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I have a confession. While this column is supposed to be about places to go with kids, I haven't gone many places lately with my own child. For starters, Jack has been sick for about three weeks now with a cold followed by an ear infection. Also, it's cold and snowy outside. Believe me, I can tolerate inclement weather...I used to live in Wisconsin where it snowed 100 inches last winter. But dragging a sick baby out in the cold, wet weather just doesn't strike me as a good idea.

Needless to say, like many parents at this time of year, I've been stuck inside the house lately. And I'm quickly running out of ideas of different ways to keep Jack entertained. So, I decided to give The Parent-Teacher Store (and Toys too!) a call to ask them for some advice on fun yet educational snowy day activities for kids of a variety of ages. The Parent-Teacher Store has been locally owned and operated since 1980, which is awesome because we all love to keep Louisville weird. The owner, Kimberly Kopatz, was happy to give me some ideas of cool toys that will entertain children (and maintain mom and dad's sanity!).

 Infants:K's Kids Ryan's 18 Activity Toy                                          

With over 18 different activities to explore, your little one will delight in their discoveries of teethers, shapes, colors, textures, puzzle slide, mirror, beads, squeaks and rattles...just to name a few! This is the perfect developmental toy for Jack as he loves anything with interesting textures! Maybe he'll chew on this instead of the dog's tail.

Toddler Age:Wacky Bowling Set                                                 

Alex Wacky Bowling Set is a squeezable, wacky bowling set. Each pin is a silly character that cracks me up. Set them up, roll the ball and knock them down. Mix and match heads for even more fun. It comes with six pins, two balls and a convenient carry-along bag. This bowling set looks like some serious fun and could occupy toddlers for hours.

Preschool Age:Do-A-Dot Art                                                      

When I was a kid I loved to paint, but my mom was afraid of spills. Too bad they didn't have Do-A-Dot in the early 80's. This is paint contained within a marker. Easy to use, there are no cups or brushes to set up or clean up, no drips or spill and the product won't dry out if the cap is left off. The special formula will provide hours of self expression as children blend colors to create new and exciting colors. What an ingenious idea!

Elementary School Age:Sticky Mosaics                                   

Sticky Mosaics are easy to use craft kits that contain outlines of artwork with tiny, colorful pieces of plastic that stick on to create a piece of mosaic art. These totally remind me of the Colorforms I used to play with as a kid. There are four different pieces of art to create for each craft kit. Sticky Mosaics has activity sets for both girls and boys to create their own works of Byzantium-inspired art. Again a bonus for the parents...no messy cleanup!

For more information about these activities or for more suggestions of some snowy day fun, go to http://www.theparent-teacherstore.com/  or brave the cold and stop by their location on 10211 Westport Road!

You might also enjoy: Reconnect with Mother Nature at Bernheim Forest 

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