Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt Pt. 2

The holiday season has begun and Christmas lights are everywhere. I have updated our Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt from a few years ago to make it more user friendly for those pre-readers. If you are interested in the written list click here. To take part in the holiday fun, simply print out the list shown below and load up your bundled kiddos in the car to drive around to check out neighborhood lights or to head to one of the many light displays around town. See how many of the items you can cross of the list.

Click here for the printable Christmas light scavenger hunt.

Before you set off for your evening journey, prepare for the scavenger hunt ahead of time by going over the items on the list. Talk with your child about the location of the lights in the scavenger hunt and where they should be looking. Some items on the list are located in windows or on doors and some items could be in ornament form and will be hanging on trees.  

As you complete your scavenger hunt, help your child express what items she sees and where she sees those items. This activity will help develop your child’s expressive and spacial language skills using words that describe location (e.g. on, in, over, under) as well as characteristics (e.g. big, small, blinking, hanging).

Check out one of the below light displays around Columbus where you could possibly check off the items on the scavenger hunt:

Holiday Lights at the Columbus Commons:

The holiday lights run from November 20, 2017 – January 2, 2018 from dusk until 11 p.m.

Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium

Wildlights runs from November 17, 2017 – January 1, 2018 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays-Thursdays and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday & Saturday.

Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights

Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights (previously known as Alum Creek’s Fantasy of Lights) is a drive thru light show from November 17, 2017 – January 1, 2018 from 5:30 to 9:30 on Sunday-Thursday and 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Friday & Saturday.

Neighborhood Lights:

For an interactive map of holiday light displays in Columbus, check out

In addition to checking off items on the list, I always like to take pictures of the found items so we can review our hunt with a round of hot cocoa when we get home. I hope this Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt becomes a fun holiday tradition for you and yours, as well. Happy Holidays!

6 Ways to Shop for Kids on Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday is fast approaching! Founded by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday is celebrated every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. So, this Small Business Saturday, consider shopping close to home and supporting those neighborhood small businesses. If you are in the Columbus area be sure to stop into one of the following shops to stock up on some goodies for those tiny humans in your life.

Helen Winnemore’s

In operation since 1938, Helen Winnemore’s is one of the oldest craft shops in America, located in German Village. It was the destination for my first outing when I was an infant, one of my first jobs, and now one of my daughter’s favorite places to shop. While the downstairs caters mainly to adults, there is a wonderful children’s section tucked away on the second floor. In the children’s room you will find a variety of toys, dress up clothes, and accessories.

Look how sweet this little outfit is that can be pieced together in the children’s room. You might spend a good amount of time finding the perfect combination!


I get in trouble whenever I step foot into one of the two locations of Cubshrub (Grandview & Short North). The shop offers the cutest clothes, stuffed animals, games, books, and accessories for children ages 0-6.  There are quite a few deals going on the entire weekend after Thanksgiving: On Friday expect 25% off storewide from 9 am – 11 am and on Friday through Sunday expect an additional 25% off sale items, books BOGO, retro inflateables for $10, and logo tees/onesies for $5 or free with a $50 purchase.

The Sunroom

The Sunroom is a boutique that opened in the Clintonville neighborhood this past summer.  The shop specializes in ethically made goods for all walks of life. While the majority of the items in the shop are perfect for that special adult in your life, the shop does carry the local children’s clothing line, mrly. For Small Bussiness Saturday, the shop is offering 15% off your purchase.

James Robert John

This small shop is owned and operated by a mom boss. She developed a nail polish line that is 5-free, which means it is free of: Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP, Formaldehyde Resin, and Camphor. My daughter recently became obsessed with having her nails painted and I have to say this nail line is the only polish I feel safe using on her little nails. The shop will be running a little deal for a few hours on Black Friday: $10 polish and $20 candles. There will also be an online promotion going on Friday while the shop is open. Find the shop on Instagram at @jrjpics for more details on when it will be open.

Gramercy Books

Gramercy Books is a “locally-owned, independently-minded neighborhood bookstore located in the heart of Bexley, Ohio.” The bookstore opened in December 2016 and was the first independent bookstore to open in Columbus in 12 years. The children’s section is impressive. Bring a canned food donation in on Small Business Saturday and receive 15% off your entire purchase.

Naturally Curious Kids

Natural Curious Kids is an independent toy store located in uptown Westerville that offers a variety of toys for all ages.  The shop promotes that a “toy store should be a play store. It should be a place that inspires wonder and learning at every turn.” There will be a special promotion running on Small Business Saturday, but it hasn’t been announced yet. Follow them on social media for updates!

A November Filled With Kindness – Toddler Edition

Children learn by observing adults, even when those adults aren’t intentionally trying to teach them anything. Have you seen your child pretend to talk on the phone, pretend to do their makeup, or pretend to wash dishes in the play kitchen? I have many times and I am always shocked by my daughter coming up with these ideas when I haven’t explicitly taught them to her. Recently, I feel there has been so much negativity in the world. From the news to  the Facebook community discussion board. This negativity is affecting me and in turn my daughter. With that, I have decided to combat the negativity by making a conscious effort to be a model for my daughter by being positive and kind. Below is the list I have made to guide us on our quest to focus on doing good for the month of November. Will you join us in our efforts to spread kindness?

  1. Build your library with books that promote kindness. Check out this list from The Imagination Tree for inspiration.
  2. Collect canned food and donate to a Little Free Pantry in your community.

  3. Paint Kindness Rocks and scatter them throughout the community.
  4. Participate in the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department Empty Bowls project. As part of an international fight against hunger, the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department invites you to  purchase a bowl of soup to support the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. Click the link for dates and locations.
  5. Write a Thank you Note or paint a picture for the mailman.
  6. Put together blessing bags to store in your car. Have you ever driven past a person in need and wondered what you could do to help?  Keep one or two of these in your car to have on hand!The best part is, your children can be involved in creating the bags and will most likely be present when handing them out as well.  And it’s a great way to utilize coupons and freebies!
  7. Election Day! Donate treats to the volunteers at the polling station.
  8. Sign up for an event with Seeds of Caring.
  9. Sign up for the Holiday Wish Program and provide a child under the care of Franklin County Children Services to request a special toy or gift.

  10. Hold the door for a stranger.
  11. Bake Cookies for the local fire department/police department as a “Thank You” for their service.
  12. Put together an Operation Christmas Child Box. National collection week is November 13 – November 20.
  13. Celebrate World Kindness Day by completing 1 random act of kindness.
  14. Take a walk through the neighborhood and pick up trash along the way.
  15. Donate to a Little Free Library.
  16. Leave a happy note or picture in a library book.
  17. Send a postcard to a friend just because.
  18. Write inspirational sidewalk messages around the neighborhood.

  19. Paint Pictures for a special person.
  20. Feed the birds.
  21. Leave bubbles in the park for friends to find.
  22. Donate diapers to the local diaper coalition.
  23. Send art to Color a Smile.
  24. Put extra money in expiring parking meters.

  25. Celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends and list at least 1 thing for which you are thankful.
  26. Collect Pop Tabs for the local Ronald McDonald House.

  27. Return someone’s cart at the store.
  28. Pass out stickers to unsuspecting friends.
  29. Call a relative just to say hi.
  30. Make a special treat for the neighbors.