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Programs provide ways for kids to get connected. 2020







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2 | Family Living at Its Best

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From elite local groups to youth fundraisers, jump rope is hopping in Cleveland.



A curated list of daily activities to show the people in your life you love them.




40-page pull-out inside


We cover the ins and outs of summer camps and programs. Also, look at our listings to help find your child’s summer adventure.

departments 06

Grab your Valentine and check out the lovely festivities in the region.

EDITOR’S NOTE Feel the Love


WORTH NOTING Making sense of a clumsy child, hug time, plus Reading Room and more.


Cold weather got you down? Find things to do with your kids no matter the temperature.


WINTER OPEN HOUSES A list of open houses for schools in the region.



AGES AND STAGES Parents share tales from their time with the tooth fairy.



Google generation: Kids, parents and teachers tackle tech in the classroom.





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Find events for all ages with these area happenings. Plus, hikes, snowy outdoor adventures and hot cocoa.



Your questions about nutrition answered by an expert.

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Editor's NOTE

Feel the Love “All You Need is Love” by The Beatles was my wedding song — and it’s always been our little family’s theme, no matter what happens. However, as a parent, you might not feel the “love” sometimes — from your significant other or your kids. As a mom with two boys, it hasn’t been about me since they were born — and I feel like I get lost a little bit. Of course, as all parents and their children, we have our moments. Yes, there will always be housework, homework, meals to make, activities to do and screen time to fight over. There are also times of feeling crazy happiness — whether during the ordinary routine or a special outing. So, what am I complaining about, right? While we celebrate Heart month and lavish warm thoughts on our loved ones, I think the one person we forget in the hustle and bustle of life is ourselves. Have you taken time out for you lately? Did you indulge in a special treat? Did you go for that yearly check-up or finally get that tooth fixed? Did you get to the gym or take a quick walk? Or get back to that friend you have been meaning to text or call for months? I know that sometimes or maybe often, it’s hard to steal a couple of moments for ourselves, but honestly we have to try in order to keep our sanity. So, in this month’s issue, as we provide ideas in the article “29 Days of Love” for some extra daily love, don’t forget about yourself. Also, I just wanted to give you some words about camp. Some of you picking up this issue might be thinking “there is snow on the ground, I’m not thinking about summer camp and programs yet!” Well, it’s never too early to start researching options and making plans, according to our camp experts. I can vouch for this. In May of last year, I was looking for camps for both sons since we found out work schedules didn’t match their summer break...and I got wait listed on some programs I really wanted. Luckily, we eventually did find a great soccer camp, which both kids attended. Neither play soccer, but honestly, it wasn’t about the sport but the deeper bond forming between the competitive siblings during that week. While it worked out in the end, there’s a smarter way to plan for summer camp. To help you, check out our 40-page pullout section about summer camp relationships and more, plus some listings of programs you could consider. Lastly, I tell my kids, “don’t sweat the small stuff,” but I don’t take that advice for myself. So, if you haven’t got everything you wanted done for your New Year resolutions, don’t worry. Just give and take hugs this month — and relish those crazy happy moments when they come.

VOL. NO. 7 • ISSUE NO. 02

February 2020 Northeast Ohio Parent is a property of

PO Box 1088 Hudson, OH 44236 330-822-4011 NortheastOhioParent.com PUBLISHER - Brad Mitchell

brad@northeastohioparent.com 330-714-7712 EDITORIAL:

EDITOR - Angela Gartner

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The Clumsy Child

MAKING SENSE OF BALANCE AND AGILITY ISSUES, FROM NORMAL GROWTH-SPURT STRUGGLES TO FORMAL DIAGNOSES By Bonnie Jean Feldkamp Some kids, even from an early age, are agile and surefooted. Others? Well, it might seem that gravity has it in for some children. This is certainly true for 3-year-old Lilly. Her mother, Amy Meyer, once signed an incident report that simply read, “Lily was standing in line at the water fountain and fell.” As odd as the description might sound, Amy says these sorts of incidents were common for Lilly. “We administered a popsicle and a hug,” she says. Everyone experiences times of clumsiness, children included. Most of the time, these clumsy kids fall within the range of what’s normal or temporary. However, parents also should understand typical triggers and be on the lookout for when it’s time to involve a professional. GROWTH SPURTS Being a kid will lead to clumsiness. As a child grows, they have to relearn their body position and center of gravity. Therefore, growth spurts tend to be a time of increased clumsiness, and behavior considered extreme or worrisome will be different for every age. For example, a 2-year-old is going to have a lot of falls, says Lori Grisez, PT, DPT for Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus. “New walkers can fall up to 17 times an hour,” she says. “They’ll fall dozens of times per day.” That can sound like a lot to parents, but at this stage the child is supposed to be learning and practicing how to move around. So, some tumbles are to be expected. Teenagers, on the other hand, shouldn’t be falling down inexplicably. A growth spurt can still set them up for a little bit more clumsiness as they adjust to longer limbs, but that shouldn’t lead to outright falls. “They might stumble, but it should not lend itself to falls,” Grisez says. Parents also can play a role in these growth-spurt struggles. For example, mom and dad might think it is a good idea to buy shoes the next size up for their growing child. That will give them “room to grow,” and save a few dollars down the line. Grisez cautions against this, however. “A child is not able to feel or accommodate for that extra length in the shoe and that can cause more catching their toes while they’re walking or trying to step over obstacles,” she says. YOUR CHILD’S PERSONAL TRAITS Differences in the way children interact with the world can contribute to that wide range of normal. Some children (and adults) are just

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more observant and aware of their surroundings and can handle the unexpected without being knocked off kilter; a less observant person, meanwhile, may be more prone to clumsiness. Also, children who experience attention or focus issues can experience more clumsiness. “If you have a child with ADD or ADHD, that can impact their attention to the world around them,” Grisez says. “A little bit of clumsiness can be related to their inability to focus or pay attention to things. ” UNDERLYING CAUSE When children’s clumsiness impacts their daily life and safety, it’s time to check to see if there’s an underlying factor, like vision and/or hearing impairment. We might associate children’s vision impairment with things like not being able to see the board in class, but in this case, vision impairment means you are not able to see in order to navigate or recognize changes in the environment around you, like changes in surface heights. Hearing loss affects movement because the vestibular system, which contributes to balance, is in the inner ear. Hearing and balance are inextricably linked, Grisez says. “Oftentimes, when you have a hearing loss, you will also have an impact to that vestibular system, which can throw off your balance significantly,” she says. She recommends that children who have balance issues, reading issues or experience dizziness should be screened for vestibular impact in order to determine if there’s an issue that could improve with therapy. Ear infections also can cause a temporary increase in clumsiness but should improve as the affected ear heals. Children who have chronic

ear infections may have what Grisez calls a “balance deficit” and should be screened for balance issues or coordination challenges. “Oftentimes, that improves if they have tubes placed,” she says, “but they should be screened and considered for any additional therapy needs.” When clumsiness impacts daily life, learning and safety in ways that affect a child’s independence and ability to perform age-appropriate self-care activities, there is a formal diagnosis called Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). A child who struggles in one or two areas may not require a formal diagnosis, but may benefit from physical therapy. Your pediatrician can help you navigate any concerns.



“No Days Off: My Life with Type 1 Diabetes and Journey to the NHL”

NORTHEASTOHIOPARENT.COM If you love our monthly magazine, be sure to visit our website for even more great content you won’t find anywhere else.


Spring is resale season in Northeast Ohio. If you’re looking to save money while filling your kids’ closets, check out these resale and consignment events taking place throughout the region.

By Max Domi

Anyone who knows me and my family understands our winter life revolves around youth hockey schedules. Whether it’s traveling to cities like Buffalo (yes, we did this three times — all in January) or to the local ice rink, or cheering on our favorite NHL teams on the couch, our sons are dedicated to the game. My youngest, Anton, has never been a big reader, so I can only entice him to read books if


We share advice from area experts on important topics when it comes to kids and dental health.


Find a Pinterest-worthy round-up of cards, crafts and cute snacks to help you celebrate Valentine’s Day with your children.

they’re about hockey. He doesn’t like fictional hockey stories, but he wants to learn about the players and games of the past and future. One of his favorite Montreal Canadiens players, Max Domi, recently published a book. It’s about his passion for playing hockey, but also a big event that changed his life: a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes at age 12. It didn’t slow him down or hinder his dream of becoming an NHL player. Even if your kids don’t like hockey, it’s a good story about overcoming obstacles and striving to do whatever it takes to reach your goals. I read the first chapter out loud to Anton, as the 223-page book was still a bit overwhelming for him. However, after that first chapter, he couldn’t put it down — and this was the first time I saw him embrace reading on his own. My advice if you have a reluctant reader, find books about a subject they enjoy. — Angela Gartner


“It’s Cool to Be an OMie” By Debbie Bard

Debbie Bard — a Kent State University graduate, certified children’s yoga instructor and life coach who has a degree in middle childhood education — has a new book that provides a positive message to young readers and yoga enthusiasts: “Peace, love, happiness, Earth” is the

constant theme of what it means to be an “OMie.” She hopes to spread her mission in teaching children the importance of loving oneself, embracing the practice of yoga and the power of nature for one’s mind, body and soul. It’s a happy read for families who want to help their kids to meditate on positivity and life lessons. — Angela Gartner

Time for Hugs

RESEARCH SUGGESTS WARMTH AND AFFECTION CAN HAVE LIFELONG BENEFITS Everyone needs a good hug every now and then — children especially. When we hug our children, according to Dr. Emily Mudd, of Cleveland Clinic Children’s, it actually helps them regulate their emotions and helps their brains develop. “We know that even from the moment we’re born, that touch, physical touch, attention and hugs, are so very important for both nervous system regulation and brain development,” she says. “From the moment we’re born, we talk about kangaroo care and the importance of skin-to-skin contact and that really continues through childhood.” Mudd says research has shown that when we receive a hug, our brains release oxytocin — which is the “feel good” brain chemical — and receiving a hug also can help children manage stress by calming the release of cortisol — which is the stress hormone. When a child is having a meltdown or is overly stressed, Mudd says giving them a hug can help them calm down. When kids receive warmth and affection from their parents at a very young age, research has shown they are more likely to have

greater resilience, get better grades and have better parent-child relationships into adulthood. But if your child isn’t a hugger or gets shy around family members, Mudd says don’t force them to give a hug. “It’s okay to keep a very simple message, for whatever the age of the child is, that ‘you’re in control of your body, and if you don’t want to hug an aunt or an uncle at this gathering, that’s okay, but you can find another way to show them affection,’” she says. “Instead, you can share a special memory with them, give them a high-five or spend extra time with them — and be sure to explain this in advance to your relatives, too.” Of course, hugs will change as your children get older, Mudd says, because teenagers don’t have the same physical attention needs as toddlers. However, regardless of their age, letting your child know that you are there for them, unconditionally, is essential for their development and well-being. —Cleveland Clinic, clevelandclinic.org

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Toothy Grins Tales you can sink your teeth into In December, we asked our Facebook followers to share funny quotes or silly mishaps regarding kids, teeth and trips to the dentist. Here’s what a few had to say:

Dental Office Drama “My daughter was terrified of the dentist. Took her for just a cleaning and she bit him! So embarrassing!” — Carlie

“When my daughter was 5, her dentist asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up and she said a dentist. When the dentist asked her why, she said, ‘So I don’t have to ever go to a dentist.’” — Mei Lin

— Jen “My daughter lost one of her teeth right before bedtime. That night, the tooth fairy could not find any money or change other than a $20 bill. So she left it with a note asking for change in her beautiful glitter-filled writing. My daughter was so excited to help the tooth fairy with this task. As soon as she read the note, she asked to go make change, so she could leave it for the tooth fairy. She wanted to make sure she had money for all the other kids, so we had to get all singles.” — Nicole

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“My son had gotten a remote control monster truck for his birthday. So my husband (a giant kid himself) convinced my son to tie a string to his tooth and let the truck ‘tow it out.’ It worked and I don’t think I’ve ever been so amused!” — Heather

Tooth Fairy Tasks “My oldest daughter was terrified when she lost her first tooth — and I get it. She asked, ‘So, a fairy breaks into our house while we are sleeping and steals things?’ Good point, kid!”

Losing Teeth...Creatively

“The tooth fairy could not find the tooth in the special tooth pillow or anywhere in the bed, for that matter. The next morning she asked why the tooth fairy didn’t come. I explained that she couldn’t find it. My child’s response was, “Well, I was keeping it safe and holding it in my hand; all she had to do was wake me up and ask for it.” — Colleen “When my oldest believed in the tooth fairy, he once lost three teeth in three days. He would always write the tooth fairy a note with each tooth. On the third day of losing a tooth, he wrote that he was so sorry ‘she’ had to come to his house yet again and that he promised to not lose any more teeth for a really long time.” — Michelle

“My little guy was trying to use dental floss tied around a Nerf dart to pull a loose tooth. After many failed attempts, he dropped the gun while he was reloading the dart and the tooth came out.” — Amanda “My children have had a habit of losing their teeth while eating, then swallowing them, then crying because they didn’t want the tooth fairy to go into their belly to get the tooth.” — Kristin

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Parent and Me


Storytime Stars. Stories, songs and a craft. Through 3/2. West River Library, 1194 W. River Road N., Elyria, 440-324-2270, elyrialibrary.org Family Storytime. Books, rhymes, songs and fingerplays. All children and their caregivers are welcome. 10:30 a.m. Buckeye Library, 6625 Wolff Road, Medina, 330-725-4415, mcdl.info Kindergarten, Here I Come. Help your preschooler transition into Kindergarten with this five-week series. 7 p.m. Rocky River Public Library, 1600 Hampton Road, 440333-7610, rrpl.org Garrettsville Storytime. A great opportunity for children to interact with other children and adults while fostering a love of reading and showcasing great books for little listeners. 11-11:45 a.m. Garrettsville Branch Library, 10482 South St., portagelibrary.org


Super Sleuth Readers. Children ages 3 through 5 are now Super Sleuth Readers. After reading fun stories, singing songs and rhymes, Super Sleuths will look further into their stories through play and crafts. Through 2/25. 10:30-11 a.m. Cleveland Main Library, 325 Superior Ave., 216-623-2800, cpl.org Toddler Tuesday. Come to the Lake Health Children’s Play Area the first Tuesday of each month for fun, seasonal-themed activities. 11 a.m.-noon. Great Lakes Mall, 7850 Mentor Ave., Mentor, shopgreatlakesmall.com Play and Learn Stations. Preschool literacy program offering interactive opportunities for parents or caregivers to explore with their children, ages birth to 5 years. 10 a.m.-noon Shaker Library, 16500 Van Aken Blvd., 216-9912030, shakerlibrary.org Tiddlywinks. Interactive story time filled with stories, songs and rhymes just right for little listeners. Birth to 36 months. Through 2/26. 10 a.m. Mentor Public Library, 8215 Mentor Ave., 440-255-8811, mentorpl.org Winter 2s & 3s Story Time. Stories, rhymes, songs, and a craft or Lego Duplo play. 9:45-10:15 a.m. Rocky River Public Library, 1600 Hampton Road, 440-333-7610, rrpl.org



Mommy Mix & Mingle at the Akron Children’s Museum. Bring your babies and preschoolers and enjoy some awesome playtime and meet other moms. First Wednesday of the month. 10 a.m.noon. 216 S. Main St., akronkids.org Tales for Twos. Stories, songs, fingerplays and more. 10:30 a.m. North Canton Public Library, 185 N. Main St., 330-499-4712, ncantonlibrary.com Rhythm & Rhyme. A story, music and movement for preschoolers. Ages 3-5, with caregiver. Through 5/6. Bainbridge Branch Library, 17222 Snyder Road, Chagrin Falls, 440-543-5611, divi.geaugalibrary.net


Stories and Play. Enjoy stories, movement and songs. Stay and play afterward with toys and a chance for parents to chat. 10:15-11:30 a.m. Goodyear Branch Library, 60 Goodyear Blvd., Akron, 330-784-7522, akronlibrary.org

Movers and Shakers. Preschoolers and their caregivers will enjoy singing, playing, talking, listening and moving together. 10-10:30 a.m. Bertram Woods Branch Library, 20600 Fayette Road, Shaker Hts., shakerlibrary.org


Family Story Time. Children of all ages with a favorite adult are invited to join for songs, stories, fingerplays and more. 10:30 a.m. Kent Free Library, 312 W. Main St., 330-673-4414, kentfreelibrary.org Wee Read and Play. Stories, active songs, rhymes and time for play. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Jefferson Branch Library, 850 Jefferson Ave., Cleveland, 216-623-7004, cpl.org

Tyke Time. Tykes and caregivers hear stories, sing songs and make a craft. 11-11:30 a.m. Headlands Branch Library, 4669 Corduroy Road, Mentor, 440-257-2000, mentorpl.org Lapsit Storytime. Rhymes, song and play for ages birth-24 months with caregiver. 9:30-10 a.m. Through 2/13. Westlake Porter Public Library, 27333 Center Ridge Road, 440-871-2600, westlakelibrary.org Eastlake Preschool Storytime. Help your preschooler develop the literacy and social skills needed for kindergarten. 6:30-7 p.m. Eastlake Public Library, 36706 Lakeshore Blvd., 440-942-7880, we247.org Fabulous Fours and Fives. Stories, music, finger plays and activities for 4- and 5-year-olds. 1:30-2 p.m. North Ridgeville Branch Library, 37500 Bainbridge Road, 440-3278326, lorainpubliclibrary.org Parachute Play. A fun-filled playtime for walking toddlers through 5 years old. Music, rhymes, games and lots of fun. 11-11:30 a.m. Morley Library, 184 Phelps St., Painesville, 440-352-3383, morleylibrary.org Babies and Books. Lapsit storytime with rhymes, bouncing songs, books and activities. 1010:30 a.m. Reed Memorial Library, 167 E. Main St., Ravenna, 330-2962827, reedlibrary.org

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WINTER OPEN HOUSES ALL SAINTS SCHOOL OF ST. JOHN VIANNEY 28702 Euclid Ave., Wickliffe 440-943-1395, allsaintssjv.org Feb. 9: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. BEAUMONT SCHOOL 3301 N. Park Blvd., Cleveland Hts. 216-321-2954, beaumontschool.org April 29: 5:30-7 p.m. GILMOUR ACADEMY 34001 Cedar Road, Gates Mills 440-473-8050, gilmour.org/visit April 19: noon-2 p.m. (Middle/Upper School) GLOBAL AMBASSADORS LANGUAGE ACADEMY (GALA) SPANISH & MANDARIN IMMERSION SCHOOL 13442 Lorain Ave., Cleveland 216-315-7942, gala-prek8.org Feb. 26: 5-6 p.m. Feb. 29: 10-11 a.m. HANNA PERKINS SCHOOL 19910 Malvern Road, Shaker Hts. 216-991-4472, hannaperkins.org April 1: 4-6 p.m.

HAWKEN SCHOOL Lower & Middle Schools

5000 Clubside Road, Lyndhurst 440-423-4446, hawken.edu April 19: 1 p.m. Upper School 12465 County Line Road, Gates Mills 440-423-4446, hawken.edu April 26: 1 p.m. Mastery School Magnolia Drive, University Circle 440-423-2955, hawken.edu Feb. 23: 1 p.m. (informational sessions) May 3: 1 p.m. (open house) HERSHEY MONTESSORI

Upper School 11530 Madison Road, Huntsburg Twp. 440-636-6290, hershey-montessori.org Feb. 3, March 9, April 6 & May 4: 9-11 a.m. Lower School 10229 Prouty Road, Concord Twp. 440-357-0918, hershey-montessori.org Feb. 12, March 11 & May 6: 9-11 a.m.


MENLO PARK ACADEMY 2149 W. 53rd St., Cleveland 440-925-6365, menloparkacademy.com Feb. 5: 6-7:30 p.m. (information night) March 7: 10-11:30 a.m. (open house) April 28: 6-7:30 p.m. (information night)

4982 Clubside Road, Lyndhurst 216-381-1191, juliebilliartschool.org Feb. 27 & April 23: 9 a.m.

380 Mineola Ave., Akron 330-333-5280, juliebilliartschool.org Feb. 5 & April 1: 9 a.m.

OUR LADY OF THE ELMS 1375 W. Exchange St., Akron 330-836-9384, theelms.org March 29: noon-2 p.m.

LAKE RIDGE ACADEMY 37501 Center Ridge Road, North Ridgeville 440-327-1175, lakeridgeacademy.org April 5

OLD TRAIL SCHOOL 2315 Ira Road, Bath 330-666-1118, oldtrail.org Feb. 2: 1-2:30 p.m. (drop-in)


Lower School 1551 E. Wallings Road, Broadview Hts. 440-526-0717, lawrenceschool.org Feb. 5 & April 15: 8:30-10:30 a.m.

VILLA ANGELA-ST. JOSEPH HIGH SCHOOL 18491 Lakeshore Blvd., Cleveland 216-481-8414, vasj.com March 12: 6 p.m.

Upper School 10036 Olde Eight Road, Sagamore Hills 440-526-0717, lawrenceschool.org Feb. 13: 6-8 p.m. LAUREL SCHOOL 1 Lyman Circle, Shaker Hts. 216-464-1441, laurelschool.org April 18: 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Middle and Upper School)

Visit NortheastOhioParent.com for Independent School listings and more Education News! 12 | Family Living at Its Best

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Education CORNER



har’ron Wiggins remembers fearing the worst. Her son’s school had given all seventh grade students an iPad and the Euclid mother was worried. She recalls wondering if an overreliance on the device would make the kids lazy thinkers incapable of conducting meaningful research. “I immediately began thinking about whether the daily use of computers in school would enable video game and Internet addictions,� Wiggins says. “Then, I felt the iPads would make school less challenging by taking away the students’ ability to find things out on their own. After all, when she was a student, the educational journey was as valuable as the

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destination. “I remember when I was in school, I had to dig for research, and because there was no way of getting an instant answer, I learned five other things along the way of finding the information I needed,� she says. Wiggins is not alone, of course, as technology has proliferated and become increasingly embedded in the educational experiences of children of nearly all ages. As such, making sense of technology use in the classroom — iPads, Google Docs, virtual reality, learning management tools — can be a challenge for many parents. School districts, meanwhile, charged with preparing students to be college and career ready, know that technology is ubiquitous in

today’s world. Compounding things for both: technology is rapidly evolving and constant innovation means today’s solution might quickly become obsolete. According to Dr. Annette Kratcoski, director of the Research Center for Educational Technology at Kent State University, students need to develop an expertise with a wide range of technology and must be able to handle change to function in a digital world. She says school districts are feeling pressure to be able to invest in digital tools so that they can provide those experiences needed for the real world, while maintaining a focus on educational benefits. “The challenge with integrating technol-

ogy into classrooms used to be access and cost,” Kratcoski says. “Now, the technology is so affordable and accessible, so the challenge is beyond providing students exposure to technology. It’s now helping teachers utilize technology in meaningful ways that enhance the learning.” Whether they are physical devices like iPads or online tools like Google Docs, educators are apt to embrace the technology that helps student performance. Kratcoski says Google Docs — a cloud-based mimic of Microsoft Word that features many collaborative features — may appear to be just a quick delivery method or productivity tool to help students be more efficient, but if used purposefully, teachers can tap into the real power of the tool and use it to develop students’ critical thinking abilities and collaboration skills. Amanda Ponti, seventh and eighth grade English teacher at Menlo Park Academy in Cleveland, says her students use Google’s online suite of programs every day — many of which replicate existing programs like Microsoft PowerPoint or Excel — to unlock opportunities that those traditionally desktop-bound programs simply don’t have. “My students regularly use Google Chrome, Google Docs or Google Slides,” Ponti says. “We collaborate with schools

across the country, [schools] in Canada and even in China. We collaborate on book discussions or projects. The technology enables the collaboration and allows the students to get different perspectives on the different themes in the books.” Daniel Pernod, fifth and sixth grade social studies teacher at Menlo Park Academy, says there are many creative ways to use technology as a means to enhance learning in the classroom. “For example, if we are discussing Taj Mahal, I’d have my students pull it up on their Chromebooks and then take a virtual tour — they can walk through the hallways — or we’d use our virtual reality sets to visit the location,” he says. “And just recently, the students had a lesson on longitude and latitudes, typically a boring subject. But we took all of them to Put-in-Bay and engaged them in geocaching, which uses a GPS system to find hidden boxes. We hid several boxes with different coordinates around the island. The students had to use the technology to locate the coordinates in order to find the boxes.” Students in schools across Northeast Ohio agree that technology is having a positive impact on their learning. Timothy McKinney, a student at Normandy High School in Parma, says the use of technology in the classroom has flipped

his whole learning experience. Regardless of parent concerns or teacher buy-in, students like McKinney have no qualms about technology in the classroom. “The technology involved us more and gave us the opportunity to express ourselves,” he says. “We were able to do more independent work and it strengthened our collaborations. We have been able to do better presentations. My generation is more technology-based, so giving us a chance to learn through it is natural and comfortable.”


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By Lindsey Geiss

hio is the “The Heart of It All” and Northeast Ohio is home to The Heartbeats, an elite jump rope team based at Pinnacle Sports in Medina. Heartbeats alumni have graced such high-profile stages as “America’s Got Talent” and “Cirque Dreams.” Known for their freestyle prowess, the Heartbeats are reigning USA Jump Rope Grand National Team Show Champions for their large group routine choreographed to music, a title they will defend this summer in Cleveland, as the city will host the U.S. National Jump Rope Championships June 24-27 at Cleveland Public Auditorium downtown. Founded in 1992 in the Revere Local Schools, the team merged with Strongsville’s Allen All Stars and Mustang Ropers in 1995 to create what is now a 30-per-

son coed team of elementary through high school students who demonstrate that health and fitness can be fun. Jump rope and Double Dutch were playground games long before sanctioned competitions and Olympic ambitions. Jump rope also has gained popularity in fitness circuits and sports training programs thanks to its well-documented health benefits, accessibility and efficiency as a total body workout. The only equipment required is a rope, so it can be done anywhere, anytime at little expense. Jump rope is known to help improve strength, coordination, balance and endurance. Studies have found jump rope’s exceptional cardiovascular benefits make it a more efficient workout than running. A 1968 study published in Research Quarterly, a journal of the American Association for Health, Physical Education

and Research, found that 10 minutes of jump rope is as efficient as 30 minutes of daily jogging for improving cardiovascular efficiency, as measured by the Harvard Step Test. A person can jump with as little or as much intensity as desired, increasing pace and incorporating tricks, from a simple side swing or crossover to more challenging moves like the Awesome Annie, Double Under and High Frog. Today’s athletes perform complex combinations that require agility, precision, synchronization, speed and even gymnastic elements. The Heartbeats already have earned national and international acclaim for success at competitions and performances at schools and events, including the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. For their 2015 appearance, the team organized a

Members of the Heartbeats Jump Rope Team compete at the 2019 U.S. National Jump Rope Championship. PHOTOS COURTESY OF USA JUMP ROPE

16 | Family Family Living Living at at Its Its Best Best

group of 120 jump rope athletes from across the country and coordinated a routine, which they performed on live television after jumping the entire 2.8mile parade route to Herald Square. Olivia Bewie, a junior at Strongsville High School, described the experience as “surreal.” “Some people I met, I still keep in touch with today,” she says. “We’re like a big family.” Ethan Banning, a sophomore, agrees. “My favorite part of jump rope is the little community we have on the team and friends I make across the country and world,” he said. The passion for the sport and connections formed are so enduring, jumpers have performed at one another’s weddings. “The friendships and opportunities that the sport has given to the kids is invaluable,” says Pam Evans, who has coached the Heartbeats since 1995, when her daughter and son were members. “I tell our jumpers, medals and ribbons are nice, but a year from now, you won’t remember who won the gold, silver or bronze, but what you will remember is what you learned from other jumpers, the friendships that you made, and how other jumpers treated you. This is much more important than ribbons or medals. Learning how to work with others and lead younger jumpers are skills that will help them throughout school and as adults.”

Association youth market vice president, Midwest affiliate. She says schools can implement the program any time of year, but February is popular for ramping up activities during colder months indoors. Jump rope remains a key component of the program, which was revamped and expanded from “Jump Rope for Heart” to now include four activation options: jump rope, basketball, dance and warrior obstacle courses. (Middle schools and high schools implement the American Heart Challenge.) “We want to be a relentless force for longer, healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke,” Rieser says. “Eighty percent of heart disease is preventable. We are working with schools to get healthy messaging out early to create healthy lifestyles.” Schools can register at no cost to gain access to an entire curriculum with lesson plans and activities focused on whole-

child learning, from conflict resolution to how to make your plate colorful. Grant opportunities also are available. “The fundraising events go on a couple weeks, but we partner all year long,” Rieser says. “Whether or not a child participates in fundraising, he or she takes part in the activities and benefits from healthy messaging.” Jump rope talent and interest sparked through the program has inspired teachers and children to formalize after school clubs and competitive teams, dating back to the Skip Stars of Parma, a trailblazer for the sport in the late 1980s through 90s. Linda Ballrick, of Rocky River, reminisces about her days as a member. “The sport will always have a special place in my heart,” she says. “My former teammates and I still get together, and now we jump rope with our own children as a fun way to stay active.”


February is American Heart Month, and it also marks the start of the American Heart Association’s Kids Heart Challenge program at many area elementary schools. Students and young athletes from across Northeast Ohio will jump rope and take part in other fitness activities to support their schools while boosting their own social, emotional and physical well-being through the program that helps encourage starting heart-healthy lifestyles while giving back to the community. The money raised from this national effort helps fund research, education and initiatives like CPR training and AEDs in the community. “In Cuyahoga county alone, we work with 90 schools registered to do an event and impacted about 41,000 students raising $265,000 last year,” says Lauren Rieser, American Heart

Jump Rope for All Anita Gabel, health and P.E. teacher at Norton Middle school, coaches the Jammin’ Jumpers of Wadsworth, a 12-member youth team that encourages community involvement for heart health by jumping rope for fun, performances, competitions and community events like the Akron Heart Walk. Having taught adaptive physical education for five years, Gabel enjoys seeing children of all abilities take part in jumping or turning ropes. “When I talk to other P.E. teachers, out of any unit we do… everyone wants to participate and is comfortable to try jump rope,” she says. “The ability to include as many children as you can where they are excited, physically active and character-building drew me into the sport. I love it.”

February February 2020 2020 -- NortheastOhioParent.com NortheastOhioParent.com

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29 DAYS of


Share some extra love with those around you this month. Here is our curated list of daily activities to show the people in your life you love them, one “love-ly� gesture at a time.

By Jennifer Picciano 18 | Family Living at Its Best


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Winter 2020 Edition

2020 Summer Camp Guide - NortheastOhioParent.com

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Hikes, creek walks, crafts, kayaking and games are some of the activities your child may participate in at Cleveland Metroparks summer nature camps. Ages 3 - 15

Animal encounters, crafts and conservation education are all part of the experience at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Summer Day Camp. Ages 5 - 14

Golf lessons, golf etiquette and fun on-course experiences are all part of Cleveland Metroparks Golf Camp. Camps take place at Seneca and Washington Golf Courses. Ages 8 - 17

Living at Its Bestand to learn more visit clevelandmetroparks.com/camps 2For | Family registration dates

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Programs provide adventure

opportunities to make lifelong relationships.

Winter 2020 Edition



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CHOOSE THE RIGHT CAMP FOR YOUR CHILD Make sense of the options

Spark your child’s creativity and curiosity with two different camps this summer. Camp Creativity campers will work with professional artists and authors to create their own literary masterpiece, while LEGO & Lux Blox STEM Camp will unlock your child’s imagination with unique STEM activities and problem-solving challenges. Visit akronkids.org/calendar/programs


For more than 90 years, Baldwin Wallace University has been bringing school-age and adult learners to campus for immersive music and arts training. Summer Arts programs include music, dance and theatre camps, high school college-prep institutes, and professional development for music teachers. Call 440-826-2482 or visit bw.edu/sap

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Beck Center offers half-day and full-day camps for ages 5-19 in dance, music, theater and visual arts. Students learn new skills and build self-esteem as they create unique works of art, develop new friendships, discover AKRON ARTWORKS hidden talents, stimulate their imagination Akron ArkWorks and have fun. Beck Center also will offeroffers art camps for your more than 140 arts education classes and kid. Their day lessons for people of allcreative ages and abilities. camps provide Call 216-521-2540 or visit beckcenter.org thoughtful and enriching opportunities for kids age 7 to 14. Each themed camp is structured so that morning sessions (9 a.m.-noon) can stand alone or be extended into the afternoon (9 a.m.-3 p.m.). Call 330-983-9983 or visit akronartworks.com

A BREATH OF FRESH AIR Get kids out in nature AKRON CHILDREN’S MUSEUM this summer

Spark your child’s creativity and curiosity with two different camps this summer. Camp Creativity campers will work with professional artists and authors to create their own literary masterpiece, while LEGO & Lux Blox STEM Camp will unlock your child’s imagination with unique STEM activities and problem-solving challenges. Visit akronkids.org/calendar/programs

✱ Visit NortheastOhioParent.com to find more summer camp guide listings. 4 | Family Living at Its Best


Busy Bees Pottery & Arts Studio, located in Mentor, offers weekly themed summer art camps for kids ages 5-12. Full- or half-day camps will keep them busy learning various art methods while creating multiple projects each day. Call 440-571-5201 or visit mentor.busybeesart.com

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For 62 years, Camp Asbury has been forming faith and connecting people to nature. Resident camp for grades first through twelfth: June 14-July 24. Day camp for grades first through sixth: June 15-July 24. Register online for one-week AKRON ARTWORKS Call BALDWIN WALLACE BUSY BEES POTTERY sessions at eocsummercamps.org. BALDWIN BUSY BEES POTTERY Akron ArkWorks offers 330-569-3171 or WALLACE visit campasbury.org COMMUNITY ARTS SCHOOL & ARTS STUDIO art camps for your & ARTS STUDIO COMMUNITY ARTS SCHOOL For more than 90 Busy Bee kid.90 Their day Forcreative more than Busy Bees Pottery & Arts years, Baldwin Studio, lo camps provide years, Baldwin Studio, located in Mentor, Wallace University offers we thoughtful and Wallace University offers weekly themed has been bringing summer enriching opportunihas been bringing summer artschool-age camps for and kids age ties for kids age 7 to school-age and kids ages 5-12. Fullor adult learners to half-day 14. Each themed camp is learners structured adult to so that half-day music campsand will arts campus for immersive keep the AKRON BALDWIN WALLACE BUSY BEES PO morning sessions music (9ARTWORKS a.m.-noon) campus for immersive and artscan stand keep them busy learning training. Summer Arts programs include various a Akron ArkWorks offers alone or be extended into the afternoon (9 COMMUNITY ARTS SCHOOLwhile creating & ARTS STUDI training. Summer Arts programs include various art methods music, dance and theatre camps, high multiple proje art camps for your a.m.-3 Call 330-983-9983 For more thanCall 90 440-571-5201 or visit music, dancep.m.). and theatre camps, high while school creating multiple projects eachand day. college-prep institutes, creative kid. Their day orcollege-prep visit akronartworks.com years, Baldwinmentor.busybeesart.com school institutes, and Call 440-571-5201 visit professional or development for music camps provide Wallace University professional development for music mentor.busybeesart.com teachers. Call 440-826-2482 or visit thoughtful and has been bringing teachers. Call 440-826-2482 or visit bw.edu/sap AKRON CHILDREN’S MUSEUM CAMP ASBURY enriching opportunischool-age and bw.edu/sap Spark your child’s F ties for kids CAMP age 7 to ASBURY adult learners to For 62 years, CENTER FOR THE ARTS creativity C 14. Each themed camp and is structured so BECK that campus for immersive music and arts BECK CENTER FOR THE ARTS Camp Asbury Beck Center offers curiosity with two can stand h morning sessions (9 a.m.-noon) training. 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Students 14-July 24.skills Dayand build new own literary masterpiece, while LEGO & Lux first through twelfth: Junelearn camp for grades first throug bw.edu/sap CHILDREN’S CAMP learn skills andchild’s buildMUSEUM campself-esteem for grades first through sixth: June works of as they create unique Blox STEMAKRON Camp willnew unlock your 15-July 24. RegisterASBUR online fo Sparkofyour child’s self-esteem as they create unique 15-July 24. Register online for one-week art, develop new friendships, discover imagination with unique STEMworks activities and sessions at eocsummercam BECK CENTER THE ARTS330-569-3171 or visit campa creativity and art, develop new friendships, discover sessions at eocsummercamps.org. Call hidden talents, stimulate theirFOR imagination problem-solving challenges. Visit Beck Center curiosity with twoand have hidden talents, stimulate their imagination 330-569-3171 orfun. visitBeck campasbury.org Center also will offer offers akronkids.org/calendar/programs half-day different camps this and have fun. Beck Center also will offer more than 140 arts education classes and and full-day for ages 5-19 in Camp lessons for people of all agescamps more than 140 arts education classessummer. and and abilities. dance, music, theater Creativity campers will work with profespeople to nature. R lessons for people of all ages and abilities. Call 216-521-2540 or visit beckcenter.org and visual arts. Students sional artists and authors to create their first through twelfth Call 216-521-2540 or visit beckcenter.org learn new skills and build own literary masterpiece, while LEGO & Lux camp for grades fir self-esteem as they create unique works of Blox STEM Camp will unlock your child’s 15-July 24. Register art, develop new friendships, discover imagination with unique STEM activities and sessions at eocsum hidden talents, stimulate their imagination problem-solving challenges. Visit 330-569-3171 or vis and have fun. Beck Center also will offer akronkids.org/calendar/programs more than 140 arts education classes and lessons for people of all ages and abilities. Call 216-521-2540 or visit beckcenter.org






Akron ArkWorks offers art camps for your creative kid. Their day camps provide thoughtful and enriching opportunities for kids age 7 to 14. Each themed camp is structured so that morning sessions (9 a.m.-noon) can stand alone or be extended into the afternoon (9 a.m.-3 p.m.). Call 330-983-9983 or visit akronartworks.com


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2020 Summer Camp Guide - NortheastOhioParent.com

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CHOO the Right Camp for Your Child



he winter chill may have some families dreaming of summer, which is apropos given that many summer camps are already registering campers for the warmer months. Most programs offer a mix of educational, fine arts and sports experiences, but it can be hard to know what is available and what might be the best bet for your child. To help you get a handle on your summer program options, here’s a list of camps by category, as well as useful tips from camp directors to help you select the experience that’s right for your children. ACADEMIC CAMPS

Academic camps are an option for parents who are concerned that their child’s language, math and writing skills may slide during the summer. Vanessa Diffenbacher, Lawrence School associate head of school and Lower School head, says that academic camps not only help curb the “summer slide,” but also can burnish skills that a child may not have fully mastered the previous school year. Diffenbacher advises parents searching for an academic camp to find out what sort of approaches to teaching the program’s instructors use before enrolling their child. If a child didn’t grasp ideas under similar

6 | Family Living at Its Best

approaches during the preceding school year, a new approach might be warranted. Conversely, if a child showed progress during the year, parents may want to continue that approach over the summer. A child’s attitude toward school is a good indicator as to whether an academic camp is right for them. Diffenbacher says that even in the first grade, children have a sense if they can’t read as well as their peers. In such instances, academic camps might bolster a child’s self-esteem. “Usually if they are saying that they don’t like school, there’s something deeper,” she says. “There might be a struggle, an anxiety, a frustration.” ARTS CAMPS

If a family has a budding artist or performer, then an arts camp might be the right venue for them. Michael Lund Ziegler, education director for the Fine Arts Association in Willoughby, says that there are generally two types of arts camps: multi-arts camps, which offer a mix of fine arts programs, and specific-arts camps, which focus on a particular area, such as music. Arts camps not only present children with opportunities to engage others socially, but also to explore the arts and their creativity on a

deeper level in various mediums. Lund Ziegler advises parents looking for an arts camp to consider how opportunities for learning will be presented by the faculty. A good indicator of a quality program is if instructors talk about actively engaging the students so that they learn the value and substance of the art being presented. DAY CAMPS

Day camps often are used by families in place of daycare during the summer, but the two differ in that day camps offer a more structured curriculum for children. Ashley Garson, director of camp and youth at Camp JCC at the Shaw JCC of Akron, says day camps offer a mix of educational and recreational activities for children supervised by trained professionals. Unlike overnight camps, children spend several or more hours at a site, then return home at day’s end. Garson notes that day camps give a child a chance to foster autonomy and independence away from their parents while still returning to the comforts of home each evening. When selecting a day camp, Garson urges parents to consider such things as whether a staff is trained for emergency situations, how well staff members are

OSING vetted and whether there are established lines of communication with parents. “They should also take a tour of facilities and see where their camper is going to be,” Garson says. OVERNIGHT CAMPS

Overnight or “sleepaway” camps involve staying away from home for an extended period of time, ranging from a single night to multiple weeks. Overnight camps usually have full-time professional staff and provide accommodations, meals and support services for campers. Children take part in traditional camping activities, such as arts and crafts, archery, canoeing, hiking, horseback riding and swimming. Richard Basnett, executive director of YMCA Camp Tippecanoe, advises parents to check if a camp is a member of a professional accreditation organization, such as the American Camp Association (ACA) and the Christian Camp and Conference Association (CCCA). Basnett also advises parents to ask camp personnel about how they will deal with behavioral, emergency or medical situations, including discipline and homesickness. Camp directors and nursing staff should be readily available to discuss such issues. “If they are not available, then that would

raise a red flag in my mind,” Basnett says. SPECIALTY CAMPS

Specialty camps emphasize a particular interest, such as language, music or social skills. Other types of specialty camps may focus on specific activities, like horseback riding, pottery or sailing. Catherine Holloway, owner of Etiquette Consulting Services, says that specialty camps can help a child hone skills or talents that will help them throughout their lifetime. When selecting a specialty camp, Holloway suggests that parents ask instructors what activities are scheduled during camp. For her camps, Holloway provides handouts as to what will be addressed during class time. “Parents should ask what the skill set will be at the end,” Holloway says. SPORTS CAMPS

Generally, there are two types of sports camps: single-sport and multi-sport. Single-sport camps focus on helping campers develop skills and confidence in a particular sport. Multi-sport camps, such as those offered by i9 Sports, offer a mix of age-appropriate activities such as baseball, flag football, lacrosse and soccer.

Joey Holibaugh, i9 Sports athletic director for Cuyahoga and Summit counties, says the multi-sport approach allows parents to find out what their child’s interests are rather than deciding for them. If a child has fun playing baseball or soccer, then they’ll probably tell mom and dad about it. That sort of information is useful for parents when selecting what sport or league to join in the fall. When considering a sports camp, Holibaugh suggests parents read online reviews and look for structured programs with experienced, tenured employees. Another helpful criterion is program longevity. “As a dad, I’m less likely to sign up my son for something if he’s the first one that’s trying it,” he says with a laugh. STEM CAMPS

A STEM camp allows a child to develop science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills through handson experiments, field trips and projects. Kathy Kwiatkowski, director of math and science programs at Case Western Reserve University’s Leonard Gelfand STEM Center, says that STEM camps reinforce what children learn in the classroom while exposing them to new scientific concepts through unique opportunities.

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Questions to ponder when your family is undecided about camp

8 | Family Living at Its Best


ummer camp sounds like a lot of fun for your child. Then again, maybe it doesn’t. They’ll be away from home surrounded by strangers in an unfamiliar place. And there’s no guarantee that they will enjoy camp activities. If you’re one of the many parents who are undecided about sending your child to a camp, there are a number of things that you should consider before making a decision. Along with date, time and cost considerations, a dialogue between parent and child is one of the first steps to a positive camping experience. A few pointed questions between parent and child should be part of any conversation regarding camp, says Kathy Kwiatkowski, director of math and science programs at Case Western Reserve University’s Leonard Gelfand STEM Center.

Here are some things parents can address:

1. Talk with your child about their interests. Richard Basnett, executive director of YMCA Camp Tippecanoe, recommends that parents gauge their kids’ interests — and their own — before selecting a camp. If a child has a particular interest in the outdoors, such as canoeing or fishing, then they will likely enjoy a traditional outdoor summer camp. An online view and in-person visits of campgrounds are options to spark a child’s interest in a camp, Basnett says. 2. Consider Age. Parents should consider a child’s age before sending them to camp. Children younger than age 7 may not adjust easily to being away from home. In those cases, parents should consider a day camp to prepare their child for future overnight camp visits. Kwiatkowski suggests that parents discuss how camp personnel address behavioral issues, especially if a child has special needs. 3. Do you like working in teams? For many children, camp may be the first time that they work with others. Getting a sense of whether a child is ready for that means asking questions about teamwork like you might in an employment interview, Kwiatkowski says. 4. Discuss expectations of camp with your kids. Sometimes the difficulty of selecting a camp doesn’t lie with the child at all. “Sometimes parents have trouble letting go of the kids,” Basnett says. “They’re more worried about the kid going to camp than the kid is about going to camp.”



f, after weighing such considerations, parents remain undecided about sending their child to a camp, there is another factor that they may want to consider: Their child’s independence. Ashley Garson, director of camp and youth at Camp JCC at the Shaw JCC of Akron, says even a few hours at a day camp can help a child learn how to function autonomously away from their parents. “It’s a perfect place to spread their wings,” she says. Independence, new friends and good memories are some of the reasons that camp professionals cite as to why parents should consider camp for their children. Another potential reason may be that the experience helps a child to discover who they are. Michael Lund Ziegler, director of education at the Fine Arts Association, credits his experiences in band and jazz camps as a youth with bringing greater focus to his interest in music. “It showed me some of the possibilities that were there in that creative outlet for me,” Lund Ziegler says. While freely admitting he has a procamp bias, Basnett believes that every child should experience camp, especially if parents want to limit a child’s screen and video game time. “It helps the kid grow up,” he says. “When they make it to the end of the week, it just raises their self-esteem.”

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Photo by Kim Stahnke Photography

Camp Friendships

A few campers share their own experiences By Ginny McCabe


camp experience provides children an opportunity to learn new things, have fun and set aside the screens — it also gives them a chance to make lasting friendships. Camp also can help kids gain confidence and learn skills they can use for the rest of their lives. From learning how to invent things or finding out about nature to delving deeper into sports and technology, day and overnight camps across Northeast Ohio offer something for everyone to enjoy. Camps also offer kids a unique chance to make friends — either for the afternoon, the week or for the rest of their lives. We talked with a few campers to find out more about their experiences and how they were able to make new friends at camp. Juliana Cerny, 11, of North Ridgeville,

has attended various camps at YMCA of Greater Cleveland for many years.

She has attended day camp and sports camp. Juliana enjoys playing basketball and she plays on a basketball team. She also loves playing volleyball. In addition to her sports skills, she’s comfortable making new

10 | Family Living at Its Best

friends, trying new things and she is at ease being herself. Her mom, Marsha, says she makes friends easily, and it often comes naturally for her, where it may not always be as easy for other kids. “It’s awesome to see her go up to somebody that she doesn’t know and introduce herself, and see where she fits in,” Marsha says, “or she’ll sit back if she feels the need to sit back.” JULIANA TALKS ABOUT HER EXPERIENCE...

What are some of your favorite things about camp? “We get to choose what we get to do, so we get to make our own choices. We also get to go on field trips, play around and have fun. We also learn a lot, explore new things, and they make it easy to understand.” How would you describe your experience at camp? “I made a lot of friends at camp, and that taught me that I can have friends wherever I go. Sometimes, I get to see one of the friends that I made at camp when I go on vacation at Put-in-Bay.”

Tell us about the friends you made at camp? Did you know them before you got to camp or did you meet them there? “I have another friend named Alex that I have spent a lot of time with. We had a lot of fun together at camp. I met my friends Sophie and Alex at camp, and we’ve been able to keep in touch outside of camp. Mainly, I get to see them at camp.” Was it easy to make friends at camp? What are some of the things you did together at camp? “It was easy to make friends at camp. One of the things I did at camp was we went out to the playground and played. We played on the slides and other playground equipment. We also played basketball in the gym. They also gave us time to talk and eat lunch together.” What are some of the things you and your camp friends have in common? “We have a lot in common. We like to play basketball and enjoy doing some of the same things. At other times, we were opposites, where even though my friend might like something and I don’t, we still learned to like it. I may not love it the same way she

Hanna Schaeffer, 8, of Columbus,

attended the one week Falcon Camp “Young Adventurers.”

Hanna and her brother Daly, 11, had never attended a “sleepaway” camp before, nor had they been away from home without their parents for a week or two. This was a new experience for their family. Both Hanna and Daly signed up for this experience with different goals. Hanna wanted to see if she could sleep “away” from her parents for a week. Hanna not only loved her camp experience, she made it the full week, on her own, sleeping in a cabin with six other girls her age. HANNA SHARES HER


Tell us about the friends you made at camp? Did you know them before you got to camp or did you meet them there? “Trudy was a good friend I made while I was at camp. We had a lot in common. Violet and I played music

Ezela Manko attended Camp Invention. Courtesy of Camp Invention.

Why would you encourage other kids to go to camp and make friends there? “Because you’re not sitting at home, watching TV or lying on the couch. You’re always doing something fun, learning something new and you’re exercising. You’re always having fun, moving around and you still have the opportunity to learn a lot of new things.”

together. Tali, my camp director, was so kind. She even came to my house a few times to see us. She always checked on me.” Photo courtesy of Effective Leadership Academy

does, but I learned to try something new, and I gained an appreciation for it. It was interesting to learn new things.”

Was it easy to make friends at camp? What are some of the things you did together at camp? “I was pretty shy at the beginning. I was missing home. Trudy came up to me and asked me to play with her and to go to H20 with her, so I did. I’m glad that I did. We became good friends then. I met Ellie at horse care, and she helped me feed the horses.” What are some of the things you and your camp friends have in common? “Trudy and I both loved woodslore. We both love to share funny stories about our lives. We both love to create funny names like John, Paul, George, and we both love horses.” Have you been able to keep in touch with the friends you made at camp? “Trudy’s grandma lives near our house, and she comes to visit her often. We play at her grandma’s house. We like to sew and make cookies together.” Why would you encourage other kids to go to camp and make friends there? “It’s a very enriching experience. You learn life skills that the camp people make really fun and you can use those skills later in life.” Daly attended a two-week regular

summer camp session last summer at Falcon Camp. Both Daly and his

sister, Hanna, were able to form special - CONTINUED ON PAGE 12 -

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friendships at Falcon Camp. Only knowing each other, he and his sister were dropped off at Falcon Camp the second week of June with a giant trunk of “stuff ” they packed themselves — along with hopeful hearts. Daly, described as an “introvert” and an “old soul” by his mom, Heidi, says he wanted to find a friend, someone “just like him.” Daly’s wish came true. Daly and his new Falcon Camp friend, Erik, have stayed in touch after camp ended and they have weekly FaceTime chats. They even planned a sleep-over in conjunction with the Falcon Camp holiday party/reunion this past December. While Daly lives in Columbus and Erik lives in Cleveland, it’s been magical for both kids. DALY TALKS TO US ABOUT

Daly and Hanna Schaeffer at Falcon Camp. Photo courtesy of Falcon Camp


What are some of the things you learned at camp? “I learned to be self-sufficient. I was able to take care of myself without my parents. I also learned how to make new friends.” Tell me about the friends you made at camp? Did you know them before you got to camp or did you meet them there? “I made lots of friends. All of the kids in my cabin were my friends. I hope that we can be friends for a long time. We had long chats. Erik became my best camp friend. We were inseparable. I did not know anyone when I went to camp, and I left with so many new friends. It was amazing.” Was it easy to make friends at camp? What are some of the things you did together at camp? “I will be honest with you, for the first few days that I was there, I was a little scared of my new friend Erik. He was so outgoing and seemed to have an easy time being friendly with everyone. I am shyer. I enjoyed going to athletics with Erik. On opening night, I shared a laugh with Erik, and then I kept my distance for a day or two, but then, I felt safe. I was able to ask Erik if he wanted to be friends and he did.” What are some of the things you and your camp friends have in common? “I have almost everything in common with Erik. We both realized that we struggle to make friends. We both love swimming.” Have you been able to keep in touch with the friends you made at camp? “I FaceTime with Erik a lot. It’s so fun.”

12 | Family Living at Its Best

Why are camp friends some of your best friends? “We shared a special, unique time together that was away from technology. We got to do cool stuff like sports and activities that were different from what we normally do at home with our school friends. We helped each other through hard times when we felt scared or sad.” Dylan Carmichael, 12, of Indepen-

dence, will attend Falcon camp this summer for the third time.

Prior to the electronics-free Falcon Camp, he camped at other area camps for two years. At first, his mom, Cheryl Chase, was hesitant to send him away to camp for the summer, but she soon realized that not... sending him would be the wrong thing to do, because Carmichael has thrived at camp. He begged to go back, saying there’s something special about Falcon Camp. He’s learned wood-working, about “woodslore,” how to spend time in nature, and a lot about sailing. He also has learned different techniques to help him with archery and riflery, like hand-eye coordination and accuracy. DYLAN TALKS ABOUT HIS EXPERIENCE...

What was your camp experience like? “My first time at Falcon Camp, I went for the standard two weeks. Then, as soon as I got in the car, I was like, ‘How soon can I go again?’ Two weeks later, I went for the third session, so I went twice in one summer. Then, this past summer, I went for one month straight.”

I imagine there are a lot of different kids that come to camp. “There’s a lot of different people that you’ll meet there. There was one point, when two kids from Japan came to our cabin, and they didn’t speak English, but we just thought of them as normal people. It was a little bit hard to try to talk to them and explain things to them, but it ended up working out in the end, and we ended up having a good time together. There’s an energy at camp that is warm, loving and accepting.” Did you have any friends when you went the first time? And how have you been able to make friends? “I didn’t really have any friends in mind the first time. I was going with an open mind, and saying, ‘Alright, either my cabinmates are going to be really nice, or they are going to be really mean.’ As I was there for a few days, I had picked up this energy of, ‘Wait, no one’s really mean here.’ Then, I really understood that you can pretty much go out there, talk to people you don’t know, they will talk back, and you’ll have a conversation. You might start by asking their name, and then you’ll talk, and see what happens from there. I’ve made some great friends throughout my time at camp. We do cabin activities a lot, where you do a lot of things together. You learn everyone’s name, and you learn things about them, and if you have things in common with them, you can talk about that. Then, you’ll learn from there…We enjoy the

time we have at camp together and we always get to see our friends again when we come back.” Why would you encourage other kids to go to camp? “It’s a lot of fun, and there are a lot of things that you can really learn from in the aspect of it’s like school, where you’re learning the whole time, but you’re learning without the same structure. It’s still structured, but it’s a little bit looser with what you can do. You can speak your mind about things, and you don’t have to be afraid to ask questions, or to fail and try again. If you fail a test — boom, it’s done; you can’t re-do it. But if you’re doing a sailing course, and you mess up on the sailing course, you can try again tomorrow, or later that day. It’s a place where you can keep trying, and trying until you get it the perfect way that you want it. I think that’s incredible. It’s like you get to decide what your grade is by trying again. At camp, you’re learning the whole time, but you’re having fun while you’re doing it.”

Ezela Manko attended Camp Invention

last summer for the third time.

She started going to the week-long camp in second grade. She has learned skills like teamwork and working together as a group. At Camp Invention, participants create a variety of inventions from recyclable materials that have been gathered by campers. Each year, campers are taught a different curriculum. Monica Shadle, Coordinator of gifted services at Louisville City School District, has been directing Camp Invention for more than 10 years. She says campers like Ezela learn through hands-on science activities and creativity in an environment that’s fun. The kids participate as a group and they are with their group throughout the week. Camp Invention draws attendees from the Louisville City School District, as well as other surrounding school districts. Camp Invention also works with students who have special needs.


What was your camp experience like? “It was very fun, and it gave me something to do during the summer, when I didn’t really have anything to do but go outside and play. So, we got to build things and do other activities. They kept us really busy.” Tell us about your early camp experiences. “I didn’t want to go the first time, but then when we went, I realized it was really fun and that I should keep going.” What are some of the things you learned at camp? “We learned that we can be friends with everyone, and we don’t just have to be friends with two or three people.” What were some of the activities that you did during the day? “We got to eat lunch with everyone and we worked on projects together. We had - CONTINUED ON PAGE 14 -

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these robots and we had to build houses and different things we could use them in. We also learned to work as a team and how to be good listeners for each other. We had to listen to everyone’s ideas, so we could find out how to make it work better. Through listening and sharing, we can always build on each other’s ideas. We can also learn to solve problems and we developed problem solving skills.” Did you know anyone from school, or have any other friends at camp? Were you able to make new friends? “I did know one friend that I met in third grade. I also met a lot of new friends, too.” What are some of the things you and your camp friends have in common? “We helped each other to solve problems with our different inventions, and we got to share our thinking to make something new and creative.”

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What would you say is your favorite thing about camp? “You can go there and you feel like you are part of the rest of the group. Everybody gets a chance to talk, share their ideas and you feel like you’re in a safe place.” Why would you encourage other kids to give camp a try? “I would tell them they should, because they will feel like they’re part of the group. If they don’t have a lot of friends, they will make a lot more by learning different things.” Is there anything else you’d like to say about camp or the friends that you made there? Inventing with someone you just met is a great way to start a strong friendship by learning and working together on different projects. And, if you don’t have a really good friendship with someone, you can make one by working together and trying not to argue. You can think together, outside of the box, to work together better.”

Photo courtesy of Classroom Antics

Photo courtesy of University of Akron Esports Camp

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f o h t a e A Br

r i A h Fres


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echnology is pretty cool, we get it. It’s convenient, it’s entertaining, there’s a lot of great learning tools out there. Yeah, yeah, we know. But let’s be honest, the majority of the year is chilly-to-downright-cold in Northeast Ohio, so when warm weather finally comes, it’ll be high time to put away the smart devices and get outside to take advantage of it. Luckily, there are many offerings in the region to look forward to that provide an opportunity to nurture kids’ love of nature. A VITAL PART OF CHILDHOOD

While it may not seem like it at the moment, summertime is around the corner. And summer is the best time for taking a long break from screens and cluttered rooms and giving your kids’ eyes, brains and bodies a dose of pure, elemental play. “Outdoor experiences are healthy for children,” says Bethany Majeski, North Chagrin Nature Center manager with the Cleveland Metroparks. “Exploration of the natural world helps to build strong bodies and minds, and playing in nature helps to stoke the fire of imagination and adventure. In a world where kids increasingly face social and academic pressures, time spent outdoors can be a powerful tool in managing stress and capturing some of the beauty and magic that makes childhood so special.” Going beyond just taking a break from screens, spending time outdoors is an ongoing opportunity for kids to learn about themselves and the world around them on a deeper level, says Ellie Rial, manager of public programs, Holden Forests & Garden. “I feel that it is most important because it allows time for kids to explore the unique sense of wonder that can only be found in nature — like spotting your first lightning bug or the feeling you get climbing your first tree,” she says. “Time spent in nature inspires creativity, curiosity, and offers an outlet for many kids to simply play freely. That feeling, once found, sticks with you forever and is the foundation for an appreciation of nature.”


The Child Mind Institute, in its article “Why Kids Need to Spend Time In Nature,” claims that the average American child spends just four to seven minutes a day in unstructured play outdoors and more than seven hours per day in front of a screen. Meanwhile, studies show that kids who play outside are smarter, happier, more attentive and less anxious than kids who spend more time indoors, according to the institute. When they do put the phone down and go outside, many parents say they see the positive effects of nature on their children firsthand. Julia Buddie, a mother of three in Amherst, notices a shift in her children after they get some fresh air. “I feel it is important for children to explore because it is a mood changer,” Buddie says. “My children are much happier and have less behavioral issues if we have spent some time outside versus being indoors. They’re much more pleasant winding down in the evenings and usually have a good night’s sleep.” Outdoor play also gives them a chance to use their imagination, and it teaches

them how to respect nature, she says. “It’s a family priority in which everyone takes part.” “The majority of the activities my husband and I do are outside,” Buddie says. “Because of that, our children will follow in our footsteps. We fish Lake Erie, paddleboard, swim in our backyard pool, snow ski in the winter, go on nature hikes and visit playgrounds regularly.” In addition, more interaction with nature tends to build a sense of responsibility among both children and adults alike. “Kids ultimately need to learn about nature because it is such an important part of our lives,” says Karie Wheaton, a naturalist with the Geauga Park District. “From animals pollinating flowers to give us the food we eat to what we put on our lawns impacting the water quality in our area — we are innately connected with nature. It is imperative that kids and adults understand this connection and why it is so important. Kids that love nature turn into adults that love nature and ultimately adults that want to protect nature for future generations.” - CONTINUED ON PAGE 18 -


J U NE 15–AU G U S T 13

Spend Summer Outdoors: Learning, Exploring, Immersed in Nature Full day camps for children grades K to 9 and half-day camps for ages 3½ to 5 Off-site field trips vary by week, including: archery, rock climbing and water sport activities Limited scholarships available 2600 South Park Blvd, Shaker Heights, OH 44120 216.321.5935 • naturecenter@shakerlakes.org

S H A K E R L A K E S .O R G

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There are a number of ways that your family can pack the season with exploration, discovery, education and activity. Surrounded by a pretty great Great Lake, the vast metroparks systems and a genuine National Park, Northeast Ohio has no shortage of nature-based activities in which kids can take part during the summer — from traditional outdoor camps to programs that offer unique ways to explore the outdoors. It just takes a little planning and forethought to make the most of it all. “Ever since the kids were small, we looked for programs that took place outside,” said Michele Caldwell, a mother of five from Mentor. “Through the city of Mentor, they have an amazing choice of summer camps. We most often chose their Civic Center camps, as the kids not only were able to go to the pool almost every day, but took field trips outside to many different destinations, like the zoo, Cedar Point, different waterparks and some of the metroparks.” Metroparks throughout Northeast Ohio, along with the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, offer both formal and informal opportunities for families to interact with nature. “Kids can learn to snowshoe, fish, kayak or enjoy a family campout under the stars,” Majeski says. “They can get up-close with

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live Ohio animals like owls, snakes and turtles, and explore rivers, forests, meadows and the shores of Lake Erie.” If your child does better with a more traditional camp setting, you can find options just about anywhere you turn. From tiny tots to high-schoolers, kids get a chance to learn, play and explore with friends old and new. Check with your city and your local metroparks to see what they have for your kid’s age group. “We have five nature centers across Cuyahoga County that are free and open daily,” Majeski says. “At our centers and throughout the 18 reservations of our park system, we offer a variety of children’s programming and special events, the majority of which are free. We offer immersive, high-quality summer camp experiences and are very excited to be expanding our state-licensed Nature Preschool program. We truly have something to offer kids of all ages.” Nature centers give kids a chance to explore the outdoors any time of year and give them a better understanding of their experience with nature. Buddie found her two oldest children took a lot from their metroparks experiences. “At a young age, Stella and Nora were enrolled at the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center class, Frogs and Polliwogs,” Buddie says. “This class taught children ages 18 months to 36 months about the changing of seasons, different kinds of weather and animals they may encounter in nature as a resident of Northeast Ohio.” Programs like the Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s Junior Ranger Summer Day Camp give kids entering first through sixth grades an opportunity to learn more about the national park and its animal and plant inhabitants, and take part in active adventures that encourage appreciation for

nature and stewardship for the environment. Likewise, Common Ground Center in Oberlin offers Earth Camp for kids ages 6 to 14, which includes such experiences as horseback riding, river walking, hiking and swimming. Earth Camp has themed weeks that keep things exciting, like Eco-Adventures and Nature Survival Quest. It also has an Adventure Camp for older children (ages 12-17). Youth and family programs at Holden Arboretum and Cleveland Botanical Garden focus on unique, exploratory nature-based activities. In July, they’re hosting a family-friendly campout at the Arboretum, which will be a night of camping-related activities such as fire building, campfire cooking, night hikes, campfire stories and more. “It’ll be a great way to try out overnight camping in a completely supported and non-intimidating way,” Rial says. “We’ve also completely retooled our summer camp program and are now offering full-day camps at the garden, roundtrip transportation to our arboretum camps and new themes, such as From Garden to Fork and An Everchanging Planet — all with inquiry-based learning activities designed to spark creativity, fun and a connection to plants and trees.” THE BOTTOM LINE

If it all seems a bit overwhelming and you don’t know where to begin, just start simple. Being outside — in any way — is healthy for kids. “If it is not raining or too cold, and the chores and homework are done, then outside we go — no excuses,” says Caldwell. “The dog can always be walked, we can practice for, the next 5K we want to sign up for or there is always a new step to jump off of.”

Vibrant Vietnam

JAN. 18 – MARCH 1

Immerse yourself in the exotic beauty of thousands of orchids at Cleveland Botanical Garden’s most popular flower show, Orchid Mania. This year we are celebrating the natural beauty of Vietnam, and the Vietnamese culture that cherishes nature and plants. Adults: $15; Children (3-12): $10 | Members: Free

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11030 EAST BLVD. CLEVELAND, OH | CBGARDEN.ORG | 216.721.1600

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STEM culinary


u n p lu g



Akron ArkWorks offers art camps for your creative kid. Their day camps provide thoughtful and enriching opportunities for kids age 7 to 14. Each themed camp is structured so that morning sessions (9 a.m.-noon) can stand alone or be extended into the afternoon (9 a.m.-3 p.m.). Call 330-983-9983 or visit akronartworks.com


Spark your child’s creativity and curiosity with two different camps this summer. Camp Creativity campers will work with professional artists and authors to create their own literary masterpiece, while LEGO & Lux Blox STEM Camp will unlock your child’s imagination with unique STEM activities and problem-solving challenges. Visit akronkids.org/calendar/programs

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For more than 90 years, Baldwin Wallace University has been bringing school-age and adult learners to campus for immersive music and arts training. Summer Arts programs include music, dance and theatre camps, high school college-prep institutes, and professional development for music teachers. Call 440-826-2482 or visit bw.edu/sap


Beck Center offers half-day and full-day camps for ages 5-19 in dance, music, theater and visual arts. Students learn new skills and build self-esteem as they create unique works of art, develop new friendships, discover hidden talents, stimulate their imagination and have fun. Beck Center also will offer more than 140 arts education classes and lessons for people of all ages and abilities. Call 216-521-2540 or visit beckcenter.org


athletics outdoors

lifelong o friends BUSY BEES POTTERY & ARTS STUDIO

Busy Bees Pottery & Arts Studio, located in Mentor, offers weekly themed summer art camps for kids ages 5-12. Full- or half-day camps will keep them busy learning various art methods while creating multiple projects each day. Call 440-571-5201 or visit mentor.busybeesart.com


For 62 years, Camp Asbury has been forming faith and connecting people to nature. Resident camp for grades first through twelfth: June 14-July 24. Day camp for grades first through sixth: June 15-July 24. Register online for one-week sessions at eocsummercamps.org. Call 330-569-3171 or visit campasbury.org


Help your kids ‘Stay Curious’ over summer with engaging, hands-on fun at Camp Curiosity beginning June 1. Pre-K – 8th grade will make new friends while building STEM skills. Stacked discounts available: Early bird (Feb. 29), multi-week registration and returning camp alumni. Members save $20 per camp. Before- and after-care is available. Call 216-621-2400 or visit greatscience.com


Camp Fitch’s century-old, classic sleep-away summer camp provides boys and girls ages 6-17 with a holistically safe, values-driven community where they discover friendship and achievement. Kids feel like they belong among the camp’s carefully vetted, highly committed and caring staff, who create transformative experiences on the shore of Lake Erie. North Springfield, Pa., Call 814-922-3219 or visit campfitchymca.org



Join the Cleveland Cavaliers for Cavs Academy Summer Camps, the only official youth basketball summer camp of the Cavaliers. These week-long camps are a great opportunity for boys and girls ages 7-17 of all skill levels to have fun playing basketball while they “up their game.” Visit cavsyouth.com


Does your child love horses? Chagrin Valley Farms is excited to share their love for horses with kids of all ages and riding skill levels during summer riding camps that run weekly beginning in mid-June through August. Riding, horse care and games are part of every camp day. Visit chagrinvalleyfarms.com


Imaginations will soar in the all-new Camp Invention program, “Elevate!” Campers in kindergarten through sixth grade will collaborate in hands-on STEM activities exploring concepts of flight, Earth’s ecosystems and sports innovations. Use promo code LOCAL25 to save $25 (expires 3/31) or LOCAL15 to save $15 (expires 5/12). Call 800-968-4332 or visit invent.org/camp

Kids ages 6-13 get to learn what they love in STEAM Camp by designing video games, creating stop-motion movies, producing videos, coding programs, modding Minecraft or engineering LEGO robots. These affordable day camps are in Beachwood, Berea, Brecksville, Brunswick, Fairlawn, Hudson, Solon and Westlake. Space is limited. Call 800-595-3776 or visit classroomantics.com/clevelandsummer-camps



Camp LEAD: “The Amazing Chase” is a week-long day camp with high-energy activities promoting leadership and social emotional learning. Inspired by the TV show “The Amazing Race,” campers learn about healthy competition, collaboration and accomplishing goals. Campers will stretch personal limits to become effective leaders. Call 216-292-8775 or visit effectivela.org

Watch your child’s eyes sparkle as they experience the joy of dance. Students develop confidence, poise, friendship, technical and social skills in a small classes with patient and experienced teachers, offering individual attention and encouragement to kids to be their personal best with ballet, jazz and more. Opportunities include museum visits and performances. Call 216-295-2222 or visit clevelandcitydance.com


The FACEtime Summer Camp at Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center is designed for older children and young teens who stutter. Campers will participate in individual and group therapy at the University Circle location and will practice their skills in real-life situations at restaurants and Cleveland-area attractions. Transportation will be required for some offsite activities. Visit chsc.org


Cleveland Metroparks offers a wide variety of golf programs, activities and hands-on instruction for junior golfers ages 8-17. There are activities for beginner, intermediate and advanced junior golfers. Registration is now open. Visit clevelandmetroparks.com/golf


Cleveland Metroparks Summer Nature Camps connect children ages 3-15 with the natural world. From hikes in the woods, kayaking, crafts and games, a variety of Summer Nature Camps offer compelling outdoor adventures. Available in convenient locations throughout Cleveland Metroparks. Registration begins March 3 for Cuyahoga County and Hinckley Township residents, and March 10 for all other participants. Visit clevelandmetroparks.com - CONTINUED ON PAGE 22 -

Learn more & open a tax-advantaged college savings account today at

CollegeAdvantage.com/NEOParent CollegeAdvantage_DoubleFooter_NEOParent_Education_Guide-2020.indd 2

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Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Summer Day Camps connect campers with wildlife and inspire the next generation of conservationists. Campers ages 5-14 can spend their summer days at the zoo participating in up-close experiences with ambassador animals, behind-thescenes tours and special activities like giraffe feeding, carousel rides, educational games and crafts. Pre-sale for zoo members starts Feb. 3 and open registration starts Feb. 14. Visit futureforwildlife.org


Earth Camp (ages 6-14) is packed with activities like hiking, swimming, art and more. Adventure Camp (ages 12-14) packs in our high ropes course, zipline tour, swimming and more. The new Adventure Leadership Academy (ages 15-17) is perfect for aspiring camp counselors. Registration opens March 2. Visit commongroundcenter.org

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Join Cleveland Play House for CPH Summer Academy. Students ages 4-18 can participate in half-day, week-long or two-week intensives in June and July. Classes are open to students of all abilities and experience levels. Scholarships and aftercare are available. Call 216-414-7111 or visit clevelandplayhouse.com/academy


Creative Playrooms is the perfect solution for your summer camp needs with on-site swimming pools at most locations, hot meals, full-day care, field trips and so much more. Six locations: Independence, Maple Heights, Parma, Solon, Strongsville and Westlake. Convenient locations, great programming. Call 440-349-9111 or visit creativeplayrooms.com


Whether your child is a young performer or a budding engineer, Tri-C Summer Camps will help them discover their passions and talents. Choose from more than 30 camps offered at five locations across the region, featuring culinary, film, game design, music, performing arts, recreation and STEM. Call 216-987-3075 and select option 1 or visit tri-c.edu/summercamps


This summer at Gilmour Academy, Beachwood Recreation, Orange Continuing Ed and Westlake Recreation, kids will have confidence, fun character-building and hands-on learning during these camps. Learn the tricks of first impressions, become a dining expert and discover the art of a well-written thank-you note. Call 216-292-8888





Meet dozens of camps at the 2020 Northeast Ohio Parent Camp & Summer Programs Fair! East and West locations. March 7-8. Learn more at NortheastOhioParent.com or view page 39 in this guide.

The Leonard Gelfand STEM Center Case Western Reserve University’s Leonard Gelfand STEM Center, a collaboration of the College of Arts & Sciences and the School of Engineering, works to: strengthen STEM teaching and learning through active discovery and design; implement research based teaching and learning strategies; marshal the contributions of CWRU faculty, staff, and students; maximize impact on student learning through collaboration; and evaluate and continually refine our programs.

Upcoming Programs and Events: February 15, 2020: Engineering Challenges Carnival, free hands-on event for families, Thwing Center Ballroom, 11111 Euclid Ave. 44106 February - March 2020: Mean Green Math Machine, after school program for 2nd - 5th graders at Carnegie West Branch Cleveland Public Library February - March 2020: Mean Green STEM Machine, after school program for 2nd - 7th graders at Fulton Branch Cleveland Public Library February 2020: School of Medicine Anatomy Camp for select high schools July 6-17, 2020: Shipwreck Camp 2020 Science & Exploration for 12-15 year olds; application available Spring 2020 July 21-31, 2020: Orientation for Environmental Heroes field research

For more information, please call 216-368-5075 e-mail: kmk21@case.edu Web site: Gelfand.case.edu 2020 Summer Camp Guide - NortheastOhioParent.com

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Ages 3-15 can participate in dance, music, theatre and visual arts camps. Half-day, full-day, one-day and one-week options available from June 1-July 31. Before camp care available free of charge. Call 440-338-3171, email info@ fairmountcenter.org or visit fairmountcenter.org/special-events




Recognized throughout the Midwest as Ohio’s premier private camp. Independently selected “Top Ten Camp in USA” and Ohio’s “Coolest Camp.” Beautiful lakefront setting, talented staff, wide variety of activities and great food. Outstanding opportunity for fun and growth in a safe, healthy environment. ACA accredited. Boys and girls, ages 6-16. Call 800-837-CAMP or visit falconcamp.com


Geauga Park District’s eighth annual adventure camps come in week-long forms for youth entering grades fifth through seventh. Camps run the weeks of June 8, July 6, July 13, July 27 and Aug. 3, plus Junior Naturalist Camp the week of June 15. Week-long experiences for teens entering grades eighth through tenth are the weeks of June 15 and July 20. Single-day “X-Treme Adventures” for the older kids are also July 9, 16 and 23. Visit bit.ly/gpdcamps


Camp Gilmour offers Preschool Camp (ages 3-5), Day Camp (ages 5-12), sports and experiential camps such as nature, outdoor adventure, robotics and theater camps. Camps offered June 1-July 31. Enrichment courses available. Optional complimentary enrichment offered each morning for day campers. Before/after care: 7:15 a.m-6 p.m. Call 440-473-8000 ext. 2267, email summercamp@gilmour. org or visit gilmour.org/summercamp

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Goldfish offers year-round lessons for kids 4 months to 12 years in a family-friendly environment with highly trained instructors, small class sizes and shiver-free, 90-degree pools. During the summer months, Goldfish also offers week-long Jump Start Clinics where kids make a month’s worth of progress in only one week. Find a Goldfish near you: Cleveland East Side, Fairview Park, Hudson, North Canton and Strongsville (coming soon). Visit goldfishswimschool.com


Immerse your child in the wonders of nature at the Holden Arboretum or Cleveland Botanical Garden. From exploring unique ecological areas to learning about farm-totable food preparation, themed summer camps are available for children in pre-K through fifth grade. Call 216-707-2841 or visit cbgarden.org. Call 440-602-3833 or visit holdenarb.org - CONTINUED ON PAGE 26 -


Grand River Academy offers three summer camp options at its campus in Austinburg, Ohio: LEARN Summer Camp, STEAM Academy, and REBOOT, an electronic overconsumption therapy program. Summer at Grand River Academy provides students looking for academic enrichment, recovery or electronic usage help an action-packed summer full of fun and adventure. Call 440-275-2811, email admissions@ grandriver.org or visit grandriver.org


New for 2020, Hathaway Brown School introduces Tiny Trailblazers, a coed camp for 3- and 4-year-olds. With programming available June 8-Aug. 14, each week will have a theme based on a children’s book. Led by early childhood teachers, children will enjoy engaging academic programming and fun, nature-based outdoor play. Visit hb.edu/summer


Hawken Summer Programs offer a variety of activities led by experienced professionals for boys and girls ages 4-18. Camp offerings include day camps, one-week Passport Camps, Innovation Camps, Athletics Camps and Summer Studies. Camps run between June and August. Call 440-423-2940, email summerprograms@hawken.edu or visit summer.hawken.edu

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Summer camps at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center offer preschoolers and students of all ages the opportunity to explore and connect with the outdoors, meet new friends, encounter local wildlife and discover the wonders of the night sky in Schuele Planetarium. Registration is open and ongoing. Visit lensc.org


Open to all area students in grades first through twelfth, the summer program includes full- and half-day experiences from June 8-July 17. Camps and classes offered include themed discovery camps, fine arts, technology/STEAM, environmental and experiential, academic, athletics and chess. Most programs are taught by experienced Lake Ridge Academy faculty. Call 440-327-1175 ext. 9141 or visit lakeridgeacademy.org/summer


The College for Kids program, now in its 35th year, offers kids an exciting, fun-filled and educational summer. Hands-on learning and exploration activities are being planned for art, music, science and much more. The College for Kids Summer Day Camp fee includes before- and after-care, lunch, two daily snacks, field trips and all supplies. Visit lakelandcc.edu/camps


Grow, learn and explore in a 23,000-square- foot facility with knowledgeable, trained and caring instructors. Both full-day and half-day camps are available for ages 3-11, June through August. Themed weeks include: Mermaids, Jojo, Princesses, Minecraft and more. Gain skills, grace and strength this summer at Lakeshore. Call 440-461-0015 or visit lakeshoregym.com


Summer at Laurel offers exciting sports, adventure, theatre, science and specialty camps for girls and boys ages 24 months through twelfth grade. There is a wide range of opportunities at both Laurel’s Lyman Campus in Shaker Heights and its Butler Campus in Russell Township. Half- and full-day options, as well as before and after camp care, make Summer at Laurel the perfect destination for campers and parents alike. Call 216-455-3065 or visit laurelschool.org/summer

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Le Chaperon Rouge’s Summer Camp is a fun, educational and engaging program. It implement reading, writing, math, computers, Spanish and French into its weekly curriculum. Additionally, it offers swimming, karate, soccer, dance, gymnastics, stretch-n-grow and other extracurricular activities. Locations include Westlake, Solon, Rocky River, Hudson, Avon, Strongsville, Amherst, Independence, Bath, Brecksville and Shaker Heights. Visit lechaperonrouge.com


LAB Week is a week-long summer camp for high school sophomores and juniors to learn the basics of running a business. Using an experiential business and entrepreneurial curriculum presented by professionals, the students apply the lessons learned to their online simulation company and compete for market share. Visit learningaboutbusiness.org - CONTINUED ON PAGE 30 -

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Offering summer camps for kids of all ages with a variety of interests, including fishing, sports, outdoor adventure, boating, birding and more. Registration for Lorain County residents opens Feb. 21 via phone at 440-458-5121. Registration for everyone opens Feb. 28 online at loraincountymetroparks.com


Mad Science and Crayola Imagine Arts Academy will offer STEAM camps throughout Northeast Ohio. Science themes include: robots, archaeology, secret agents, inventions, engineering and more. Featured art camp is Wild World, focusing on animals and conservation. With over 20 years of camp experience, they look forward to helping your child have a fantastic summer. Call 330-498-0033, or visit northeastohio.madscience.org, imagineartsacademy.com


Discover Magnificat High School this summer. With programs for girls entering grades first through ninth, Magnificat offers participants the opportunity to explore their world, learn new skills and have fun. Visit magnificaths.org


Mandel JCC J-day Camps & Camp Wise Overnight Camp — Summer Happens Here. Helping children learn new skills, develop conďŹ dence and gain self-esteem, all while having a blast, is what spending a summer at Mandel JCC camps is all about. By the end of summer, campers will have gained independence, developed a host of new interests and made lifelong friendships. Call 216-831-0700 or visit mandeljcc.org/camps, campwise.org


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Beat the summer slide. When summer comes, the knowledge your child gained in school is in danger of slipping away. It’s especially true for math: on average, students lose approximately 2.5 months of math learning each summer. Contact one of your Northeast Ohio Mathnasiums to help keep your child’s math confidence strong this summer. Visit mathnasium.com


MCC Tech Key Kids Kamp has seven one-week tech sessions from which to choose. Kids will learn LEGOs, Arduino Board programming, video game design, robotics and 3-D printing. Sessions meet from 9 a.m.-3:30 pm. Hands-on learning for children ages 7-12 and 13-17. Registration begins on March 31. Call 440-561-0618 or visit mosscard.com/ techkeyregistration

32 | Family Living at Its Best


Swap screen time for nature as you learn and explore in an outdoor classroom. Your child will love these one-of-akind, week-long camp experiences taught by staff, which includes teachers and highly trained naturalists. Find an outdoor adventure to inspire an appreciation for the natural world, unlocking a summer full of learning, reflection, friends and fun. Choose from nine week-long camp experiences. Call 216-321-5935 or visit shakerlakes.org/camp - CONTINUED ON PAGE 34 -

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Summer camps can open new worlds for your child. The same is true for a higher education. For more than 30 years, Ohio’s 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage, has helped families nationwide save tax-free for education after high school. Someday your child is going to college. Someday starts today with collegeadvantage.com


Old Trail School’s Summer Camp offers sun, fun, friends and nonstop activities in Cuyahoga Valley National Park from June 8 to July 31. They offer 100-plus options for children. Half- and full-day camps are offered, as well as transportation from Hudson and Brecksville. Visit oldtrail.org/summercamp - CONTINUED ON PAGE 36 -

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Perspectives Academy Summer Experience is much more than a summer camp. The morning is education (remedial or advancement), afternoon is social skills and other fun activities intermixed with field trips. This program is directed by Dr. Jay Berk, a psychologist with more than 35 years of experience. Program runs six weeks and you can register for one week or all six. Grades fourth through 12th. Visit jayberkphd.com/ summer


At Red Oak Camp, we have activities that excite, delight, and inspire. Camp sessions begin June 8th for rising 1st-10th graders. Horsemanship, climbing, archery, canoeing, ropes course, and more! Nestled on 87 acres in Kirtland, Red Oak Camp is the perfect choice for your campers this summer. ACA Accredited. redoakcamp.org - CONTINUED ON PAGE 38 -

36 | Family Living at Its Best


THEATRE TRAINING BY THEATRE PROFESSIONALS Registration is now open for Cleveland Play House Summer Academy! We have exciting programs for young people this summer ranging from creative drama to musical theatre! Excite creative potential, and nurture your child’s passion for the performing arts! FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO REGISTER:

clevelandplayhouse.com/academy 216.414.7111 2020 Summer Camp Guide - NortheastOhioParent.com

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This two-week day camp (July 6-17) for ages 12-15 will engage campers in a virtual search for a Lake Erie shipwreck. Campers conduct field research, have an introduction to scuba and snorkeling, read a novel, develop . navigation skills, develop a plan, virtually find a wreck and travel to a wreck site. Call 216-368-5075, email kmk21@case. edu or visit gelfand.case.edu


Snapology’s Discovery Center in Beachwood is an amazing place to build and create with LEGO bricks. Half- and full-day summer camps for ages 4-12. Your camper will have a blast building memories and learning through play with fun LEGO themes. New location at 23645 Mercantile Road, Suite H. Visit cleveland. snapology.com


Camp Dates: June 15-July 24. Art, cooking, music, movement, water play and outdoor playground fill the mornings with child-centered activities guided by Montessori-certified teaching staff. Six-week or three-week half-day programs are available. Half-day program runs 9 a.m.-noon.Three and six week options available. Visit ruffingmontessori.net

UNIVERSITY SCHOOL Summer 2020 programs include many new enrichment camps and academic courses, along with its popular sports clinics and day camps. Held at Shaker Heights and Hunting Valley campuses, US camps are led by experienced teachers and coaches. It offers camps for preschool-age kids through high school. Visit us.edu/summer


Welcome to fun and adventure! At the Y, you will play, explore the outdoors, swim and build character. Their camps are run by a team you can trust, trained and ready to bring creativity to camp. Visit ymcastark.org for overnight camps at Tippecanoe, or day camps at our branch locations. Call 330-491-9622 or visit ymcastark.org

38 | Family Living at Its Best

Join us It’s free!

Meet Dozens of Diverse Camps!





Market Square at Crocker Park Westlake campfairwest2020.eventbrite.com

10:00am - 2:00pm Hawken School Lyndhurst campfaireast2020.eventbrite.com

10:00am - 2:00pm



Free Admission - Register Today! Free Tote Bag for First 200 Families (Online Registration)

Camp Scholarship giveaways + other great raffle giveaways

Entertainment :

JESSE JUKEBOX MAD SCIENCE MUSIC / SCIENCE FUN! 2020/Summer Camp Guide /- NortheastOhioParent.com | 39

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Boys’ andCamps Girls’ Day Camps Overnight Boys’ and Girls’ Boys’ Day Camps and Girls’ Day Camps Overnight Camps Overnight Camps Boys’Overnight and Girls’Camps Day Camps Teen Leadership Programs Teen Leadership Programs Overnight Camps

Swimming Horseback riding Nature & Science Fishing Swimming Canoeing & Kayaking Horseback riding Archery Swimming Riflery Nature & Science riding Rock Climbing & Ropes Horseback Course Fishing Woodshop Nature & Science Arts & Crafts& Kayaking Canoeing Fishing Hiking Archery Sports Canoeing & Kayaking Camp fires & Overnights Riflery

Teen Leadership Programs Teen Leadership Programs

Teen Leadership Programs

We connect campers to nature. Let us connect yours.

We connect campers to nature. Let us connect yours. We connect campers to campers nature.to nature. Let us Let connect yours. We connect us connect yours.

nect campers to nature. Let us connect yours. Archery Rock Climbing & Ropes Course Riflery Woodshop Rock Climbing & Ropes Course ArtsWoodshop & Crafts Arts &Hiking Crafts Sports Hiking Camp fires & Overnights Sports

Summer Sessions

June 12 through August 18

RED OAK CAMP 9057 Kirtland-Chardon Road Kirtland, OH 44094


Camp fires & Overnights

Swimming Horseback riding Nature & Science Fishing

Serving Northeast Ohio campers since 1947 – Red Barn • Chincapin • Red Oak

Summer Sessions June 12 throughSessions August 18 Summer Arts & Crafts

Canoeing & Kayaking June 12 through August 18 Hiking Archery and Riflery RED OAK CAMP Rock Climbing & Ropes Course Sports 9057 Kirtland-Chardon Road June 12 Camp throughfires August 18 CAMP RED &OAK Overnights Woodshop

Summer Sessions

Kirtland, OH 44094 Road 9057 Kirtland-Chardon Kirtland, OH 44094

Summer Sessions RED OAK CAMP www.redoakcamp.org

June through August June12 8 through August 18 7

9057 Kirtland-Chardon www.redoakcamp.org Serving Northeast Ohio campers since 1947 – Red Barn • Chincapin • Red Road Oak Kirtland, OH• Chincapin 44094• Red Oak Serving Northeast Ohio campers since 1947 – Red Barn



Kirtland-Chardon Road Serving Northeast Ohio campers since 19479057 – Red Barn • Chincapin • Red Oak Kirtland, OH 44094

www.redoakcamp.org Serving Northeast Ohio campers since 1947 – Red Barn • Chincapin • Red Oak

40 | Family Living at Its Best

February 2020 - NortheastOhioParent.com

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Put a picture on the fridge that will make someone smile. Dig up an old photo of when you first started dating or post a painting your child made.

2 Schedule a massage for your partner. Don’t just buy a

11 Offer the mail carrier a hot cup of coffee. Go ahead, lend

them one of your to-go mugs. Chances are if you make the gesture to warm them up on a cold winter day, they’ll return it the next day along with your mail.

gift card. Call the spa. Make the appointment. Clear the path for them to get there and truly relax.



13 Pay for the next person’s coffee in the drive thru. Never

Pack your significant other lunch and leave a note inside. Hand it off with an extra kiss when they walk out the door.


Get up early and make a nice breakfast for your family. On most days, it’s easier just to pour milk and cereal in a bowl but make the extra effort and flip some pancakes, then sit down and eat together.


Slip an encouraging note in your child’s backpack. “Good luck on that test today!” or “Be a great leader!” underestimate the power of a random act of kindness.


Send a valentine in the mail. There’s something sweet and special about getting an unexpected red envelope in the mailbox.

15 Designate a device-free evening. Dock the iPads, tuck away the phones and bring out the board games.

16 Brush off a co-worker’s car after it snows. Winter is long,

Bake heart-shaped cookies and bring them to your neighbors. While you're at it, bring in their garbage cans, too.

right? Warm the heart of another.


Send a text with a message of love to someone when you think of them during the day. Praying for a person going through something? Let ‘em know!

18 Call grandma or hire a babysitter and plan an impromptu

or surprise date night. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy. Time spent together (alone) is time well-spent.

19 Give your significant other a foot rub. Create an intimate and authentic “I appreciate you” moment with this one.

20 Write an email to your kid’s teacher. Thank them for all

they do. Most days, they spend more time with your child than you do.

21 Set the mood and light some candles. Peace and quiet and warm lighting are pretty inviting, no?


Hand-write a thank-you note. Don’t email. Don’t text. Put pen to paper, and drop it off or put a stamp on it. The extra effort will not go unnoticed.


Play a game and let them win. Got a competitive spouse? Have a child with confidence issues? Take the “L.”

24 Create a motivating playlist for your partner’s workout.

Sometimes it can be hard to dig deep and push yourself every day. Help your significant other get through that early morning run by mixing it up.

25 Send a flirty text. Be playful. Remember how much fun you used to have together? Tap into that.

6 Take your dog on a different route for his daily walk.

Who doesn’t like a change of scenery every now and then — different squirrels to chase or new dogs to sniff?

7 Make a homemade valentine. It’s a lost art. Bust out the markers, gluestick and scissors.

8 Read a favorite bedtime story. So often, we get out of

routines or outgrow them. Cozy up with an old standby for that snuggle time you used to savor.

9 Fill your partner’s gas tank. Take one thing off their plate before their commute. Think of how relieved you’d be if you fired up the car and found that happy surprise.


Leave a nice note on the bathroom mirror or the shower door. You can go simple with a “tree carving” style: your initials + his/her initials. XOXO.

20 | Family Living at Its Best


Bring home flowers. This is a classic move. An oldie but a goodie for a reason — it will brighten anyone's day.

27 Play outside with your kids. Brave the weather to get some fresh air together.


Make your spouse’s favorite meal. Sitting down to a lovely home-cooked meal fills your heart and your belly.


Call your parents. Tell them you love them. Don’t take any day for granted.



Whoa, be my Valentine Respite Weekend. Campers from ages 7 to adult with disabilities can enjoy twonight weekend sessions of fun activities including campfires, dances, arts and crafts, nature and sensory walks, and more. Camp Cheerful, 15000 Cheerful Lane, Strongsville, champcheerful. achievementcenters.org


Chocolate Walk. Break the winter doldrums and indulge your sweet tooth with Destination Hudson’s third annual Chocolate Walk. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Visitor’s Center, First Street, Hudson, destinationhudson.com Valentine’s Storytime. Wear your heart on your sleeve and read books, make a craft, make a special Valentine’s Day card and sing and dance the afternoon away. 11 a.m.noon. South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch Library, 1876 S. Green Road, South Euclid, 216-3824880, cuyahogalibrary.org


Valentine Make-n-Take Craft. Drop in to make a valentine. Avon Lake Public Library, 32649 Electric Blvd., 440-933-8128, alpl.org


‘HOO Loves You’ (Family Canvas). Celebrate with the one "HOO Loves You" the most in this sweet canvas workshop. Bring your loved one and paint a loving owl. 3:30-4:30 p.m. Busy Bees Pottery & Arts Studio, 7850 Mentor Ave., Mentor, mentor.busybeesart.com

Vintage Valentines. Make homemade cards using some natural elements while learning some of the holiday’s history. 2-3 p.m. CanalWay Center, 4524 E. 49th St., Cuyahoga Hts., clevelandmetroparks.com


Make a Heart Craft. 3:30-4:30 p.m. Westlake Porter Public Library, 27333 Center Ridge Road, 440-8712600, westlakelibrary.org


Share the Love. Share the love at a charity dinner to benefit Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center. 6-9 p.m. Great Lakes Brewing Company Tasting Room, 2701 Carroll Ave., Cleveland, chsc.org/love Love Mugs. Decorate a mug for your valentine. 3-4 p.m. Nordonia Hills Branch Library, 9458 Olde Eight Road, Northfield, 330-467-8595, akronlibrary.org Valentine's Day Party. Wear red and enjoy activities and games. 4-4:30 p.m. Fleet Branch, 7224 Broadway Ave., Cleveland, cpl.org Tween Scene: Cupcakes and Trivia. Decorate a cupcake inspired by your favorite book. 4-5 p.m. Wadsworth Public Library, 132 Broad St., 330-3345761, wadsworthlibrary.com


Share the Love Couples Yoga. Bring your sweetie, friend or family member to this partner yoga event featuring fun for all levels. 6:30 p.m. LifeCenter Plus, 5133 Darrow Road, Hudson, lifecenterplus.com

Seeds of Love. Design and decorate a packet filled with native flower seeds and give it to a loved one to plant in spring. 10:30 a.m.-noon. F. A. Seiberling Nature Realm, 1828 Smith Road, Akron, 330-8658065, summitmetroparks.org




Valentine’s Dinner & Dance. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with BLAST. 6-8 p.m. 91 Springside Drive, Akron, 330-634-8676, milestones.org

Dip Your Own Chocolate Gift. Create your own hand-dipped chocolate-covered gift for your valentine. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. All City Candy, 746 Richmond Road, Richmond Hts., allcitycandy.com


Sweetheart Hike. Bundle up and bring your sweetheart to enjoy a romantic stroll along the snow covered trails at Brunswick Lake, then enjoy hot beverages, delicious treats and a cozy fire. 7-9:30 p.m. Susan Hambley Nature Center, 1473 Parschen Blvd., Brunswick, 330-722-9364, medinacountyparks.com Day with your Hunny. Take a break in the Cast Iron Cafe and enjoy live music by Ted Yoder. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Lehman’s, 4779 Kidron Road, Kidron, lehmans.com Owl Be Your Valentine. Build special Valentine's Day enrichment items, which will be placed in the animal habitats throughout the day. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Akron Zoo, 505 Euclid Ave., 330-375-2550, akronzoo.org


Cleveland Dessert Festival. This curated Dessert Festival will feature the very best sweets in the city. Guests will sample desserts from over 20 of Cleveland's best treat makers. 11 a.m.2 p.m. The Madison, 4601 Payne Ave., Cleveland, midwestdessertfests.com

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Cold weather got you down?

Find things to do with your kids no matter the temperature By Shana O’Malley-Smith

22 | Family Living at Its Best

re these gray winter days giving you and your little ones a case of cabin fever? Looking for something new to keep your toddler or preschooler entertained? Get out and try some of these hands-on learning adventures in our region.

These chilly winter months are perfect for learning about our local birds. Stop by a participating park or nature center and experience the excitement of wild chickadees eating a seed snack from your hand. BRECKSVILLE RESERVATION 9000 Chippewa Road, Brecksville clevelandmetroparks.com Hand feeding: Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m.-noon through February BEECH CREEK BOTANICAL GARDENS 11929 Beech St. NE, Alliance beechcreekgardens.org Bird in Hand: Saturdays and Sundays, Noon-3 p.m. through February

Looking for a reason to grab some ice cream this time of year? Bring your little foodie on a tasting tour to learn how this local ice cream brand is made. Enjoy ice cream samples and receive a complimentary free scoop certificate to enjoy anytime.

Northeast Ohio is full of engaging nature centers that offer a variety of programs for budding park rangers. Get an up-close look at live animals that are native to the area.

MITCHELL’S ICE CREAM 1867 W. 25th St., Cleveland mitchellshomemade.com Register online for tours

F.A. SEIBERLING NATURE REALM 1828 Smith Road, Akron summitmetroparks.org

Explore the solar system in the full dome planetarium theater. Interactive programs designed for small children are offered throughout the week.

ROCKY RIVER NATURE CENTER 24000 Valley Pkwy., North Olmsted clevelandmetroparks.com

Visit NortheastOhioParent.com or look in this issue for winter fun things to do with your little ones — arts, museums, nature and more!

GREAT LAKES SCIENCE CENTER 601 Erieside Ave., Cleveland greatscience.com Watch your little performer dance, sing and play with instruments at a music program. Many classes or programs are offered for children beginning in infancy. “Psychologists, scientists and experts in early childhood development have demonstrated that music does more than bring children joy; it helps their brain cells make the connections needed for every kind of intelligence,” according to Kindermusik’s website. FIND MUSIC PROGRAMS at libraries, as well as arts and make-and-take crafts days. Local arts centers and others hold programs near your city.

LAKE ERIE NATURE AND SCIENCE CENTER 28728 Wolf Road, Bay Village lensc.org

Milk a real cow and learn how cheese is made on this working farm. When you’re done, take a horse- or tractor-drawn wagon ride through the rest of the farm and meet horses, sheep, chickens, pigs and more. LAKE FARMPARK 8800 Euclid Chardon Road, Kirtland lakemetroparks.com

Sign up for “My Very First Art Class,” where your tot will learn about the museum and make their very own art piece to take home. THE CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART 11150 East Blvd., Cleveland cma.org/learn

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FEBRUARY CAlenDAR Find more events at NortheastOhioParent.com


Groundhog Day. Learn about groundhogs and enjoy fun activities for the whole family. 2-4 p.m. Quail Hollow Park, 13480 Congress Lake Ave., Hartville, starkparks.com

r Picks:


bout Learn A ’s Nature s e Creatur

Pick your DAY


Whatever Wednesdays. Each week, get creative in a variety of ways including arts, crafts and creative writing. Through 6/3. 4-6 p.m. Jefferson Branch Library, 850 Jefferson Ave., Cleveland, 216623-7004, cpl.org


Sight Word Success. Program designed to build speed and fluency when reading. Ages 4-5. Through 2/28. Orange Community Education & Recreation, 32000 Chagrin Blvd., Pepper Pike, orangerec.com


MoCa Saturday. Explore the art and ideas of our time through special family-fun activities. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Museum of Contemporary Art, 11400 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, mocacleveland.org


Open Studio. Drop-in art making where you will imagine, experiment and create. 1-4 p.m. The Cleveland Museum of Art, 11150 East Blvd., 216-421-7350, clevelandart.org

24 | Family Living at Its Best


Read and Feed. Join Miss Jenny around the fire for storytime before heading out to handfeed the birds. 9-11 a.m. Brecksville Reservation Nature Center, 9000 Chippewa Creek Drive, 440-526-1012, clevelandmetroparks.com

ongoing THROUGH 2/15

Winter Wonderland. With help from Monarch Center for Autism’s talented students and Thomarios, both the inside and outside mall will be decorated with beautiful artwork using inspiration from winter animals. Eton Chagrin Boulevard, 28601 Chagrin Blvd., Woodmere, etonchagrinblvd.com


The Rink at Wade Oval. Lace up your skates and enjoy the fresh ice on picturesque Wade Oval. 10820 East Blvd., Cleveland, universitycircle.org


Pancake Breakfast with the Birds. Learn about the habits and habitats of birds, enjoy activity stations with crafts, take a guided nature hike, see birds of prey up close from our friends at Lake Metroparks and enjoy delicious pancakes. 8 a.m.noon. The Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, 2600 S. Park Blvd., 216-231-5935, shakerlakes.org

Winter Blast: Lock3. Ice bikes, ice skating, ice bumper cars, puttputt and more. Lock 3, 200 S. Main St., Akron, lock3live.com


Ice Skating. Lace up for some winter fun on the real ice skating rink. Crocker Park, 189 Crocker Park Blvd., Westlake, crockerpark.com


Orchid Mania. Escape the winter weather and enjoy a tropical-inspired escape into a world of beauty and fabulous fragrances. Cleveland Botanical Garden, 11030 East Blvd, Cleveland, 216-721-1600, cbgarden.org

day - by - day 2/1

‘Frozen’ Day. Come in from the cold to celebrate the adventures of Anna, Elsa and friends. 1-4 p.m. Westlake Porter Public Library, 27333 Center Ridge Road, 440-8712600, westlakelibrary.org


Family Concert. Conductor, composer and educator Leonard Bernstein was one of the most beloved and influential Americans in 20th-century culture. His daughter hosts this one-hour family concert introducing kids to her father’s music, modeled after his own groundbreaking Young People’s Concerts. 2 p.m. Severance Hall, 11001 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, clevelandorchestra.com Owlet Adventures: Groundhog Day. Owlbert’s Owlet Adventures will feature engaging activities and a hike length that’s appropriate for smaller legs. 11 a.m. Dix Park, 7318 State Route 44, Ravenna, co.portage.oh.us


Tremendous Animal Playgroup. Introduce your little ones to a wide variety of animals from around the world. Led by Outback Ray. 11:30 a.m.–noon. Café O’Play, 911 Graham Road, Stow, 330-928-7517, cafeoplay.com


‘Anastasia.’ This dazzling show transports viewers from the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s, as a brave young woman sets out to discover the mystery of her past. 7:30 p.m. Connor Palace, 1407 Euclid Ave., playhousesquare.org


Yoga for Preschoolers. Learn about nature, the seasons and animals through yoga poses, a story, songs and a game. 10:30-11:15 a.m. Susan Hambley Nature Center, 1473 Parschen Blvd., Brunswick, 330-722-9364, medinacountyparks.com Chocolate Olympics for Tweens and Teens. An evening of chocolate fun. Be sure to bring your appetites and your friends. 6:45-7:45 p.m. North Ridgeville Branch Library, 37500 Bainbridge Road, 440-327-8326, lorainpubliclibrary.org


Harry Potter Celebration. Come create your own magic wand and get “sorted” into your Hogwarts house. 4-5 p.m. Shaker Library, 16500 Van Aken Blvd., 216-9912030, shakerlibrary.org


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Family Fun Zone. Fun activities, such as giant games, a sports station, up-close animal encounters, crafts and more will be set up inside the zoo’s Komodo Kingdom building. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Akron Zoo, 505 Euclid Ave., Akron, 330-3752550, akronzoo.org


Frozen Winter Escape. Spend a magical weekend with Anna and Elsa from ‘Frozen.’ Featuring overnight suite accommodations, story time, musical performances, photo opportunities and more. SpringHill Suites by Marriott Cleveland Solon, 30100 Aurora Road, Solon, 440-248-9600. Check eventbrite.com for times and tickets.


Royalty on the Rails. Dress in your royal best as you receive autographs and take pictures with princesses. You’ll also listen to stories, sing songs and enjoy a sweet treat on this hour-and-a-half train ride. 12:55 p.m. Peninsula Depot, 1630 Mill St. W., Peninsula, cvsr.org


Preschoolers in the Garden: Let’s Go Deep Seed Exploring. Join OSU Master Gardeners for deep seed exploring to unlock the secrets of seeds through stories, art and a variety of hands‑on stations. 10-11:30 a.m. Krabill Shelter, 7597 Ballash Road, Medina, medinacountyparks.com Homeschooling Days: Pie Baking. In this hands-on class, each paying child will learn the basics of making an apple pie. 9:30 a.m. Lehman’s, 4779 Kidron Road., Kidron, lehmans.com


Chocolate Fest. Teens in grades seventh through 12th will get to play chocolate trivia and other chocolate games, win chocolate prizes, try different kinds of chocolate and make chocolate suckers. 7-8 p.m. Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library, 3512 Darrow Road, 330688-3295, smfpl.org

26 | Family Living at Its Best


After-School Mind Unwind at the Akron Art Museum. Open studio is the perfect place for caregivers and kids to express themselves and unwind. 4-6 p.m. 1 S. High St., 330-376-9185, akronartmuseum.org Treasure Hunt - Geocaching Fun. Who doesn’t love a good treasure hunt? Add a little technology and the treasure hunt fun elevates. Geocacher extraordinaire April will teach the how, what and where of geocaching. The Portage Hike & Bike Trail, 1557 Lake Rockwell Road, Kent, co.portage.oh.us/ portage-park-district


Meet the ‘Very Hungry Caterpillar.’ Enjoy stories and crafts. 11 a.m.-noon. Centerville Mills Lakeside Building, 8552 Crackel Road, Chagrin Falls, geaugalibrary.libcal.com


Medina Ice Festival. If you have “cabin fever” and want to spend some time outside in the middle of a Northeast Ohio winter, you need to stop in the historic town square in Medina for the annual Ice Festival. mainstreetmedina.com


‘Charlotte’s Web.’ The charming tale of Fern Arable and her “humble,” “terrific,” “some pig,” Wilbur. Fine Arts Association, 38660 Mentor Ave. Willoughby, 440-951-7500, fineartsassociation.org


Super Science Saturday. A day filled with awesome, hands-on learning opportunities for the whole family. 10:30 am.-3:30 p.m. Akron Fossils & Science Center, 2080 S. Cleveland Massillon Road, Copley, 330-6653466, akronfossils.com

Family Fun Day. Join for activities such as board games, inflatables, mechanical horses and more. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Hartville Marketplace & Flea Market, 1289 Edison St. NW, 330-877-9860, hartvillemarketplace.com Art in Nature. Enjoy some hands-on art activities focused on what you find in nature. Noon-4 p.m. Environmental Learning Center, 7250 Alexander Road, Concord Twp., lakemetroparks.com


Life-Sized Candy Land. It’s the classic game you love with a giant twist. Travel through a life-size game board collecting candy along the way. 7-8:30 p.m. University Heights Branch Library, 13866 Cedar Road, 216932-3600, heightslibrary.org


Kids Film It Festival 2020. Big Dreams. Small Directors. Walk the red carpet, take pictures, view finalist films, raffle drawings and more. 7 p.m. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 1100 Rock and Roll Blvd., Cleveland, kidsfilmitfestival.com


Potty Training: Is My Child Ready? This lunch and learn discussion will help parents understand the keys to successful potty training and how to determine if your child is ready. 11 a.m.-noon. Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library, 3512 Darrow Road, 330-688-3295, milestones.org

Less Screaming, More Talking. This program is designed for families and their children (ages 7-9 years) who are struggling. Come experience an innovative and fun way to learn how to communicate with each other in a positive manner. 1-2 p.m. Middleburg Hts. Branch Library, 16699 Bagley Road, connectingforkids.org


The Princess Ball. Spend a magical weekend with favorite Disney princesses. Featuring overnight suite accommodations, story time, musical performances, photo opportunities and more. SpringHill Suites by Marriott Cleveland Solon, 30100 Aurora Road, Solon, 440-2489600. Check eventbrite.com for times and tickets.


Winter Kids Play Day. You can have fun no matter the weather with indoor and outdoor nature play for the kid in all of us. Games, crafts, campfire and hot chocolate available all day. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. North Chagrin Nature Center, 401 Buttermilk Falls Pkwy., Willoughby Hills, clevelandmetroparks.com


Northeast Ohio’s Largest FREE Kids Event!

Ways your company can participate • Exhibit Onsite • Be a Sponsor • Distribute Your Printed Material

• Provide a Craft, Snack, Prize and/or Costume Character

• Entertain & Perform On Stage

Hours of FUN for the whole family!

think local




Critter Campfire for Kids. Learn about the animals of Ohio while singing songs and listening to silly stories. 7-8 p.m. Ledges Shelter 701 Truxell Road, Peninsula, nps.gov


‘Monster Jam Triple Threat Series.’ The most action-packed live event on four wheels, where world-class drivers compete in front of capacity crowds around the globe. Rocket Mortgage Field House, 1 Center Court, Cleveland, monsterjam.com/en-US



Boomer Northeast Ohio

and Beyond

Event Producer: ProMark Enterprises / 440.974.1198

Sensory-Friendly Sunday. People on the autism spectrum and their families can now enjoy a gentler way to experience the museum. 9:30 a.m.-noon. Cleveland Museum of Natural History, 1 Wade Oval Drive, Cleveland, cmnh.org


Leap Day Folk Dancing Party. Bring the whole family for an international folk dancing party. 3-4:30 pm. Fairport Harbor Library, 335 Vine St., Fairport Harbor, 440-354-8191, fairportlibrary.com


February 2020 - NortheastOhioParent.com

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Winter Readers: The Hot Chocolate Challenge. As you read over winter, fill out the log and return with it to add the marshmallows you earn to the giant mug of cocoa. Complete your reading log to receive your very own mug and cocoa packet. Avon Lake Public Library, 32649 Electric Blvd., 440-933-8128, alpl.org


Cocoa with the Birds. Enjoy a cup of cocoa and learn about birds from the warmth of the nature center. Liberty Park Nature Center, 9999 Liberty Road, Twinsburg, summitmetroparks.org


Coco’s Cozy Comfy Movie Night. Grab your comfiest blanket, find your coziest stuffed animal and join Coco at the library for hot cocoa and a movie. 5:30-7:30 p.m. University Heights Branch Library, 13866 Cedar Road, 216-932-3600, heightslibrary.org


Tell Me S’more Hike. Venture into this nocturnal world and afterward, gather around the campfire to uncover what you heard on the trek over a fire-toasted marshmallow. 6-8 p.m. Quail Hollow Park, 13480 Congress Lake Ave., Hartville, starkparks.com Nature Baby: Dunkleosteus. Check out the model of Dunkleosteus inside the nature center, then hike with your baby. 10-11 a.m. Rocky River Nature Center, 24000 Valley Pkwy., North Olmsted, 440-734-6660, clevelandmetroparks.com


Nature Explorers: Ice & Snow. Learn the science of frozen water, and how it both challenges and protects wildlife, while hiking and having some fun. 1-3 p.m. The West Woods, 9465 Kinsman Road, Russell, 440-286-9516, geaugaparkdistrict.org

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Winter Hike. Be a part of the 13th annual Winter Hike at Penitentiary Glen Reservation. 1-4 p.m. Penitentiary Glen Reservation, 8668 Kirtland Chardon Road, Willoughby, 440-256-1404, lakemetroparks.com Snowflake Hike. Hike Glens Trail to learn about unique snowflakes and other seasonal nature features. 2-3:30 p.m. Gorge Metropark, 1160 Front St., Cuyahoga Falls, summitmetroparks.org Create Your Own Hot Chocolate Flavor. Invent your own unique flavor with special add-ins, learn about chocolate, and enjoy some stories. 4-5 p.m. Shaker Library, 16500 Van Aken Blvd., 216991-2030, shakerlibrary.org


Cold Hike Hot Chocolate. After hiking the Meadow Loop trail, warm up and relax with some hot chocolate indoors. 2-3:30 p.m. Carlisle Reservation, 12882 Diagonal Road, Lagrange, metroparks.cc

Family Snowshoe Hike. Learn the basics of how to use snowshoes before playing games and taking a guided snowshoe hike. 1:30-3 p.m. The Holden Arboretum, 9550 Sperry Road, Kirtland, holdenarb.org Kid’s Night Out - Winter Trees Mixed Media Class. Drop your child off for a 2-hour paint and create night at Busy Bees. Children will participate in a Mixed Media class painting “Winter Trees.” Pizza will also be served 6-8 p.m. 440-571-5201, mentor.busybeesart.com


Winter Wonderland in the Ravine. Explore a new museum natural area - Kelsey Ravine in Geauga County. The east branch of the Cuyahoga River flows through this conservation area, which contains a great diversity of different habitats. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Cleveland Museum of Natural History, cmnh.org



Leap Day. A “leapin” fun time with hoppin’ good books, songs, crafts and games to celebrate this extra day of the year. 2-2:45 p.m. Rocky River Public Library, 1600 Hampton Road, 440-3337610, rrpl.org 8th Annual Kids’ Comic Con. Learn how to make comics from professional comic creators during four hours of workshops on drawing, character design and more. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Lake Erie Ink, 2843 Washington Blvd., Cleveland Heights, lakeerieink.org Let It Go: ‘Frozen’-Inspired Party. Play games, make crafts and enjoy treats sure to please all “Frozen” fans. 11 a.m.noon. Avon Lake Public Library, 32649 Electric Blvd., 440-933-8128, alpl.org Sibling Expressions Art Therapy Group. For siblings of children who’ve been affected by medical or mental illness, or a diagnosis that is life-changing. 10:30 a.m.-noon. Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital for Rehabilitation, 2801 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Cleveland, milestones.org


‘Blippi Live.’ Children have quickly taken a liking to Blippi’s charismatic personality and innovative teaching lessons. In the live show, they will continue to learn about the world around them while singing and dancing along with this one-of-a-kind show. 2 p.m. Akron Civic Theatre, 182 S. Main St., 330-535-3179, akroncivic.com

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THROUGH 3/15 The Distance of the Moon. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, this exhibition examines the moon through the lens of photography and video. 1 S. High St., 330-376-9185, akronartmuseum.org


ONGOING SmART Saturdays. Exploratory art experiences and creative opportunities for all ages. 1-2 p.m. on the third Saturday of each month. Art Studio Sundays. Artwork make and take with a different project each week. Every Sunday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. 216 S. Main St., akronkids.org


ONGOING Creation Education Museum. Dedicated to comparing and contrasting scientific models like intelligent design and evolution on the origin of the universe and catastrophism and uniformitarianism models on the geologic record. 2080 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road, Copley, 330-665-3466, akronfossils.com


ONGOING Get up close to 700 animals 361 days a year. Explore Komodo Kingdom, Grizzly Ridge, Penguin Point and much more. Pride of Africa now open. 500 Edgewood Ave., 330-375-2550, akronzoo.org

ONGOING Meet animals from around the world and create unforgettable memories. Tour the zoo and the RainForest for an afternoon or the entire day. 3900 Wildlife Way, 216661-6500, futureforwildlife.org


ONGOING Wonder Lab, Adventure City, Making Miniatures, Arts & Parts, The Meadow, Playlist and Theater. Visitors with autism spectrum disorder and developmental, sensory and learning differences will find support throughout the museum. 3813 Euclid Ave., cmcleveland.org


ONGOING Cleveland Starts Here. A place for Northeast Ohioans to locate their own stories and place themselves in the rich story of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio, and for school children to experience firsthand the history of Cleveland and the region. 10825 East Blvd., 216-7215722, wrhs.org


2/7-4/12 PROOF: Photography in the Era of the Contact Sheet. The photographer first saw positive images on the contact sheet. Digital technology has put an end to that era: the photographer now sees the image instantly, and systems of storage,

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retrieval, and editing have become increasingly sophisticated. 11150 East Blvd., clevelandart.org

Lakefront Airport, 1501 N. Marginal Road, Cleveland, 216-623-1111, iwasm.org



THROUGH 4/26 ‘Ultimate Dinosaurs: Meet a New Breed of Bite.’ Explore the dinosaurs of the Southern Hemisphere who evolved in isolation from the dinosaurs we know and love. 1 Wade Oval Drive, cmnh.org


ONGOING Curiosity Carnival. Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages, step right up for a special exhibition like no other, featuring amazing feats of science. All the sights and sounds of the carnival, from the spectacles to the midway games, are based on science. 601 Erieside Ave., Cleveland, 216-6942000, greatscience.com


ONGOING Aquarist for a Day, Stingray Art Experience, Zzzs in the Seas Overnights. 2000 Sycamore St., Cleveland, 216-862-8803, greaterclevelandaquarium.com


ONGOING Amelia Earhart, Ruth Nichols, Bessie Coleman, Harriet Quimby, Katharine Wright, the WASP, Jackie Cochran and more. Burke

ONGOING Schuele Planetarium: Twinkle Tots, Stellar Stars, Family Adventures in Space, Sky Tonight and Full Dome Show. 28728 Wolf Road, Bay Village, 440-871-2900, lensc.org


THROUGH 3/1 ‘Leonard Bernstein: The Power Of Music.’ The first large-scale museum exhibition to illustrate Leonard Bernstein’s life, Jewish identity and social activism. 2929 Richmond Road, Beachwood, 216-593-0575, maltzmuseum.org


ONGOING Stark County Food: From Early Farming to Modern Meals. Explore food history in Stark County, from the earliest orchards and farms to today’s culinary tourism scene. 800 McKinley Monument Drive NW, Canton, 330-455-7043, mckinleymuseum.org


ONGOING First Saturday. Visit the Shaker Historical Museum the first Saturday of the month and discover exhibits of Shaker life, the development of Shaker Heights, art and architecture. 16740 S. Park Blvd., shakerhistory.org

Northeast Ohio Parent




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A Magical

Disney Experience

By Tricia Scott

owner of Visit Mickey Vacations


aimie Robinson and her family used Visit Mickey for their recent Disney trip. She shares how Tricia from Visit Mickey helped make it a “magical” time... Did you feel Visit Mickey helped you find the best deal for your family?

“Visit Mickey is a team of knowledgeable Disney enthusiasts who go above and

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beyond for their clients, free of charge. From the beginning stages of simply comparing costs of hotels, dining packages and months to travel, to booking the vacation, to continually getting better deals for us after we locked in our dates; this team worked hard to make sure they met our needs, answered all of our questions and kept our children’s “must sees and dos” at the top of their planning priority lists.

How was the communication at Visit Mickey? How did Visit Mickey help you book your vacation early and what were the added benefits?

Visit Mickey was able to communicate with our family via email, text and phone conversations. Tricia booked our vacation at over 6 months out, so that we would have first access to sit-down dining reservations, which became accessible 180 days out

from our vacation check-in date. She was also able to consistently check the different discounts that Disney puts out throughout the year and adjust our hotel/ticket package to save us money, free of charge. We were able to stay longer than we originally anticipated (three extra days) and do more of the add-on experiences because of Tricia and Visit Mickey. Our kiddos, ages 7 and 5, were transformed into a princess at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and a pirate at The Pirates League at Magic Kingdom Park. We also spent an evening as characters from Disney’s “101 Dalmatians,” trick-or-treating around Magic Kingdom Park during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary-Halloween Party. Such fun for all of us. A neat bonus, Visit Mickey sent us luggage tags that allowed us to check our bags at our original airport, and we didn’t have to worry about them again. When we arrived at our hotel, they were waiting in our room. With overly-excited

kiddos and connecting flights, having one less thing to worry about during travel was greatly appreciated.” How did Visit Mickey help with your vacation?

“Visit Mickey is an amazing and free service that helped my family and I maximize our Walt Disney World vacation budget while also allowing us the quickest access to character dining reservations and fast pass reservations. Because we booked early, we scored hard-to-get breakfast reservations at Cinderella’s Royal Table at 8 a.m. (prior to being open to guests). Upon checking in to our reservation, a cast member informed us that the opening castle show would be starting shortly and escorted us to the rope. Our family got to watch the entire stage show from “behind-the-scenes.” Each character that came out of the castle door turned and waved, blew kisses and winked at our kiddos before heading out to the castle. So magical! We will definitely use Tricia and Visit Mickey for our future Disney Travel needs!”

Go to visitmickey.com/quote-neoparent

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Getting Kids Eating Healthy, and maybe, More Veggies

SARA CARNES • Facebook = Sara Carnes • Instagram = saracarnes4

“No peas for me!”

Sound familiar?



remember being little and secretly shoving all my vegetables into my napkin when my grandma wasn’t looking. My clever plan didn’t work too well; I got caught and had to sit there until all my veggies were gone. .I didn’t like veggies at all as a kid. Looking back, though, I think for the most part I didn’t like them because everyone talked about them like they’re so bad. Well, if you hear people say that all the time, you start to believe it. So with my kids, I started them very early with veggies and always tried to hype them up and make them fun. I’m always looking for insight on how to keep my kids strong and healthy and how to get them to eat their veggies, boost their immune system, eat a well balanced diet, etc. Luckily, one of my friends, Gina Jones, is a go-to for me when I have health and food-related questions. She is a functional medicine dietitian — and she has little kids’ of her own, so she gets it. This month, I wanted to catch up with her and get the answers to the most common questions she gets from parents relating to their kids health and eating habits. I Hope they help you.

SARA: How can parents help a picky eater?

SARA: Does my child need to take vitamins?

GINA: Having a picky eater can feel frustrating as a parent, especially when there seems to only be a handful of foods your child will eat. Keep in mind that while this is common, it’s definitely not hopeless.

GINA: As a dietitian, my goal is to always help my clients get the most nutrients from their food first, and then, if needed, use supplements. Supplements are always on an individual basis. However, for a generally healthy child without any symptoms, there are some basic supplements that can be helpful. If your child has a well-balanced diet — including fermented foods — they will typically only need a Vitamin D supplement. vitamin D is recommended for all ages to support bone health, growth and immune system function. If your child does not consume fermented foods like sauerkraut, pickles or kimchi, you may need to add in a child’s probiotic. A multivitamin can be helpful for those that do not have a well-balanced diet or those that have dietary restrictions..

Most kids need to be introduced to a new food 10-12 times before accepting it. Serving new foods with familiar foods is a comfortable way of gaining food exposure. Very small portions of new foods are completely acceptable, so feel free to add one slice of a cherry tomato to their normal dinner plate. Including children in the shopping and preparation of food has been successful, too. This allows your child to be adventurous with food on their own terms if they are in charge of picking one new item for the family this week.

SARA: Does my child need to drink milk every day for calcium?

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GINA: Absolutely not. Calcium is abundant in so many foods that it is not necessary to drink cow’s milk. If you typically avoid dairy, try adding in calcium-rich foods daily. These will include foods like kale, collard greens, plantbased milk, figs, beans, lentils, almonds, chia seeds, sardines and canned salmon.

SARA: How often should my child eat? I feel like he/she eats all the time. GINA: A child’s metabolism is much higher than adults and they tend to need many more calories to keep up with energy production and growth. Some easy tricks to help your child stay full longer include adding in healthy fats with each meal and snack. Healthy fats include avocado, coconut, nuts/seeds, nut butters and healthful oils (olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil). Including more high fiber foods like vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds helps increase satiety, as well. SARA: What are some kid-friendly vegetable options? GINA: Introduce vegetables early and often so that your kids will be more accepting of a variety of vegetables. If your child is not a fan of vegetables, try to make it fun by cutting them into different shapes. This works well with cucumbers and squash using a small cookie cutter. It’s amazing how many more cucumber slices my kids will eat if they are flower-shaped. Include different color vegetables like yellow tomatoes, white asparagus or purple broccoli for a fun variety.

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Profile for Northeast Ohio Parent Magazine

Northeast Ohio Parent Magazine - February 2020  

Family Living at its Best in Greater Cleveland!

Northeast Ohio Parent Magazine - February 2020  

Family Living at its Best in Greater Cleveland!