by NAEYC is very rigorous. Marsha Lindsey

place to begin.

of Day Nursery in Indianapolis notes, “Receiving the NAEYC stamp of approval is only the beginning. We use the standards as a measuring stick to evaluate our

The German word “kindergarten” translates to “garden of children.” Think of children as a garden of wild flowers - all growing at their own rate, all presenting their unique colors and shapes in their own way. This term was made popular by Friedrich Froebel in the 1800s. His educational philosophies of promoting

faculty and the learning environment monthly. We work diligently to ensure our students are receiving the best early childhood experience possible.”


discovery, hands-on activities and peer relationships continue to guide quality

If your child is in the three to six year age group and attends a preschool, day

kindergarten programs today.

care or kindergarten program, the NAEYC suggests looking for these signs in the classroom.

These important learning philosophies must also be the driving force in school is all about, and it is our job as parents to find a nurturing environment

children should have the opportunity every day to:

where our children will grow and thrive.

— Spend the majority of their time playing, working with hands-on materials and

preschool settings. Preschool is a child’s first and lasting memory of what

interacting with peers. They should rarely be asked to sit still and participate in The National Association for the Education of Young Children is a non-profit organization with a longstanding reputation of developing research-based practices for educating small children. NAEYC awards accreditation to quality preschool and kindergarten programs that apply and complete the multi-faceted process. Parents may visit to locate accredited schools as well as a variety of valuable resources.

whole group learning. — Access a wide variety of activities such as dramatic play, building blocks, a variety of art materials, picture books and puzzles. — Play outdoors. Outdoor time should never be sacrificed to gain more instructional time.

DECEMBER 2012 [ indy’s child ] 23

It’s not about simply having fun. It’s about proven methods; mindful, research-based methods that provide children with the experiences they need TO MAKE SENSE OF THE

Barbara Willer, Deputy Executive Director of NAEYC, weighed in on the subject

world around them.

We are fortunate in the Indianapolis area to have a variety of quality programs to

— Mindy Hutchinson, Meridian Hills Co-op Preschool & Kindergar ten

of play stating, “Play encourages children’s physical development, but also their intellectual, social and emotional development. When children play, they develop and practice new skills, learn to negotiate and cooperate, make friends, use vocabulary and regulate their emotions and behavior.”

suit all ages and needs. Early childhood education options include: — Multi-age Montessori programs

— Learn numbers and letters in the context of everyday experiences which might include exploring patterns in nature, cooking or taking attendance. Worksheets are used little if at all. — Have extended, self-directed periods of time to play and explore.

— Family-oriented co-op programs — Pre-k programs serving families wishing to enter a private school setting for elementary school — Museum and nature center-based programs

— Look forward to school.

— Traditional programs that incorporate a variety of early childhood learning philosophies

early childhood educators should strive to:

— Programs with a religious education component in addition to their early childhood learning philosophies

— Work with individuals and small groups throughout the day instead of only leading whole group sessions.

Early winter is the perfect time of year to contact preschools in your area to schedule visits. It is best to visit schools when the students are present to see what a typical day might look like. Take the above listing of standards with you

— Decorate the activity spaces with the children’s original artwork where writing

and ask specific questions about the school’s core philosophy. If appropriate,

with invented spelling is proudly displayed.

ask the students what they like about their school as they are the true ambassadors.

— Read books to children individually or in small groups throughout the day, not just at group story time.

Although parents often feel pressure to have their children excel academically at an early age, it is important not to sacrifice a child’s natural instincts to discover

— Adapt the curriculum for those who are successful as well as those who need additional help. — Recognize that children’s different backgrounds and experiences mean they do not learn the same things at the same time or in the same way. After reading the inventory of standards above, perhaps you are thinking, “As a parent, I want what’s best for my child, and I want them to be successful in kindergarten and elementary school. Why would I send my child to a preschool to play all day?” “It’s not about simply having fun. It’s about proven methods; mindful, researchbased methods that provide children with the experiences they need to make sense of the world around them,” says Mindy Hutchinson of Meridian Hills Co-op Preschool and Kindergarten. “Co-ops are unique because parents are actively involved in their child’s school experience. At Meridian Hills, the strong sense of community and our joyful philosophy of play are our greatest assets.” 24 INDYSCHILD.COM

and explore the world. Just as we wouldn’t remove the training wheels from a child’s bike before he or she was ready, we must be mindful when introducing them to formal academic settings before they are developmentally prepared. So, let’s play! We might all be surprised by what we learn!

DECEMBER 2012 [ indy’s child ] 25


[ school listings ]

education +childcare GUIDE schools & education carmel Carmel Montessori Schools, Inc.

Carmel Montessori School is located on the beautiful campus at St. Christopher’s Church on the NE corner of Main St. and Meridian in Carmel. Our directress is American Montessori Certified with 13 years head-teaching experience. We offer a beautiful, peaceful and positive Montessori learning environment. Extended days available. 1402 W. Main St., Carmel, IN 46032, Contact: Emily & Scott Rudicel, 317-580-0699,,

Clay Montessori

A Montessori school offering morning, afternoon, and full-day programs. Available for ages 3-6 years old. Call for more information. (Affiliated with Fisher’s Montessori) 463 East Main St., Carmel, IN 46032, Contact: Peggy White, 317-849-9519 or 317-580-1850

Starting Line Preschool

The Right Start for A Lifelong Love of Learning! Our strong academic-based curriculum prepares and encourages your child to succeed in school while discoving learning is fun! * Develop Social Awareness & Friendships, Build Confidence and Master Academic Skills for Kindergarten. All of our classes focus on an introduction to colors, number and letters with exciting art and science projects. Math, social studies and sight words are taught in the older classes. 110 Third Ave NE, Carmel, IN 46032. Contact: Diane Atkins. Phone: 317-753-9397. Email:

The Montessori Learning Center

The Montessori Learning Center offers a Montessori elementary program for grades 1-5. We focus on developing the whole child through interaction with an interdisciplinary curriculum. Our program specifically meets the needs of each child and is aligned with Indiana State Standards. 1402 W. Main St., Carmel, IN 46032, Contact: Elizabeth Williams, 317-846-8182, elizabeth@,

WestClay Children's Montessori

WestClay Children's Montessori preschool & kindergarten offers a small, structured, nurturing learning environment for children ages 3-6 to explore, learn and grow at their own pace. Guided by a certified Montessori directress and assistant, each child receives


hands-on, one-on-one or small group instruction, in life skills, grace & courtesy, sensorial activities, reading, math, music, French, cultural studies. 3085 West 116th Street, Carmel, IN 46032. Contact: Sharon Emanuel. Phone: 317-697-8460. Email: admin@westclaymontessori. com.


each child’s individual pace. 6701 Hoover Road, Indianapolis, IN 46260, 317-251-9467, emills@,

Beth-El Zedeck Early Childhood Center OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Full Academic Curriculum and Innovative Arts’ Enrichment. Our Program recognizes that intellectual, social, emotional and physical development are interwoven. Our children will thrive on exploration, creativity, curiosity, discovery, spontaneity and more important, lots of love! Type of School: Early Childhood, Full Time/ Part-Time/Flexible Hours, Ages: 12 months old+, 18 months old+, 2’s+, 3’s+, 4’s/PreK (3 day or 5 day program) and Full Day Kindergarten (5 full-day program) (8:50 am to 3:00 pm) Before School/After School Care available daily as needed for all ages: Early drop off as early as 7:30 am and late pick up anytime up until 6:00 pm/5:30 pm on Fridays. Call or email for brochure. 600 W. 70th St., Indianapolis, IN 46260, Contact: Joanie Waldman, Phone: 317-259-6854, Fax: 317-259-6849, Email:,

Fall Creek Montessori Academy

Fall Creek Montessori Academy is a culturally diverse environment where children grow and develop their unique talents and gifts. Through child-centered learning, children excel physically, academically and emotionally. Conveniently located one mile east of I-69 on 96th St. FCMA serves children at all levels. Programs are available two to five days per week. 8888 Fitness Ln, Fishers, IN 46037, Contact: Diana Brugh, (317) 436-8606, diana@,

Fishers Montessori

A quality learning environment offering preschool, kindergarten and elementary. Certification through American Montessori Society. 12806 Ford Rd and 131st and Allisonville Rd., Fishers, IN 46038, Contact: Peggy White, 317-8499519 or 317-580-1850

indianapolis - downtown Todd Academy, Inc.

A fun, creative, challenging environment for highly intelligent students age 8 or grade 3 thru grade 12. High-ability, gifted and talented education with early-college options and rolling enrollment offers mid-year transfers. Extracurricular activities, community service involvement, financial aid and vouchers are all offered. State accredited. 855 N. East Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202, Contact: Sharon Todd, 317-636-3100, Fax: 317-636-3103, Email:,

indianapolis - north

Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School Brebeuf Jesuit’s Mission Statement: Brebeuf Jesuit, a Catholic and Jesuit school, provides an excellent college preparatory education for a lifetime of service by forming leaders who are intellectually competent, open to growth, loving, religious and committed to promoting justice. Fostering a culture of understanding and dialogue, Brebeuf Jesuit seeks and welcomes students from diverse religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. Students at Brebeuf Jesuit are called to discover and cultivate the fullness of their God-given talents as a responsibility and as an act of worship. CORE VALUES: Education of the Whole Person, A Caring and Diverse Community, The Greater Glory of God. 2801 W 86th St, Indianapolis, IN 46268. Contact: Liz Otteson, Director of Admissions. Phone: 317-524-7090. Email: admissions@brebeuf. org. Ages/Grades: All ages and grades welcome.

Children’s Day In Nursery School and Traditional Preschool The Children’s Day In traditional preschool and nursery school program provides a fully inclusive early childhood program with an emphasis on Christian values in a play based setting. It is designed to offer children ages 9 months to 5 years a positive and developmentally appropriate experience in the care of experienced teachers and caregivers. We play and learn! Classes are offered weekdays from 9 am to 2:30 pm. Children attend up to 3 days a week. 5500 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46208, Contact: Christy Whaley, 317-253-0472,, www.

Arthur M. Glick JCC

Our loving caregivers and teachers demonstrate by example and encourage children to behave according to these values as the children are learning, playing and socializing with one another. The JCC embraces a learning-throughplay teaching method to engage children in activities that promote creativity, accelerate learning and stimulate social interaction, all at

Children’s Circle Preschool at Second Presbyterian Church Children’s Circle Preschool is a developmentally appropriate, activity based, Christian preschool. We offer classes for children ages 9 months to 5 years old. We meet the needs of the whole child in a creative and loving environment. Our

experienced staff embraces excellence in education by nurturing the whole childphysically, emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually. Please call for more information or to set up a tour. 7700 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46260, Contact: Cara Paul, Director, 317-252-5517,,

Early Childhood Center, The Church at the Crossing Our Mothers Day Out (12-35 mos) and Preschool (3 yrs-PreK’s) programs provide relaxed, playful, secure environments that nurture creativity and encourage the exploration of God’s world, a wide variety of learning materials, & friendships, with readiness activities woven through each study unit. Need longer hours? Try our child care ministry, The Neighborhood designed for 2-PreK. 9111 N. Haverstick Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46240, Contact: John Drake or Kelly Belt, 317-575-6508, Fax: 317-5756509, or

Heritage Christian School

Established in 1965, accredited through ACSI and NCA. HCS is the choice in college preparatory discipleship Christian education for 1,400 students each year grades Prep K – 12. Advanced, Honors and AP classes. Full Fine Arts and 2A IHSAA Athletics. HCS is training up the next generation of Christian leaders through challenging, Biblically taught curriculum including internships and service to others. Bus transportation available. Schedule a tour today! 6401 E. 75th Street, Indianapolis, In 46250, Contact: Emily Iglendza, Director of Enrollment Management, 317-849-3441,,

Meridian Hills Cooperative Nursery School

Share your love of learning with your children. Founded in 1960 by involved parents like you, Meridian Hills Cooperative provides a positive, nurturing environment wherein children explore and learn by doing. Spacious classrooms. Beautiful, wooded playground. Caring, experienced staff. Adult/child ratios 1:4 - 1:6. Find us on Facebook. 7171 N. Pennsylvania, Indianapolis, IN 46240, Contact: See �Admissions/ Tours� Info Online, Phone: 317-255-0831,

Montessori Centres

Stressing peace and respect for all, we’ve worked with children to develop criticalthinking and time-management skills since 1966. Montessori-certified lead teachers serve children aged 3-3rd grade. Our classroom structure and materials allow children to be self-directed and self-paced. Our well-rounded curriculum includes French and Spanish, art, and computer labs. 563 Westfield Blvd. W. Dr., Indianapolis, IN 46208, Contact: Lynn Boone, Director, Phone: 317-257-2224, Fax: 317-254-3034, Email:

The Orchard School

The Orchard School, an independent, nonsectarian, progressive school, emphasizing experiential learning. Orchard teachers engage the natural curiosity of children, develop academic excellence, and provide leadership experience through well-rounded education. Orchard’s diverse community and commitment to multicultural education inspires responsible, global citizenship. Founded in 1922. NAIS,

ISACS, NAEYS accredited. 615 W. 64th St., Indianapolis, IN 46260, Contact: Kristen Hein, Director of Admissions, Phone: 317-713-5705, Fax: 317-2548454, Email:,

Park Tudor School Park Tudor School’s exceptional educators and extraordinary opportunities prepare students to become confident and resourceful lifelong learners. The school community creates an inspiring college-preparatory learning environment for highly motivated young people. Two-year Global Scholars program for juniors and seniors; 19 AP classes; full-day kindergarten; Spanish beginning at age 3. 7200 N. College Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46240, Contact: Shants Hart, 317-415-2777,,

St. Richard’s Episcopal School Independent Episcopal day school offering a diverse community filled with academic rigor, faith based ecumenism and long-standing traditions. Its mission is to instill knowledge and values for a lifetime through the implementation of five Pillars for Success: Faith, Classic Curriculum, Leadership, Civic Responsibility, and Global Readiness. Pre-Kindergarten (3) through Grade 8. 33 E. 33rd Street, Indianapolis, IN 46205, Contact: Melinda W. Fisher, 317-926-0425 x134, Fax: 317-921-3367, mfisher@strichardsschool. org,

Sycamore School At Sycamore, teachers trained in gifted education deliver a curriculum designed to challenge and engage gifted learners. Art, music, Spanish, PE and technology are taught at all levels. Extensive field trips, athletics, child care, financial aid, and a wide variety of after school activities are offered. 1750 W. 64th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46260, Contact: Dr. Susan Karpicke, Director of Admissions. 317-202-2500, Fax: 317-2022501,.,

indianapolis - northeast Compassionate Angels Child Care Ministry We are a Christian ministry, using the Bible to teach values. We have over 30 years of experience and are accepting children ages 6 weeks to 12 years; we provide before and after school care. We have a very strong educational program that prepares your little one for first grade and beyond. From infancy through kindergarten we have proper age curriculum and teaching. We teach through play and creativity so the children learn and have fun doing it. We are dedicated to the love, education and safety of your child. Learning Starts At Birth! * Now enrolling infants and toddlers. * Free Piano Lessons. * Free Violin Lessons. * Free Dance Lessons. 2626 Ruth Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46240, Contact: Jody Teipen-Holbrook, Phone: 317-2059264, Fax: 317-205-9263, Email: admin@, www.compassionate-

Polly Panda Preschool and Bridgford Kindergarten Polly Panda provides a safe and healthy environment which enhances each child’s total growth. Our theme-based hands-on preschool

program provides a wide-range of experiences that foster learning, creativity and problem solving in all areas. A child’s sense of self-worth, independence and growth in social skills are developed through positive interaction with peers and our well-qualified and loving staff. 2944 E. 56th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46220, Contact: Gail Hacker and Tammy Clark, Phone: 317-257-9127, Email:,

indianapolis - northwest International School of Indiana At the International School of Indiana, we share your wish to prepare your children for the future we cannot imagine, and to give them the foundation and attitude to thrive in a changing world. An education that combines internationally respected academic standards with a truly international outlook. 4330 N. Michigan Road, Indianapolis, IN 46208, Contact: Sarah Harrison or Kate Lock, 923-1951 Ext. 369,,

St. Luke’s Early Childhood Programs St Luke’s Community Preschool is a weekday, developmentally appropriate and experience based program. Two well-trained, degreed teachers are in each classroom. Parents’ Day Out is a structured play experience that provides parents some time for themselves on a regular basis on M, Th, F. We provide a warm and loving Christian environment in which children can learn and grow. Tours available upon request. Visitors welcome. 100 West 86th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46260, Contact: Bobbi Main-Jackson, Dir., 317-844-3399,,

Traders Point Christian Academy Fully accredited by ACSI and AdvancEd, Traders Point is a nondenominational Christian college prep school serving 600 students age 18 months to 12th grade. Offering Fine Arts, Spanish, Technology, Honors, AP and dualcredit options within a Biblical viewpoint. Interscholastic athletics in grade 2 - HS varsity. Preparing students for high school and college, for a world without borders, and for a life of significance. Located at I-65 North/SR 334, Zionsville exit. Visit us - for more information contact Mrs. Toni Kanzler,, at 317-769-2450.

multiple locations Indiana Council of Preschool Cooperatives: ICPC Indianapolis Area Preschool and Kindergarten Cooperatives Preschools: great for your child, great for you! Children and parents learn and grow together in the classroom with caring, experienced teachers. Multiple Locations in Indianapolis Area, ICPC Line: 317-767-7596

noblesville Legacy Christian School Legacy Christian School is celebrating it's 10th year of providing affordable Christian education in Hamilton County. We are equipping and DECEMBER 2012 [ indy’s child ] 27

inspiring students to forge a godly legacy in today's world. State accredited, we combine excellence in academics with Christ-centered teaching. Our full-day Kindergarten is 25-66% less costly than other area programs. Music, art, library, P.E., and computer class offered to K-5th students weekly. Join us in leaving a Legacy! 470 Lakeview Drive, Noblesville, IN 46060. Contact: Lana Thompson. Phone: 317-776-4186. Fax: 317-776-4189. Email: Ages/Grades: Preschool - 8th Grade. Before/After School Care: Available.

Primrose School of Noblesville Primrose School of Noblesville distinguishes itself by creating a safe and nurturing environment where children will take their first steps toward a lifetime of achievement. You will find certified, professional staff and many programs such as spanish, technology, music and physical fitness that will consistently challenge your child. 15707 North Point Blvd., Noblesville, IN 46060, Contact: Jackie Bell, 317-773-4900, Fax: 317-773-4433,

westfield Montessori School of Westfield, Inc. Located on 3 wooded acres in Central Indiana, the Montessori School of Westfield adheres to the academic traditions of Montessori while serving the present day child. The Montessori School of Westfield serves children from Indianapolis, Fishers, Carmel, Zionsville, Westfield, Sheridan, Noblesville, Cicero and Tipton. We serve children ages 18 months to 15 years, and we are adding a new Toddler room for the 2012-2012 year. 800 E. Sycamore Street, Westfield, IN 46074, Contact: Mary Lyman, Directress, 317-867-0158,,

zionsville Zionsville Community Schools Universal Preschool Universal Preschool at Boone Meadow provides a hands-on learning experience, focused on the whole child, in an inclusive and supportive environment that ensures maximum child growth, for life-long learning. We will provide a quality program through:  Organizing the environment so it is conducive to success, providing specific directions and instructions, acknowledging and encouraging each child’s efforts, creating challenges and supporting children in extending their capabilities. The Indiana Foundations for Young Children will be a resource/framework for UP. 5555 S. 650 E., Zionsville, IN 46075, Contact: Donna Hudson, Phone: 317-873-2226, Email:, http://

childcare Peanut Butter and Jelly 24/7 Childcare PB&J is a childcare that is a safe, nurturing environment where your child will get the attention and care that he or she needs. We are licensed and always working to meet and exceed all health and safety guidelines. You can rest assured that your child will be cared for with the utmost kindness, love and respect . Open late for lots of flexiblity. Stop in for more info. Follow us on twitter @pbj247childcare. 5501 E. 71st Street #7B, Indianapolis, IN 46220. Contact: Anita Beck. Phone: 317-205-9211. Email: peanutbutter_

Wee Folk Childcare Quality in-home child care serving caring families for 20 years. (CPR, 1st aid certified, and state licensed). Two meals and one snack provided daily along with baby food and regular formula. We provide quality learning through play in a non-smoking Christian environment. Preschool program providing Kindergarten prep is available. Meridian Kessler Neighborhood, 317-926-3640


DECEMBER 2012 [ indy’s child ] 29

commentary and parenting

[ dear teacher ]

Dear Teacher Bored students, unfair teachers and New Year’s resolutions Marge Eberts & Peggy Gisler

Bored First Grader — No Challenging Work


My first grader has become bored in class over the last few weeks. I

of his skipping to second grade or taking a few subjects with the second grade

can see why. His readers are below what he had in kindergarten and

class. This is another solution to discuss with the principal.

his spelling words are simple 3-letter words. Keep in mind that school has only been in session for a little over three months.

We have tried talking to the teacher, but she becomes aggressive and says we

Students enter first grade at all different levels. Some have completed

are attacking her teaching. The principal has agreed to look into this matter. While

kindergarten and even pre-k while others never went to kindergarten. It is

I am waiting, I have decided to homeschool him. The teacher is definitely not

challenging for the teacher to get everyone up to speed so they are working as a

challenging my son enough. What should we do? We pay over $20,000 a year

class. The curriculum could become more appropriate as the teacher gets better

for this school, and his education is not appropriate for his abilities. — Mad

acquainted with the students. Hopefully, the principal will address your concerns soon so you can make the best decision for your child.


Since you are paying, it is easy to deduce that your son is attending a private school. You might want to consider sending him to a public school as many, especially charter schools, have programs designed

for gifted children. Also, a different private school could be a better fit for your child. Removing your son from this school and deciding to homeschool him could be the answer to his getting a challenging education. There is also the possibility

Is this Teacher Unfair?


My eighth grader is very unhappy with his algebra teacher. The teacher gives out demerits all the time for the slightest misbehavior, offers very quick and inadequate explanations of new material and

never reminds the students about future assignments after they have been assigned. Once, my son got a D for handing in an assignment one day late.

It seems to me that this teacher is handling the students as if they were in high school. I am not alone in complaining. Other parents are complaining about his teaching. My son is doing well in every other class but only getting a C in algebra. This is not a great grade for someone going onto geometry in high school. I want my son to be a responsible student but feel this teacher is unreasonable. How should I handle this? — Dissatisfied


By now, your son should realize that this teacher has high expectations about how students behave in the classroom and does not hold students’ hands when it comes to reminding them about

future assignments. Your son obviously knows how to behave in order to avoid getting demerits, and it is his responsibility to do so. It is also his responsibility to 30 INDYSCHILD.COM

write down all assignments when they are given and to put long-term

Children who are mad about baseball can improve their math skills through

assignments on a calendar. This is a habit that will serve him well in high school.

learning how the all-so-important statistics are figured, read more to learn about recent games and have a great deal of information to use in reports. They can

Teachers vary greatly in how they present material. It is possible that this teacher is simply not realizing that eighth graders need more explanation than older

also study the science involved in throwing different pitches. It’s the same story for those who are absorbed in hobbies from stamp collecting to photography.

students. Unless this teacher changes, your son and his classmates need to study their math textbook very carefully. There are also websites where they can

— Resolve to support your children’s interests.

find good explanations of algebraic concepts. — Give them books, magazines and articles to read about their interest. The teacher could change if a group of students approached him about needing more explanation. If this fails, a group of parents could ask the teacher how their

— Help them get more involved in their interest by finding classes (music, art,

children could improve their knowledge of the material covered in the classroom.

photography, golf) for them to take or going to places (baseball games,

The last step is for the parents to discuss this situation with the principal.

museums, plays) where they can see their interest first hand.

Resolutions to Boost Your Children’s Skills

— Respect their interests and speak glowingly about them to others.

Parents: It’s New Year’s Resolution time again. Too often people go overboard in trying to change too much with their resolutions. Sometimes a simple resolution

Parents should send questions and comments to dearteacher@dearteacher.

or two can pay unexpected dividends. This year our resolution suggestions

com or ask them on the columnists’ website at

center on building your children’s academic skills through supporting their interests. One of the biggest assets children can have is an overwhelming interest in something accompanied by a desire to learn more and more about it.

DECEMBER 2012 [ indy’s child ] 31



athleen Dugan, a professor of art at Anderson University, was 35 when she gave birth to twins Edward and Hannah. Life was good, but hectic and perhaps more difficult than Dugan had imagined.

“My mom kept saying it will get easier once they get older. Then it never got that easy,” Dugan said.

Edward and Hannah were born five weeks early, which is common with twins. Hannah was colicky, the pair never got on a schedule and they were slow to reach developmental milestones. Dugan and her husband were routinely told to not worry. Even if the twins weren’t hitting all their milestones, evidence showed that multiples typically catch up by age four. As new parents they took this advice at face value.

As the babies became toddlers it was apparent Hannah had a language delay and did not know how to pretend play. Edward vehemently resisted transitions and found comfort in orderly things like alphabet charts. By age three the twins each received a diagnosis of autism.

That was twelve years ago.

one local mom’s story Carrie Bishop

raising teens with autism Today the twins are fifteen and attend Noblesville High School. They’ve been through a smorgasbord of therapies including behavior therapy, hippotherapy, cranial sacral therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, music therapy, social groups and others.

Dugan without doubt sees joy in her family life, but the reality is raising kids with autism is not easy. The disorder creates significant social deficits and as children grow and change so do society’s social codes. Social rules they learn during elementary years change in middle school, and again in high school, and again in adult life. It’s remarkably difficult for individuals with autism to understand the unwritten rules of communication and behavior and to integrate into a mainstream lifestyle.

Though Dugan’s children are considered high functioning and tested perfect on a social skills test in fifth grade, they aren’t able to apply these skills in life. At fifteen Hannah still asks her mom to help her make friends.

“When they were little I could orchestrate playdates. Now they are teenagers and nobody calls them except one

girl. It’s heartbreaking,” Dugan said, noting that both Edward and Hannah are also diagnosed with depression.

Dugan tells of a fellow middle school student who noticed Hannah sat alone every day and took it upon herself to strike up a conversation. The student may never know how kind her effort was, but Dugan says Hannah credits the girl with saving her life.

It’s a poignant illustration of the fact that these kids see what is going on in the world around them. Hannah knew no one wanted to sit with her. She also felt on a very personal level to be an outsider looking in and it felt bad. Yet the average passerby may never have seen her sadness.

“I’ve often thought these kids who aren’t high functioning are taking in stuff but we don’t know what they know because we only measure things in language. They know more than we assume,” she said. This is one reason Dugan uses her artistic talents to paint kids on the spectrum. It is her attempt to show their fears, joys or other outward expressions that are fleeting at best.

[ Portraits by Kathleen Dugan, capturing her children's joys and struggles ] 34 INDYSCHILD.COM

DECEMBER 2012 [ indy’s child ] 35



q: a:

I’m concerned that my toddler may be autistic. What should be my first step to help determine this?

raising teen twins (continued) While school may be hard for Edward and Hannah, academics are not the problem. In fact both are in honors classes. Dugan says what’s hard for her children is the energy they spend coping with their disorder and trying to understand what other kids are talking about. For instance, Hannah gets annoyed with girls in her chemistry class who gossip while doing their work. She tries to keep up with the conversation, but rarely understands the social nuances of their chit chat. What she really wants is for them to focus on their work so everyone’s job will be easier. It’s exhausting and by the day’s end she needs a break. Dugan likens her twins’ experience of life to perpetually being at a cocktail party where they don’t know anyone and aren’t privy to the topics being discussed. It’s anxiety ridden and when put in that context, who wouldn’t agree?

We know that parents who suspect their child may have autism are often confused and scared. Our best advice is to schedule a diagnosis

evaluation as soon as possible, so parents can get a proper diagnosis and start

For this reason, their family spends most weekends and evenings at home. The twins just simply need downtime so they can spend their energy coping with school.

making decisions from the perspective of “knowing” instead of “suspecting.” — Jerry Modlik, M.D.,The Applied Behavior Center for Autism

q: a:

Like many parents Dugan worries if her children will be okay without her.

There seem to be so many different types of therapy. How do I know which is the right one for my child? Applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy has the best track record of

“I think most parents want to believe their child will go on. That’s a big scary thing for a parent of a kid with autism. You have days you think they are okay and days you wonder if they are going to make it when you’re not around. As bright as some of these kids are, some have real struggles with things like self-help skills,” she said.

scientifically demonstrating effective treatments for autism. By collecting

data and tracking each child's progress, the therapists and behavior analysts can confirm the effectiveness of the treatment. — Jerry Modlik, M.D., The Applied Behavior Center for Autism

q: a:

down the road

What kind of support is available to me as the parent of an autistic child? I have a child with autism, and I understand the importance of early diagnosis and being able to surround yourself and your family with the

right support and additional therapy that is necessary. Our Center staff is an extension of your family. We also offer monthly support groups to connect you with other parents going through similar situations. Additionally, we can provide you with specific support that may be needed for you within the community since we partner

In the near term, Dugan wants the twins to go to college, even graduate school. Academically she knows they are capable, but is less confident in their abilities to live in dorms. Maybe they will tackle college first, then see if they can live on their own. One thing at a time.

a mother’s hope Whatever their future, Dugan hopes for real change in the way people view individuals with autism. “I know we are blessed that our kids have cognitive ability and language. But many people think autism is savant-like or the kids hardly speak. The truth is somewhere in between and the reality is your child is not a Rainman movie character or profoundly disabled. These children grow up and we mothers see the social disconnect of a world that says it tolerates diversity, but not on autistic terms,” said Dugan.

with so many organizations. Once your child is diagnosed, it is so important to find high-quality treatment for your child and the whole family. — Jane Grimes, Enrollment Director, The Applied Behavior Center for Autism


As parents like Dugan speak out, hope is palpable for more tolerance and understanding of kids like Edward and Hannah.

DECEMBER 2012 [ indy’s child ] 37

special needs GUIDEGUIDE resources

[ special needs listings ]

Applied Behavior Center for Autism

To provide the highest quality ABA and Verbal Behavior therapy and consulting services to children and their families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders and Down Syndrome. We do this by providing proven researched based ABA methodologies delivered by highly qualified and certified professionals. Our programs focus on increasing language skills, social skills, academic skills, and reducing problematic behavior. 450 S. State Road 135, Greenwood, IN 46142, Contact: Jane Grimes, Phone: 317-889-KIDS, Email:,

Applied Behavior Center for Autism

The mission of the Applied Behavior Center for Autism is to provide high quality ABA and Verbal Behavior therapy and consulting services to children and their families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders by using researched based ABA methodology delivered by highly qualified and certified professionals to increase language skills, social skills, academic skills, and reduce problematic behavior. 7901 E. 88th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46256, Contact: Jane Grimes, Phone: 317-849-5437, ext 112, Email:,

Applied Behavior Center for Autism

The mission of the Applied Behavior Center for Autism is to provide high quality ABA and Verbal Behavior therapy and consulting services to children and their families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders by using researched based ABA methodology delivered by highly qualified and certified professionals to increase language skills, social skills, academic skills, and reduce problematic behavior. 6865 Parkdale Place, Indianapolis, IN 46254, Contact: Jane Grimes, Phone: 317-849-5437, ext 112, Email:,

Applied Behavior Center for Autism Transition to L.I.F.E House

Recognizing the importance of developing real-world life skills in children and teens with autism, the Applied Behavior Center for Autism has launched a new program called Transition to Learning in Functional Environments (L.I.F.E.). The initiative aims to promote independence, quality of life and happiness through an intensive full-day program that takes place in an actual home, complete with kitchen, gym, pool and garden. The Transition to L.I.F.E. program is open to children ages 10-18, and uses the scientific principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA). It will emphasize community involvement through volunteer opportunities tailored to the clients’ interests and healthy living through nutritional meal preparation and daily exercise regimens. 7901 E. 88th St., Indianapolis, IN 46256, Contact: Jane Grimes, Enrollment Director, 317-849-5437, ext. 112, jane@,

Autism Consultation

Individually designed behavior and academic support and intervention strategies for families and children dealing with Autism Spectrum Disorders. With 35+ years experience in special education in public schools I am comfortable attending IEP meetings to advocate for the family and child. Introductory meeting at no charge. Providing service to central Indiana, Contact: Mika Adams, Phone: 866-968-3698, Email:,

Autism Society of Indiana

We strive to improve the lives of everyone affected by autism in


Indiana. We provide information and support, referral to resources, policy and educational advocacy, training, awareness, family programs, Spanish-speaking support group, summer camp programs, and oversight on the Indiana Comprehensive Plan of Lifetime Supports for Individuals with Autism 13295 Illinois Street, Suite 110, Carmel, IN 46032, Contact: Dana Renay, Phone: 800-6098449, Email:,

Behavior Analysis Center for Autism BACA 1

The Behavior Analysis Center for Autism (BACA) was established by Dr. Carl Sundberg and a group of highly-trained Behavior Analysts who have worked with Dr. Sundberg for years. BACA uses Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to teach language, social, academic and life skills to children with autism and other related disabilities. 11902 Lakeside Drive, Fishers, IN 46038, Contact: Devon Sundberg, Phone: 317-288-5232, Email:,

Behavior Analysis Center for Autism BACA Prep BACA Prep is a facility that utilizes the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to teach essential living skills to young adults with autism ages 8-20. BACA Prep helps strengthen each individual's life by addressing the areas of employment, leisure and living skills, hygiene, self-help and sexuality while decreasing and replacing maladaptive behavior. BACA Prep is under the direction of Dr. Carl Sundberg, Dr. John Esch, Dr. Pat McGreevy and Dr. Peter Gerhardt. 9929 E. 126th St., Fishers, IN 46038. Contact: Devon Sundberg. Phone: 317-436-8961. Email:

Behavior Analysis Center for Autism BACA-Z

The Behavior Analysis Center for Autism (BACA) was established by Dr. Carl Sundberg and a group of highly-trained Behavior Analysts who have worked with Dr. Sundberg for years. BACA uses Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to teach language, social, academic and life skills to children with autism and other related disabilities. 6704 Central Blvd., Zionsville, IN 46077. Contact: Sheila Habarad. Phone: 317-769-4335. Email:

Brain Balance Achievement Center Indianapolis

Brain Balance Achievement Centers work with children who suffer from Developmental Disorders such as Autism Spectrum , Asperger’s, ADD/ADHD, Dyslexia, Tourette’s and other neurological disorders. The Brain Balance Program is unique in that it utilizes a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach designed specifically to address the various difficulties exhibited or experienced by each child. 9510 N. Meridian St. Suite D, Indianapolis, IN 46260, Contact: Julie Peterson, Phone: 317-843-9200, Email:,

Hopebridge Pediatric Specialists

Hopebridge Pediatric Specialists is an Occupational, Speech, Physical and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy provider servicing Indianapolis and the surrounding areas. Hopebridge Pediatric Specialists offers both in-clinic and in-home therapy for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other special needs. Locations in Kokomo, Lafayette, Marion and Fort Wayne, Contact: Kim Strunk, Phone:, 855-324-0885, Email: kstrunk@,

Indiana Autism Scholarship Foundation

The Indiana Autism Scholarship Foundation’s mission is to provide scholarship funding to individuals in efforts to help offset costs for employment or college assistance for those affected with autism.

7987 Oakbay Dr., Noblesvillle, IN 46062, Contact: Jane Grimes, 317-403-6705,,

Indianapolis Pediatric Dentistry

Our goal at Indianapolis Pediatric Dentistry is to have a lasting, positive impact on our young patients. We pay special attention to each patient’s needs and we take the time to make sure they’re comfortable. We go to great lengths to make sure that both the patient and parents understand what we’re doing, why we’re doing it and the long-term benefits. 8433 Harcourt Road, Suite 307, Indianapolis, IN 46260, Contact: Dr. Erin Phillips and Dr. Kira Stockton, Phone: 317-872-7272, Email:,

Little Star Center

Little Star provides intensive applied behavior analytic services to maximize each child’s potential and empower their family. Children in the 5 to 10 age range present with a unique set of needs. These learners often come from other settings in which they were not successful. After careful assessment, individualized programs are developed to ensure progress and growth. 100% not-for-profit, 10 years of service. Serving children 5 – 10 years old. 12726 Hamilton Crossing Blvd, Carmel, IN 46032, Contact: Mary Rosswurm, Executive Director, Phone: 317-249-2242, Email: maryr@,

Little Star Center--Early Learner Program (ELP)

The Early Learner Program focuses on intensive intervention for very young children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. The ELP applies the principles of behavior analysis in a warm, nurturing environment. The focus of the ELP is to develop a foundation of skills for the best possible outcome. Individualized programming is geared toward developing language, social, and pre-academic skills for learners as they prepare for the classroom. 100% not-for-profit. Serving children 5 and younger. 12726 Hamilton Crossing Blvd, Carmel, IN 46032, Contact: Mary Rosswurm, Phone: 317-249-2242, Email:,

Middle Star Center

Indiana’s original applied behavior analytic center based program that focuses on the distinctive needs of tweens, teens and young adults affected by autism spectrum disorder. Started in 2008, Middle Star is an age appropriate environment that allows each learner to practice and learn the skills essential to be as successful and independent as possible at home, in the community, at school and at work. 100% not-for-profit. Serving learners 10 and up. 12726 Hamilton Crossing Blvd, Carmel, IN 46032, Contact: Mary Rosswurm, Phone: 317-249-2242, Email: maryr@,

Noble Autism & Therapy Services Noble Autism & Therapy Services features ABA therapy as part of a comprehensive approach to meeting the unique needs of your child and your family. Other services include speech and occupational therapies, support groups, summer camps, a resource library and life skills classes. 6060 N. College Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46220, Tami Wanninger, Director of Children and Therapy Services,, phone 317-254-3300,

Unlocking the Spectrum Unlocking The Spectrum was created with the mission of making ABA Therapy accessible to ALL children with autism by providing high quality ABA Therapy services throughout Indiana. Unlocking The Spectrum specializes in bringing the therapy to the client--in their home and in their community. Client's receive services in a wide variety of settings including their home, school, Unlocking The Spectrum's clinic, and the community to ensure that skills are generalized across all environments. Intensive parent training and collaboration with all members of a client's team are an essential part of every individualized program developed. Contact us for a free initial consultation. 3901 W. 86th St. Suite 397, Indianapolis, IN 46268. Contact: Ilana Hernandez, Director. Phone: 317-334-7331. Email:

DECEMBER 2012 [ indy’s child ] 39

special needs calendar Move to the Music Saturdays, Dec. 1 — Dec. 15 Times: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM Price: $20 Phone: 317-573-5245 Location: Monon Community Center, Carmel For ages 8-14

tues | 04

2012 Conference for People with Disabilities and Community Advocates

Times: 8:00 AM Price: Registration required Location: Westin Hotel, Indianapolis Join fellow advocates at the Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities’ 18th annual conference. This year's conference is themed Community Connections.

fri | 07

Karaoke Night

Times: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM Price: $8 Phone: 317-573-5245 Location: Monon Community Center, Carmel Ages 13+


sat | 08

Sensory Friendly Film: Rise of the Guardians

Times: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Location: AMC theaters throughout Indiana Sensory-Friendly Films are brought to you though a cooperation of the Autism Society of America and AMC Theatres. During these showings, the lights are halfway up and the sound is halfway down.

Holiday Dance Times: 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM Price: $10 Phone: 317-573-5245 Location: Monon Community Center, Carmel Ages 13+

tues | 11

2012 Accessible Technology Webinar: Mobile Accessibility Times: 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM Price: Free, registration required Phone: 877-232-1990 Location: Register online at www.ada-audio. org/Webinar/AccessibleTechnology

sat | 15

Indy's Supported Typers Meeting

Times: 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM Phone: 317-843-5566/ Location: 11550 North Meridian St., Conference Center, First Floor, Carmel Every month we get together to share with each other what’s happening in our lives, celebrate friendship, and enjoy the company of whoever wants to join us. We welcome professionals who work with people who are nonverbal to come and learn how meaningful this can be for the right persons.

lectures & open houses

tues | 04


Phone: 317-843-9200 Location: Brain Balance Center, Indianapolis

support groups

tues | 04

Autism Family Resource Center Grandparents' Support Group

Times: 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM Price: Free Phone: 317-882-1914 or 765-438-4792 Location: Easter Seals Crossroads, Indianapolis

This month, the Parents’ and Grandparents’ support groups will be combined.

parents night out


Brain Balance Parent Lecture Times: 6:00 PM Price: Free Phone: 317-843-9200 Location: Brain Balance Center, Indianapolis

thurs | 06

Brain Balance Open House

Times: 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM Price: Free

Easter Seals Crossroads Parent Night Out

East location Easter Seals Crossroads- 4740 Kingsway Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46205. 1st and 2nd Friday of every month. South location Indian Creek Christian Church- 6430 S. Franklin Road, Indianapolis, IN 46259. 1st Friday of every month.

DECEMBER 2012 [ indy’s child ] 41



Less-Harried Holidays for Kids with Special Needs Carrie Bishop December is an amped up time of year. Between the decorating, gifting, hostessing and

Be on time or early.

general mostesting, it can rattle the most jolly of souls. For kids with autism, anxiety or

holiday outing can help families avoid some chaos.

Arriving early or right on time to the gathering, event or

other special needs, this time of year can be downright daunting.

Bring a few of your child’s favorite things. Following are a few tips from area experts on how to calm the chaos for your child this December.

Take it one day at a time.

Attending a party with lots

of people, noise and expectations can be hard for many kids. Help your child cope by bringing a few of his or her favorite things such as a beloved blanket or iTouch.

“Focus on what’s going on that day versus

stressing about what’s coming up in the future,” said Sheila Habarad, clinical director for Behavior Analysis Center for Autism in Zionsville. She says a lot of children don’t know

Enlist peers for support.

what to expect at holiday gatherings or understand how long the event is going to last.

and perhaps a little older to help show your child how to do activities others are

Helping your child focus on that day’s activities may alleviate some anxiety.

engaged in or to just sit on the floor or at the table with your child playing a game or

Grimes suggests asking cousins who are patient


Plan the road ahead.

Jane Grimes, enrollment director for the Applied

Behavior Center for Autism, suggests planning out trips in advance so you can provide

Get some shut eye.

a visual schedule for your child on what things you are going to do as well as some

unrested child. Parents know it. Kids know it. Stick to a sleep schedule and bedtime

pictures of the people your family will be visiting over the holidays.

routine as closely as possible and looming chaos will be more controlled. Mind your

Life with a well-rested child is much saner than life with an

sleep needs too.

Prepare hosts.

Be upfront with hosts about your child’s needs advises Mary

Rosswurm, executive director of Little Star Center. If your child is likely to need a quiet place for refuge during an evening at auntie’s house, then ask auntie in advance if she can make a bedroom available to accommodate your child. Let her also know of any special nutritional requirements your child has so she can cook or cater in according to your child’s needs or you can bring along special food. Prepare so there is a plan in

Have a sitter on speed dial.

Sometimes your child is having a bad day.

Sometimes the event is too overwhelming for the entire family to attend. That’s okay. If you are comfortable leaving your child with a sitter, then sometimes that is the best option for everyone.

place before a crisis occurs.

Relax. Prepare your child.

“Read books about going to grandma’s house and engage

“It’s not a teaching time. Don’t look at it as an opportunity to teach your child

to play with his cousins. Just make it through the day. If he wants to play video games

in activities related to grandma’s house,” said Habarad. She suggests making grandma,

by himself let him. So many times as good parents we think we have to put on a show,

or whoever is hosting the gathering, a present so your child and grandma will have

but the holidays are not a great time. Everybody wants to make it out alive,” Rosswurm

something to talk about.

said. After all, it’s a parent’s holiday to enjoy too.


DECEMBER 2012 [ indy’s child ] 43

Making Family a Priority THIS

HOLI DAY SEASON How One Local Mother Does It Katrina R. Holtmeier

Life is busy. Sometimes you may feel like there aren’t enough

cookies and candies inspired by Lashua’s late grandmother.

and I try to teach my kids to do the same,” she said. “This

hours in the day to complete your “to do” lists. The holidays

Enough goodies are made to fill about 50 tins to give to

does not mean I don’t almost lose my mind each year

can make packed schedules even more complicated. If

teachers, family, friends and coworkers. She said this not

(buying) gifts, wrapping and delivering them, trimming a

you have trouble finding time for the most important people

only reminds her of her grandmother, but it allows her to

tree, decorating a home and attending event after event.

in your life, your family and friends, you are not alone.

spend time with the most important people in her life. “I

But slowing down and savoring life and family is what I know

love accomplishing such a large task together and giving

is important each Christmas.”

others a hand-crafted gift that has such a great inspiration One local mom has found a way to prioritize her goals and

to me.”

nurture her most important relationships throughout the holiday season. Tish Lashua, of Indianapolis, lives within eleven miles of downtown. She is a self-proclaimed holiday junkie who loves to reminisce about memorable holiday moments and gifts she’s received or given. During the holidays, she feels it is essential to spend as much time as possible with family because their love and compassion is so important.

According to a Penn State University web site article by Lashua’s family also likes to visit downtown Indianapolis

Family and Consumer Science Educator Karen Thomas,

during the holiday season. There are several attractions

research shows that families who spend time together are

from which to choose including the Circle of Lights Tree

strong families who appreciate each other. Spending time

Lighting at Monument Circle, Christmas at the Zoo, Jolly

as a family unit provides an opportunity to get to know each

Days Wonderland at the Children’s Museum, Celebrate the

other better. These families communicate more and share

Season by the Indianapolis Children’s Choir and more.

a sense of belonging. A child who grows up in a family that

These events, plus light displays and holiday décor, get

spends quality time together learns that family is important

people in the spirit of the season, she said.

and that they are loved. These things encourage personal growth and happiness as they grow older.

“We are the witnesses to each other’s lives,” she said. “We make memories together, we learn from each other and

“I love the holidays because of what it brings out in people.

we teach each other. We are comfort and security for each

There’s a giving nature that comes out in so many of us. It

One of the greatest gifts of the holiday season, the article

other, and we have a lot of fun together.”

is beautiful to see that giving nature be so prominent,”

states, is the gift of time with family.

Lashua said. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, spend some time Lashua, 31, and her husband have four children. During

Although her family spends a lot of time together, she said

to think about what will make this holiday “the most wonderful

the holiday season they have several family traditions they

it is never enough and feels Christmas is a good time to

time of the year” for your family.

keep, including devoting one weekend to nothing but making

both catch up and slow down. “I love to savor the life I have

DECEMBER 2012 [ indy’s child ] 45





Each day we will post the daily giveaway and instructions on how to enter! Winners will be announced via Facebook & Email.

DAY 1:

DECE MBE R 6th — Mini Fastback Set: Fun, safe and way good for the earth — The Wotwots: Enchanting preschool series that follows the adventures of two adorable siblings from outer space, SpottyWot and DottyWot — Toss the Pig: Toss him to your friends while the music plays — 'A Very Thomas Christmas' DVD — Fireman Sam: Holiday Heroes — Let’s Make Some Great Finger Paint Art, a book by Marion Deuchars — Rocktivity by Playskool: Rockin’ the stages of physical development

— Sesame Street: Cone ‘n Play - Cookie Monster Kitchen Café — Kimochis: Toys with feelings inside — Baby Alive: Sips ‘n tinkles princess doll

DAY 3:

DECE MBE R 10th — Julie Browning Bova Design, 12” x 12” Monogrammed Square Tray in English Red Floral: Gifts Collection available at and fine retailers — Sunbeam: Velvet Plush Heated Blanket — Starry Night: Humidifier - Projector comforts your child by transforming the room into a starry night sky — A. Heirloom: State of Indiana shaped cutting board

DAY 2:

DECE MBE R 7th — Play-Doh Candy Cyclone: Create candies, lollipops, and more — Build a Bear Workshop Bear: Where best friends are made — The Wotwots: Enchanting preschool series that follows the adventures of two adorable siblings from outer space, SpottyWot and DottyWot


— Pink Roses Keyboard Cover, For MacBook — PotteryBarn Kids Gift Basket

DAY 4:

DECE MBE R 11th — Scramble Bug: Foot to Floor Ride On — Koosh Galazy: Glow in the dark blasting with lights

— Celebrate with Thomas the Train: 3 DVD set — The Trash Pack: The gross gang in your garbage — Dub Garage Custom Rides: Beat Makerz — The Wotwots: Enchanting preschool series that follows the adventures of two adorable siblings from outer space, SpottyWot and DottyWot — Adventure time with Finn & Jake — My First Career Gear: Astronaut

DAY 5:

DECE M BE R 12th — Heely Skate Shoes Gift Certificate — The Wotwots: Enchanting preschool series that follows the adventures of two adorable siblings from outer space, SpottyWot and DottyWot — Little Passports: A Global Adventure — Dizzy Dancers: Poppy Pawz - Do you dare to dizzy — The Littlest Petshop: Trick or Talents Lizards - Little pets, BIG personalities — The Sesame Street Knitwits: Abby Cadabby hat — Mungi Bands: Magnetically connectable bracelets — Gelart- Paint & decorate peel off stickers — The Magic School Bus: Attracted to magnification magnets — Celebrate with Barney: 3 DVD set

DAY 6:

DECE MBE R 13th — Sunbeam: Mixmaster Stand Mixer — MXL Tempo USB microphone: Perfect for music, vocals, and podcasts — Smartswipe: Stops online credit theft in its tracks — Flexible USB notebook light: The brightest USB light for your notebook or computer

— IKEA “Soft Toys for Education:” IKEA continues its long-standing partnership with UNICEF by helping to provide children with access to a quality education through the “Soft Toys for Education” Holiday campaign — Snuza Trio: 3 and 1 mobile baby monitoring system — Exederm Ultra Sensitive Skin Care: Sample Pack

DAY 9:


— Dragon Naturally Speaking: Premium edition speech recognition software

— Google Eyes: The family game of wacky vision

— Container Store Gift Basket

— Mesh Hold It Vanity Bin: The leader in mesh

— PS3 MiCoach-Train with the Best — Wired Headset-Studio engineered and professionally tuned acoustics

DAY 7:

DECE MBE R 14th — Nerf & Fire Vision Sports: Lights out, game on — Haba: Terra Kids: Build your own wooden bug — Super Soaker: Electrostorm Powersoak up to 25 feet — Kre-O Battleship: U.S.S. Missouri - Build your own battle on land, sea or air — Bully Backpack: It’s like having a bodyguard with you all the time

DAY 8:

DECE MBE R 17th — Exer Saucer: Jump and Learn - 45 fun learning activities — Sesame Street: Feel Better Elmo — The Original BA baby bottle holder for baby

— Blingles: Design bling to stick to anything — Benudiom: The wacky phrase-tastic game of mixed up meanings — Peppa Pig: Sip ‘n Oink Tea Set - Have a tea party with Peppa — Word Search: The multiplayer word search game — My Little Pony: Twilight Sparkle RC Car: Remote control action! Car moves forward and spins

DAY 10:

DECE MBE R 19th — Nerf: Vortex Lumitron - Glow-in-the Dark Disc Blasting

DAY 11:

DECE M BE R 20th — Cluck ‘n’ Clack Game: Toss’ em fast before they blast — Tall-Stacker Mighty Monkey Playset: Versatile building and imaginative playset all in one — Puzzle Match Game: A fun memory game — Cube: Where visual illusions lead to confusion — Array: Splice, slice, splatter and slam your opponents right out of the game

DAY 12:

DECE M BE R 21st — Johnny Jump up: Doorway jumper — Playskool: Learn ‘n Pop Lion: Where unpredictable surprises can lead to discovery and learning — Nuk Expressive: Single electric breast pump — Rao's Lil' Chef: An adorable mini shopping cart holds one jar of Rao's new Sensitive Sauce — Baby Gift Basket: Filled with toys and books just for baby

— My First Toy: Pink ballerina

— Beyblade Metal Fury: Gravitydefying battles inside Destroyer Dome — DS3 Games - Theatriythm: Final Fantasy, Heroes if Ruin, Jewel Master: Cradle of Rome — Bull Rush Competitive Deck: The Dojo Edition — Don’t Rock the Boat: Balance yer mateys or overboard ye go! DECEMBER 2012 [ indy’s child ] 47

[ mommy magic ]

commentary and parenting

Christmas Magic It may not be what you think Mary Susan Buhner If I had one piece of advice for all moms this month it would be this: There is magic in imperfection, especially during the holiday season!  Like many moms, I am in charge of making a lot of the holiday magic this month. I have to admit, I do love all the family traditions - baking cookies with my kiddos, trimming our Christmas tree together, all the special school Christmas programs. I love the “countdown of magic” in December! Knowing that my kids are growing up too fast, I try to embrace all the fun traditions like sprinkling “reindeer food” on our lawn and sending their Christmas letters to the “North Pole.” What I have learned, however, is that what I think is making an impression on my kids may not be what they define as “Christmas magic.” Case in point, every year that my husband and I have been married, we have gone to Lowe’s for our Christmas tree. It’s not very Norman Rockwell, I know, but we’ve always had good luck finding a decent tree that didn’t cost an arm and a leg. And each year, my husband has secured the tree on the roof of our car with twine, stringing the excess inside the car so it doesn’t flap around outside.  One year, he handed the excess twine to my oldest daughter, who was three at the time, and jokingly instructed her to hold onto it to make sure the tree stayed on the roof. When she expressed her concern that she wasn’t strong enough for the job, we told her that her Christmas magic would give her strength. So she held on tight, and when we got home without incident, she said, overjoyed, that she couldn’t wait to do it next year. And so, year after year, we have loaded up the car and headed to Lowe’s for our tree, and each year our daughter has assumed this sacred responsibility, ultimately sharing it with her baby sisters. “Don’t worry,” she’d say, all big-sister authority. “Your Christmas magic will make the tree stay on.” And year after year, my husband and I have chuckled to each other as their white knuckles intensely grasped the twine.

my hard work, all my planning? “We want to go to Lowe’s and hold the twine!” wailed my seven year-old. My five year-old seconded that.“Yeah! We want to use our Christmas magic to keep the tree on the roof!”  I was floored. Lowe’s, with its bright, fluorescent lights, its metal shopping carts and its vast parking lot, was perfect tradition to me , but total perfection to my children. So needless to say, we went back to Lowe’s to get our tree. Unbeknownst to me, a perfect Christmas family tradition had been born. So with that, I encourage you to take notice of how your kiddos view the holiday season through their eyes. Most of the time they could care less if the bow matches the wrapping paper or if the cookies are correctly placed on the “special” Christmas plate. In fact, what they store in their memory bank and remember when they get older is the magic of being together and creating memories in the first place.

Join the Mommy Magic’s Fan Page on Facebook and visit to be a part of the mom community that supports and encourages moms in Indy with helpful tips for motherhood!

Okay, so fast forward to Christmas a few years ago. We have been going to Lowe’s a long time now. And nothing against Lowe’s, but I was ready to change it up a bit. So I spent weeks researching Christmas tree farms. I called, I Googled. I looked into every tree farm in the area to find the one that would yield the perfect Christmas experience for our family. After all, we had three kids by then; it was time to start the perfect family tradition! When I was satisfied that I’d done enough leg work, I announced with some excitement that we were going to start a new family tradition: picking out our Christmas tree at a tree farm. We would cut down our own tree, sip hot chocolate and have our picture taken with Santa’s reindeer. It would be the perfect Christmas tradition - the ultimate magical moment! In one second flat, my two oldest daughters dissolved into tears. “No, Mommy!” they begged, barely able to spit out their plea between their sobs. “We don’t want to go!” “What?” I said, shocked. I couldn’t make sense of the moment. Had they misheard me? Did they miss the bit about the hot cocoa and the reindeer? Did they not know about all DECEMBER 2012 [ indy’s child ] 49


R IGHT for


The pros and cons of being your child’s primary teacher Brooke Reynolds

lthough a traditional school setting

Although the choice to homeschool can be a

learner with a ver y high IQ,” Rollison said. “He

works for many children, the variety

tough one to make, many families who have

could not sit still when he was young. We just

of educational choices currently

committed to it have similar positive opinions

knew that if we put him in a formal education

available to homeschooled kids makes this

about the experience. They find that

setting, they’d want to stop that behavior. We

form of education an attractive choice to many

homeschooling allows them to connect with

didn’t want them to stifle him. My goal is to

parents. Homeschooling now involves

their children and slow down to focus on what

cooperative programs, tutors, librar y classes,

they think is most important. Parents who

online courses and even modified schedules

homeschool often feel that this method gives

with private schools - making this an

them the chance to give their children more

increasingly popular option for families today.

individual attention; building personal motivation and independence. Kids appreciate

help my kids reach their potential. With my son’s attention deficit disorder, I didn’t feel like it was possible for him to meet his potential in a government school because they’d concentrate on the ‘dysfunction’ of his ADD.”

that there’s less pressure to "make the grade" Since the early 1980s, homeschool numbers have continued to rise at an estimated seven percent per year, according to “The Histor y of

and more time for fun and field trips. Families also enjoy the flexibility of their schedules,

Still, in traditional schools educators are

particularly for vacation times.

professionally trained. Parents who homeschool must be realistic about their

Homeschooling in America”

limitations when teaching their

( A method that

children. Other potential obstacles

was once considered a thing of the past has resurfaced and been

Parents who homeschool often feel

re-established in the American

that this method gives them the chance

culture. There's a strong group of

include time management as it is easy to overschedule activities or be too lax about routines. Homeschooling can also be

homeschooling families Indiana,

to give their children more individual

and the numbers continue to

attention; building personal motivation

choose to homeschool frequently

and independence. Kids appreciate that

hear the concern that their children

there’s less pressure to "make the

learn in a traditional school


“I believe that the child and parent

grade" and more time for fun and field

relationship, as well as the overall

trips. Families also enjoy the flexibility

family dynamics, are important to

expensive. Finally, parents who

are not as socialized as kids who environment.

of their schedules.

consider when making a

Ober said she often laughs when

schooling choice,” Rebecca

thinking about the exhaustive

McGuckin, a teacher by degree

commitment she’s made to

and mom of four (two of which are

Tracey Rollison, mother to three

homeschooled), said.

homeschoolers, chose to homeschool her kids

homeschooling. “I must be out of my mind to

before she was even married. While in a prelaw

decide to do this because I’m giving up the

class researching the American governmental

next 18 years of my life to be with my kids all

school system, she decided that

day ever y day! It’s tough not getting to have

Leslie Ober said homeschooling just seemed

homeschooling her children would be in her

‘me’ time.”

like the most natural schooling choice for her


because she was already a stay-at-home mom. “I would’ve never guessed that I’d homeschool,

McGuckin agreed. “It is difficult not to place

but it just naturally evolved to this because I’d

unrealistic expectations on myself in keeping a

been teaching them up to this point of their

Once she had her son, Alec, she knew from

balance of maintaining a household and being

school-age days, so why wouldn’t I continue to

his learning style that he wasn’t a fit for the

the primar y source of their education. The

be their teacher? ”

public school system. “Our son is a global

house is not always as clean as I want it; I DECEMBER 2012 [ indy’s child ] 51

sometimes lose track of myself amidst the

have met these people at all had I not had the

because my mom might be busy doing other

demands. Rare is the moment that I am not

freedom to be part of those activities, some of

things for our family.”

doing three or more things at once. School can

which are during school hours. You just have to

sometimes turn into a task list rather than an

make the extra effort to stay friends – then you

educational journey. There are periods when I

know it's a real friendship.”

question whether I offer them enough, which is when having a supportive spouse can be particularly helpful.”

“I like surprise field trips on Fridays to different places like Conner Prairie and the Children's

McGuckin’s children also shared their feelings

Museum,” Charlie, 7, said. “There are more

on being homeschooled. Elizabeth, 10, said, “I

good things than bad things.”

like being able to spend time with my other homeschool friends. I also appreciate that my Even though homeschooling has its challenges,

mom knows my strengths and weaknesses in

With the array of schooling options available to

this type of education has its rewards.

school and that she is able to help me with

children today, it is easy to become

those. I like the flexibility of being able to do

over whelmed with information and opinions. For

school throughout the day while doing other

these parents, not “following the crowd” and

McGuckin said she loves choosing curriculum

activities. However, it's hard not getting the

choosing to homeschool has worked for their

and witnessing her children’s excitement about

attention I want with three younger brothers

particular children, family and lifestyle.

a particular topic. “It is rewarding to watch the

around. When I'm stuck on something, I may

entire process of introducing, exploring and

not be able to get the help I want immediately

allowing them to pursue more on their own. Meanwhile, I have the opportunity to share our values consistently through the materials we use, the conversations we have and the volunteer work we occasionally do. My kids work on their relationships more, so I also get to obser ve how well my children know each other.”

Rollison’s children shared their own opinions about what it’s like to be homeschooled. Alec, 16, said, “"I like that I can learn what I want when I want. I can take the classes that I want to, even if they're college-level. A challenge of homeschooling is that you can get lazy and not do your work if you don't have someone making sure you do it.”

Bella, 13, adds, “I like the freedom and the choices I have, and that I am not forced to be stuck in bad situations like some of my friends who are in government schools. Yet, it’s challenging to have other homeschool friends who live all over the place. That makes it hard to get together once the activity you're in together is over. On the other hand, I wouldn't


[ pete gilbert...stay-at-home dad ]

commentary and parenting

These toys are better off left on the shelf True confessions of stay-at-home dad Pete Gilbert I want to talk to all of you toy shoppers that are buying toys for someone else’s kids. Sometimes a gift is more of a punishment than a blessing. Let me give you some examples. Hopefully this list will make you think twice while decking the halls this year. Glitter — Glitter glue. Glitter pens. Glitter on anything. Glitter is awful. As soon as the package is opened it’s on my kids, then MY hands, face, clothes, furniture, floor, walls, etc. No thanks. Stamping sets — Kids will stamp anything. First they use it correctly, then after the novelty wears off they stamp their skin, their sibling’s skin, the table, the walls and so on. Paint — See above. Drums — There’s enough noise in our house already, we don’t need something designed to make even more noise! Battery operated toys — Toys that sing. Hand-held video games. Remote control cars. These toys are great until it’s time to buy six AAA batteries for the controller and six D

batteries for the car - every three weeks. Multiple piece sets — That doll set may look cool inside the packaging, but once opened, there will be tiny pointy pieces everywhere. And when it comes time to pick them up, I will miss one and find it with the bottom of my foot later that night. Large plastic items — We have a small house. Adding a 1/3 scale play kitchen to our existing kitchen does not help matters. Neither does adding yet another wheeled object to our garage. So what’s left? Instead of toys, think about purchasing an experience - like a gymnastics class, a movie or a live show. You can even take the kids and give parents the gift of time. But when all is said and done, I’m a sucker for the goofy grin of a child opening a gift and seeing just what they wanted. Even if it is a battery operated, glittery, full-size, plastic drum set. Happy Parenting!

DECEMBER 2012 [ indy’s child ] 53


WINTER FUN GUIDE The Bongo Boy Music School

Indianapolis City Market

(317) 595-9065 |

WHAT: Get your drum on at the Bong Boy Music School! Every Thursday evening the school hosts a free, family drum circle. There’s no experience necessary. All ages are welcome. Drums will be provided. WHEN: Every Thurs. Evening—Pre-Jam begins at 6:45pm, Drum Circle from 7:00pm-8:00pm. Event Cost: FREE


(317) 951-8499 | WHAT: Comedy for the whole family! ComedySportz is in its 20th year and is the longest running show in Indianapolis! Here’s how it works. Two teams compete for laughs. Not only are you the judge, you and your family are a part of the show! Think “Who’s Line is it Anyway” with a sporting twist. WHEN: Thurs. 7:30pm, Fri. 7:30 pm, Sat. 7:30pm and 10:00pm; First Sat. of the month — ComedySportz 4 Kidz at 4:30pm. Event Cost: Ticket prices vary.

Conner Prairie (317) 766-6000 | WHAT: Join the fun during Winter Fun Days at Conner Prairie! Don’t let the post holiday blues get you down. Explore the science of baking and participate in a chocolate making demonstration. Test your winter frontier survival skills, enjoy a story by the fire, and find out what our animals do in the winter. WHEN: December 26—January 6. December hours of operation: Thurs.—Sun. 10am—5pm. Closed Mon., Tues. and Weds., 12/24, 12/25, and 1/1. Event Cost: $6.00 adult, $6.00 child ages 2-12, Members and children under 2 free.

Hamilton County Parks & Recreation WHAT: Winter hikes, birding, and maple sugaring, plus the Annual Race to the New Year 5k, Daddy Daughter Dance, pajama parties, volunteer opportunities and more. WHEN: Visit their website and click the Parks and Recreation banner to download the Winter Chatterbox Leisure Guide. A printed copy of all park events is available through February 2013. Guides are available at all park locations. Event Cost: FREE.

Indianapolis Art Center (317) 255-2464 | WHAT: Experience the ArtsPark Sculpture Walk on the grounds of the Indianapolis Art Center, then venture indoors to view the student and professional exhibitions. View glass blowing, ceramic and other visual artists at work in the studios. Sign up for an art class before you leave! WHEN: Mon.—Sat. from 9am—6pm; Sun. noon—6 p.m. Closed December 24, 2012 – January 1, 2013.

(317) 634-9266 | WHAT: Let the kids plan the menu! Make a list and head to the historic City Market to shop for the perfect meal. You are sure to find quality foods of all kinds, rich coffees, teas and authentic ethnic cuisine. Take a moment to find that last minute gift as the ICM boasts locally-designed jewelry, accessories, scented oils and fresh flowers. WHEN: Mon.—Fri. 6:00am—9:00pm, Sat, 8:00am—9:00pm, Closed Sun.

IN State Museum and IMAX

(317) 232-1637 | WHAT: Be “a-maized”at the scientific, economic and cultural significance and impact of corn on daily life when you visit the Amazing Maize exhibit. Discover the beauty and complexity of life as seen through the light of a microscope. If your fourth grader is studying Indiana History, visiting the permanent exhibits is a great way to extend classroom learning! WHEN: Mon.—Sat. 10am—5pm, Sun. 11am—5pm. Event Cost: Museum: $9.50 adults, $5 child, Members free. IMAX: $9.50 adult, $6.00 child (Museum and IMAX combo discounts available.)

Royal Pin Leisure Centers (317) 465-8484 | WHAT: Bowling is a family bonding event. Now with programmable bumpers and easy to use ball ramps for small children, the whole family can compete and enjoy the sport! You’ll find many fun activities in addition to bowling at these locations. Don’t forget your socks! WHERE: Woodland Bowl: 3421 East 96th Street, Indianapolis, IN. Expo Bowling Center: 5261 Elmwood Avenue, Indianapolis, IN. Western Bowling Center: 6441 West Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN. Southern Bowling Center: 1010 US 31, Greenwood, IN

The Soldiers and Sailors Monument WHAT: Climb to the top of Indianapolis’ most famous landmark, the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. Enjoy a 360 degree view of the city skyline from 275 feet in the air! You may climb the 331 steps, or take the elevator and then climb the remaining 31 steps. Visit the Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum and gift shop housed in the base of the monument while you are there! WHEN: Weds.—Sun. 10:30am—5:30pm. Event Cost: FREE.

Open Skate Visit the following Indianapolis area websites or call to locate open skate times! Carmel Ice Skadium:; (317) 844-8888 The Forum at Fishers:; (317) 849-9930 Perry Park Ice Rink: (317) 888-0070 Indiana World Skating Academy:; (317) 237-5555 Arctic Zone IcePlex:; (317) 896-2155 WHEN: Times and ticket/skate rental prices vary for each facility.

SPONSORED BY: DECEMBER 2012 [ indy’s child ] 55

calendar sat | 01

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®: DRAGONS! Sat., December 1 and Sun., December 2 Times: See website for schedule Price: see website for ticket pricing Phone: 317-917-2500 Location: Banker’s Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis Don't miss this once-in-a-lifetime family event when The Greatest Show On Earth brings the world together… to bring your family together!

The Nutcracker Ballet Times: 10:00 AM Location: Carmel Clay Public Library, Carmel Come to the library and experience the magical story of The Nutcracker, presented by the Indiana Ballet Conservatory. You’ll hear the enchanting story, watch costumed dancers perform a special part, and make a keepsake craft. Registration is required and begins Monday, November 26. For children ages 4-7.

sun | 02

Journey Through Eastern Europe: Romanian Folk Masks Times: 2:00 PM Price: Free Phone: 317-275-4470 Location: Nora Library, Indianapolis As part of the Library's series celebrating the diversity of East European cultures, languages and people, children ages 5 and up and families are invited to explore Romanian folk tales and sculpt their own mini mask puppet using a variety of materials during this two-hour program.


mon | 03

Paws to Read at Eagle Times: 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM Price: Free Phone: 317-275-4340 Location: Eagle Library, Indianapolis School-age children who are reluctant readers are invited to read to a registered therapy dog who loves to listen to stories! It's a great way to improve a child's reading skills and self-confidence.

tues | 04

Community Tuesdays Time: Museum hours Price: ½ off general admission Phone: 317-232-1637 Location: Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis On the first Tuesday of every month, receive half off general admission to the Indiana State Museum (does NOT include special exhibits) and $2 off tickets to the IMAX Theater.

weds | 05

Fishers Parks and Recreation: Pictures with Santa Weds., December 5 and Thurs. December 6 Times: 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM Price: Free Phone: 317-595-3150 Location: Fishers Town Hall, Fishers A beloved holiday tradition returns again this year. Your children can have their pictures taken free with Santa Claus while they share their Christmas list for this year. For all ages.


thurs | 06

Target Free Family Night: Toys and Traditions Times: 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM Price: Free Phone: 317-334-3322 Location: The Children's Museum, Indianapolis Learn about winter traditions from all over the world, the people who celebrate them, and the toys that help to make them special. Take a ride on the Yule Slide and visit Jolly Days. Sponsored generously by Target, the first Thursday of each month The Children's Museum opens free of charge from 4-8 p.m.

fri | 07

Central Indiana Dance Ensemble Presents The Nutcracker Fri., December 7 through Sun., December 9 Times: Fri., 7:30 PM; Sat., 2:00 and 7:30 PM; Sun., 2:00 PM Price: $22 for students (up to 18) and $30 for adults Location: Zionsville Performing Arts Center, Zionsville Become a part of the magic as Clara and her Nutcracker Prince battle mice and the evil Rat King and journey through the Land of Snow. Join us for our Sugar Plum Fairy Dessert Parties before each matinee show, which feature a picture with a cast member, dessert, and a craft.

5th Annual Music Marathon Food Drive Fri., December 7 and Sat., December 8 Times: Fri., 3:30 PM onward; Sat., 8:00 AM onward Price: Donation of non-perishable food items

Phone: 317-575-9588 ext. 105 Location: Meridian Music, Carmel This performance event will kick off a month long food drive benefiting Gleaners Food Bank.Meridian Music teachers and students along with other area music teachers and students will sign-up for recital time-slots. All performers and audience members will be asked to donate at least one nonperishable food item the day of the performance.

sat | 08

Girl Scout Holiday Sing Times: 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM Price: $4 pre-sold ticket Phone: 317-232-1637 Location: Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis Girl Scouts from across central Indiana are invited to come together at the Indiana State Museum for the 2012 Holiday Sing. Registration opens at 10 a.m. Girl Scouts are welcome to explore the galleries of the Indiana State Museum, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus and ride the Santa Claus Express in nostalgic Celebration Crossing. To register for this event visit the Girl Scouts of Central Indiana website at

sun | 09

Central Library's 5th Anniversary Celebration Price: Free Phone: 317-275-4100 Location: Central Library, Indianapolis Activities will include a scavenger hunt, mystery tours, photo booth, digital programs for children, historical displays, prize drawings and birthday cake for all! Also on December 8.

mon | 10

thurs | 13

sat | 15

Times: 6:30 PM Price: Free Phone: 317-535-6206 Location: JCPL Clark Pleasant Branch, New Whiteland Get into the holiday spirit with a visit from Jingle John the Elf, his animal friends from the North Pole, and a special appearance from another of Santa’s elves in the Reindeer Reserves!

Times: 4:00 PM and 5:00 PM Price: R$4/NR$6 Phone: 317-595-3153 Location: Billericay Park, Fishers Despite his busy winter schedule, it is rumored that Santa is going to hide hundreds of candy canes around Holland Park! Join us as we search for hidden candy canes. Afterward, warm up with hot cocoa while completing a craft! For ages 6-10 and a parent. Registration required by 12/6. (bring a flashlight).

Times: 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM Price: Free admission Phone: 317-733-1700 Location: Traders Point Creamery, Zionsville Christmas on the Farm is a holiday extravaganza for the whole family. Sleigh-hayrides around the farm, live music and caroling, craft-making opportunities for the kids (not to mention the visit from Old St. Nick) and a Green Market that is chock-full of fun holiday gift ideas for the stocking stuffers in all of us.

Jingle John and Santa's Helpers

tues | 11 Chanukah: Celebration of Lights

Times: 4:30 PM Price: Free Phone: 317-878-9560 Location: JCPL Trafalgar Branch, Trafalgar Chanukah begins on December 9 and lasts through December 16. Join us to learn about the history of this ancient Jewish holiday, sample a few latkes, and play a game of Dreidels.

weds | 12

Celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, or Kwanzaa on a Dime!

Times: 4:00 PM Phone: 317-844-3363 Location: Carmel Clay Public Library, Carmel For children in grades 1-3. Storytime Room. Touch their hearts (but not your wallet) by making a homemade gift! Registration is required and begins Wednesday, December 5, online, in person, or by calling 844-3363.

Candy Cane Hunt

fri | 14

Christmas with Santa and the Ponies

Fri. December 14 through Sat., December 15 Times: 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM Price: $20 donation Phone: 317-838-7002 Location: Strides to Success, Plainfield Create a great memory for the family and give back to the community. Enjoy a visit with Santa, family photo with Santa and a Christmas Pony, crafts, games and refreshments. The proceeds raised from this event will contribute to the Strides scholarship fund that supports programs for victims of abuse.

Angels Sing Fri., December 14 and Sat., December 15 Times: Fri., 8:00 PM; Sat., 3:00 PM and 8:00 PM Price: $12 in advance through the ICC; at the door $13 students, senior, military, $15 general Phone: 317-846-3404 Location: St. Luke's United Methodist Church, Indianapolis Enjoy the angelic voices of the children of the Indianapolis Children's Choir singing traditional songs you love and music from a variety of celebrations! Includes a brass quintet, string quartet, percussion, piano, and Martin Ellis on the organ.

5th Annual Christmas on the Farm

sun | 16

Holliday Park Meet the Nature Center Animals Times: 1:30 PM Price: Free Phone: 317-327-7180 Location: Holliday Park Nature Center, Indianapolis Get up close and personal with the animals who call the nature center home. We'll learn about what makes each animal unique as well as how our naturalists keep them happy and healthy. All ages, no registration required.

mon | 17 Kid's Cooking

Times: 4:30 PM Price: Free Phone: 317-885-1330 Location: JCPL White River Branch, Greenwood Learn the basics of cooking safety and then help make some tasty treats at each of these sessions! Kid-friendly microwave and no-bake recipes only. Yum!

tues | 18

Storytime Express Times: 11:00 AM - 11:30 AM Price: Free Phone: 317-843-3869

Location: Monon Community Center, Carmel Jump on the literacy train for a fast-paced, interactive mix of stories, rhymes, and songs paired with a simple craft. Each week has a different theme and younger siblings are welcome. Ages 2-5.

weds | 19

Christmas Cookies and a Story Times: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Price: R$10/NR$15 Phone: 317-595-3150 Location: Roy G. Holland Memorial Park, Fishers Children will use Christmas-themed cookie cutters to create their own cookies out of cookie dough While they bake, we will read Christmas stories. Next, we will design the cookies with red and green frosting and sprinkles. For ages 3-6. Register by 12/12.

DECEMBER 2012 [ indy’s child ] 57

thurs | 20

IMA Winter Solstice Celebration Times: 5:00 PM - 8:30 PM Price: Free Phone: 317-923-1331 Location: Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis Celebrate the Winter Solstice with ice carving demonstrations, art making, drumming, bonfires, and live music. Hot chocolate and holiday treats will be available for purchase.

Location: Franklin Road Library, Indianapolis Children of all ages and families are invited to have their pictures taken with Santa and meet some of Santa's friends during this event sponsored by the Franklin Township Chamber of Commerce.

sun | 23

Santa's Holiday Breakfast Times: seatings at 9:00, 9:30, and 10 AM Price: $26.50 Adults, $16.00 Child ($20/$12 for members) Phone: 317-232-1637 Location: Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis Once you’ve enjoyed your buffet meal, visit Santa at his holiday home, participate in the many holiday themed activities throughout the galleries and ride the Santa Claus Express train in Celebration Crossing. The breakfast also includes gift bags for children and museum admission.

mon | 24

Christmas Eve Free Admission

fri | 21

Preschool Drop-In Craft: On a Holiday Note Times: 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM Price: Free Location: Carmel Clay Public Library, Carmel For children ages 2-5 & their caregivers. Drop by the Storytime Room to create a handmade card. No registration is required.

sat | 22

Times: 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM Price: Free Phone: (317) 334-3322 Location: The Children's Museum, Indianapolis In celebration of the season, The Children’s Museum presents a free admission day on Christmas Eve from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Children are invited to visit Jolly Days to get in those last-minute requests with Santa before he leaves for his big night!

tues | 25

Merry Christmas!

Pictures With Santa

weds | 26

Times: 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM Price: Free Phone: 317-275-4380

Times: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM Price: See website for pricing


Winterfest begins

Phone: 317-232-1882 Location: Indiana Historical Society, Indianapolis Enjoy family-friendly crafts and activities, face painting and special performances each day from jugglers, magicians, dancers and musicians. Winterfest runs through January 5.

thurs | 27

A Magic Tea for Children Times: 1:00 PM Price: $18 adults; $9 youth (under 12) + tax & gratuity Phone: 317-638-7881 Location: The Indianapolis Propylaeum, Indianapolis The Propylaeum Teas for Children include an etiquette lesson, a craft activity, finger sandwiches, tea treats, and special teas. A great opportunity for fun over the holiday break. Reservations required, 638-7881.

sun | 30

Mystery Lunch for 7–10 Year Olds Times: 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM Price: $18/person + tax & gratuity Phone: 317-638-7881 Location: The Indianapolis Propylaeum, Indianapolis Children work as a group with actors through a series of games and quizzes to find a lost object, all the time enjoying a lovely lunch. This is an opportunity to create a great memory, do something fun, and solve a mystery.

Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans Times: 1:00 PM Price: see website for ticket pricing Phone: 317-262-3452 Location: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis Come cheer on your Colts as they take on the Houston Texans!

fri | 28

mon | 31

Times: 2:00 PM Price: Free Phone: 317-535-6206 Location: JCPL Clark Pleasant Branch, New Whiteland It’s the end of the year and we need your help cleaning out our library craft closets. We’ll pull out lots of leftover crafts for some creative fun!

Times: 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM Price: Included with museum admission Phone: 317-334-3322 Location: The Children's Museum, Indianapolis Celebrate the final day of 2012 at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis with activities, music, and a Water Clock countdown to noon that will allow families to experience the excitement of a countdown at a reasonable hour for the young ones.

Friday Family Fun: Craft Closet Cleanout

sat | 29

Colors of Combustion Times: 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM Price: $2 per person plus museum admission Phone: 812-337-1337 Location: WonderLab Museum, Bloomington Witness the vibrant chemistry and energy of fire at this live science demo where YOU are part of the show! Seats are available on a firstcome, first-served basis the day of the show.

Countdown to Noon

Family New Year's Event Times: 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM Price: $11 for non-members/$6 for members Phone: 317-232-1637 Location: Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis End the year with a bang with a family-friendly alcohol-free celebration in the Governor Frank O'Bannon Great Hall. Face painting, stilt walkers, clowns and music by Indianapolis band The Tides highlight the evening. A balloon drop at 8 p.m. allows the little ones to celebrate the New Year in style.

ongoing events 12.12

St.Vincent Health presents A Christmas Carol

Celebration Crossing

Daily Through Monday, December 24 Times: See website for schedule Price: Ticket prices vary Phone: 317-635-5252 Location: IRT, Indianapolis

Through Monday, December 31 Times: During museum hours Price: Included with museum admission Phone: 317-232-1637 Location: Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis

The IRT celebrates the bicentennial of Charles Dickens’ birth with the return of his most beloved tale. The holidays aren’t complete until you’ve treated the family to a tradition that has spanned the decades-- A Christmas Carol at IRT, the season’s most heartfelt gift.

Visitors can ride the Santa Claus Express, visit with Santa and get their photo taken, and participate in holiday and winter-themed activities on all levels of the museum.

Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure Daily Through Sunday, January 6 Times: During museum hours Price: Included with general admission Phone: 317-636-WEST Location: Eiteljorg, Indianapolis Enter a locomotive wonderland, a network of trestles, bridges and tunnels with chugging trains and detailed replicas of national treasures, all made of natural materials like twigs, moss and nuts and wrapped up in holiday trimming. Jingle Rails is a journey to the Great American West – the real West and the West of the imagination.

Christmas at the Zoo Wednesdays — Sundays, Through December 30 Times: 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM Price: Included with general admission Phone: 317-630-2001 Location: Indianapolis Zoo, Indianapolis Sip a hot beverage, visit the animals, and enjoy exhibits and special activities throughout the Zoo. As with any Zoo event, the animals play a special role for the holidays. Special dolphin shows and keeper chats help put a wild spin on this most wonderful time of the year. You can also decorate cookies, write letters to Santa, listen to carolers and warm up at the campfire.

Jolly Days Through Sunday, January 6 Price: Included with museum admission Phone: (317) 334-3322 Location: The Children’s Museum, Indianapolis Enjoy favorites such as the Yule Slide, Jingles the Jolly Bear, and visits with Santa. Have fun with Jingles and his friends! Explore “outdoor” fun at the Snow Castle and Ice Fishing holes. Warm up your imagination with lots of cookie fun in the kitchen, and help Santa’s reindeer prepare for their flight!

Christmas at Lilly House Daily through Sunday, January 6 Price: Free Phone: 317-920-2659 Location: Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis Lilly House will be decorated in the style of the 1930s and 1940s, when Christmas cheer often had to overcome Depression-era budgets or wartime shortages. Familiar motifs such as trees, wreaths and evergreens are enlivened with refreshing touches of new fashions in this historic home. Open during Museum hours.

> find more


at Experience a daytime winter romp through 1836 Prairietown as you enjoy the holidays the 1830s way!

Trumble the Train Saves the Day Saturdays, December 1, 15 and 22 Times: 10:30 AM and 1:00 PM Price: $2 per adult; $1 per child Phone: 317-232-1637 Location: Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis Trumble the Train Saves the Day is an engaging, interactive holiday musical for pre-school and elementary-age children and their families. The 20-minute musical follows the action in the mythical village of Celebration Crossing as Trumble the Train enlists the help of his friends.

Duke Energy Yuletide Celebration Friday, November 30 through Sunday, December 23 Phone: 317-639-4300 Location: Hilbert Circle Theater, Indianapolis Featured acts include Twas the Night Before Christmas, The Enchanted Toy Shoppe featuring Cirque de la Symphonie, songs from Elf: The Musical, the tap dancing Santas and much more! See website for schedule and ticket pricing.

1836 Daytime Outdoor Adventure Saturdays, December 1 through Saturday, December 22 Times: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM Price: $12/adult; $9/youth (ages 2-12) Phone: 317-776-6000 Location: Conner Prairie, Fishers

A Beef & Boards Christmas Thursday, November 29 through Sunday, December 23 Phone: 317-872-9664 Location: Beef and Boards, Indianapolis DECEMBER 2012 [ indy’s child ] 59 Beef & Boards celebrates in style with its annual crowd pleaser. A glittering string of music and dance numbers, presented in a variety show format, create the perfect holiday tradition. Bring a group, bring the family, just don't miss it! See website for schedule and ticket pricing. School and community choirs, bands, ensembles and soloists perform holiday music in the museum's Governor Frank O'Bannon Great Hall each day. Enjoy the sounds of the season in a spectacular holiday atmosphere. See website for schedule.

Outdoor Winter Weekends Tuesday, December 11 through Saturday, December 22 and Thursday, December 27 Price: $10; under two, free Phone: 317-917-9454 Location: Peewinkle’s Puppet Studio, Indianapolis This 45-minute Christmas variety show is filled with music and lots of audience participation. A perfect event to put the whole family into the holiday spirit. Optional post-show workshops $3 (available on Saturdays, Sundays and Noon time shows only). See website for schedule.

Saturday, December 15 through Sunday, December 23 Times: 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM Price: $25 for adults/ $11 for children Phone: 317-232-1637 Location: Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis One of the best parts of winter is being able to play outside in the snow. Come visit the museum and enjoy our Outdoor Winter Weekends right outside the museum on the White River State Park canal, snow or no. Families can play games, make outdoor ornaments, sit by the fire and even purchase a s'more making kit.

Conner Prairie by Candlelight

Celebration Crossing

Christmas at the Puppet Studio

Fri & Sat December 7 through Saturday, December 22 Times: Staggered tour start times from 6-9 p.m. Price: See website for ticket pricing Phone: 317-776-6006 Location: Conner Prairie, Fishers Visit different homes in Prairietown on this family-friendly, 60-minute guided tour. Join the Ullman's Hanukkah celebration and meet the German Pennsylvania Santa Claus. Chat and joke with the Rowdies around the bonfire and join in the dancing, singing and good conversation at the Campell family holiday party. Candlelight Tour Reservations: call 317.776.6006 or 800.966.1836.

Holiday Sounds Monday, December 10 through Saturday, December 22 Phone: 317-232-1637 Location: Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis


Through Monday, December 31 Times: During museum hours Price: Included with museum admission Phone: 317-232-1637 Location: Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis Visitors can ride the Santa Claus Express, visit with Santa and get their photo taken, and participate in holiday and winter-themed activities on all levels of the museum.

from jugglers, magicians, dancers and musicians. Visit to learn what is in store each day. Radio Disney is here to entertain the crowd Dec. 28 from 1 to 3 p.m. with games, prizes and music. The Stardust Terrace Café is offering kid-friendly snacks and lunches throughout Winterfest.

Jolly Days Through Sunday, January 6 Price: Included with museum admission Phone: (317) 334-3322 Location: The Children’s Museum, Indianapolis Enjoy favorites such as the Yule Slide, Jingles the Jolly Bear, and visits with Santa. Have fun with Jingles and his friends! Explore “outdoor” fun at the Snow Castle and Ice Fishing holes. Warm up your imagination with lots of cookie fun in the kitchen, and help Santa’s reindeer prepare for their flight!

Winter Fun Days Wednesday, December 26 through Sunday, January 6 Times: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM Price: $12/adult; $9/youth (ages 2-12) Phone: 317-776-6000 Location: Conner Prairie, Fishers Avoid the post-holiday blues with some wintertime fun! Explore the science of baking and participate in a chocolate making demonstration. Test your winter frontier survival skills, enjoy a story by the fire and see what our animals do in the winter.

Winterfest Wednesday, December 26 through Saturday, January 5 Times: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM Phone: 317-232-1882 Location: Indiana Historical Society, Indianapolis Enjoy family-friendly crafts and activities, face painting and special performances each day

NOTE: At Indy's Child, we work hard to ensure our calendar and guide information is accurate. Occasionally event specifics change after we go to press. Therefore, we encourage our readers to call locations or visit them on the web to verify information.








DECEMBER 2012 [ indy’s child ] 61

marketplace (continued) DEVELOPMENT STUDY





birthday party GUIDE



fun+wacky INDY'S CHILD






12.12 fri


1 Who's Your Hero? Start submitting your videos today! Visit peytonchildrens to learn more.

how to celebrate: try your hand at some chocolate covered strawberries!

how to celebrate: head to the library to check out some of your favorite books

bacon day


wright brothers' day how to celebrate: have some fun making paper airplanes

egg nog day





Harbor in 1941

cocoa day









games day

first day of winter

how to celebrate:

how to celebrate:


First day of KWANZAA!


Sources:,,, &

bill of rights day


visit the zoo day how to celebrate: bundle up and head down to the festival of lights!



on this day

on this day


the first Christmas lights went up for sale in 1882

invite friends over for a bundle up and head whole night full of fun and outside to make snow games angels



how to celebrate: see if you can name all ten amendments of the U.S. Constitution

how to celebrate: holiday spirit find some fun colored and get noodles to make some crafts

answer the phone like buddy the elf day!


HANUKKAH on this day begins at Japan attacked Pearl sunset!


dewey decimal system day






return to your roots day

gingerbread day noodle house how to ring day celebrate: get in the




Walt Disney was born in 1901


chocolate covered anything day

on this day



Ball-Bearing Roller Skates were patented in 1884




how to celebrate: get the family together to play a game after dinner

how to celebrate: help your mom or dad make homemade how to apple pie celebrate: for volunteer at a dog dessert shelter today!

on this day


dice day


mutt day


apple pie day



on this day 29 the bowling ball was invented in 1862

chewing gum was patented in 1869

DECEMBER 2012 [ indy’s child ] 63

Indy's Child // December 2012