Created by contributors in grades K-8, the HyattsKIDS Life & Times features local news, columns, and comics from our city’s youngest journalists. Our editors are Evan LeFevre and Claudia Romero Garvey. To participate, contact adult adviser Mary Frances Jiménez: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Surprising gifts for young kids at Shops at SoHy
By Mavis Keshen, age 6, and Arlo Kramer, age 4 (as told to M.F. Jiménez)
We visited The Shops at SoHy to see what gifts kids who are in preschool or elementary school might like. Even though it looks like a store for grownups, if you are careful not to run or break things, small kids can find really pretty and fun gifts there, too.
We talked to Holli Mintzer, who runs the vintage clothing section of the store, called Suffragette City. She has been selling vintage clothes for ten years, since she started shopping in thrift stores as a college student. She told us she would find clothes she loved but that didn’t fit her, and she would buy them anyway. Once she had a big collection, she started to sell them.
They have vintage clothes for children as well as adults, and kids who like to play dress up might love to have a vintage hat or gloves to add to their collection. They also have handmade hair bows and bowties. Mintzer makes many of these items herself. Some pieces of jewelry were even made from old buttons — one ring looked like a big ruby! And lavender sachets made from old linen towels can make your clothes smell good.
A baby might like to have some of the silky scarves to play peek-a-boo. Kids could buy sparkly vintage purses to hold their pretty stuff, like jewelry and special rocks, inside.
The shop has a whole rack of vintage silk Japanese kimonos and obis. Some parents who are working from home might like to wear these to feel fancy, instead of wearing their pajamas.
In the kids’ book section, run by My Dead Aunt’s Books, we saw a set of Star Wars phonics cards and many picture books we would like to read with our parents.
Vintage dishes, from Cheeky’s Vintage, could be a good gift for parents and grandparents who like to cook and drink coffee.
Besides the vintage gifts, the store carries Pride and Pronoun pins, special occasion cards, candles, and handmade soaps with words from books on them. If you go to the store, you can smell them, and we really liked doing that!
Mintzer says business has been picking up as the holidays get closer. “I’m hoping a lot of people will come to us for gift shopping, especially since buying things online and having them shipped may be tricky this year” because of supply problems caused by the pandemic.
Games school-age kids will love
By Talika Gorski, age 9
My little brother, Theo, is 7. He’s in second grade and, like many kids, enjoys Minecraft and wants a Nintendo Switch for Christmas. But he also loves non-screen games, especially strategy and card games. I asked him some questions about games other kids might like. If you are looking for these games, as well as many other games, puzzles and toys kids 7-8 will love, be sure to start at Franklin’s General Store here in Hyattsville.
My brother’s favorite at the moment is chess, which he says he likes “because I can beat Dad and because you can play it anywhere.” Another two-player strategy game he recommends is Mancala, a game where you move stones around a dimpled wood board. The rules are simple, yet challenging, and my brother beats us nearly every time.
Besides those traditional games, my brother recommends Machi Koro, Dixit, and Tenzie. Though Machi Koro is recommended for ages 10+, my brother really loves it, especially taking coins from other players. Dixit, a guessing game with pictures, and Tenzie, a dice game, can be played as fun family night games or with your friends. And Theo has the Exploding Kittens card game on his list (even though his biggest wish is still a Switch!).
For kids 9-12, Hyattsville’s art scene offers creative fun
By Evan Muynila, age 9, and Genevieve Poynton, age 12
Now that summer’s over and it’s getting closer to December, people are thinking about their holiday plans, and that includes gift-giving and receiving! Here are some awesome gift ideas that can be purchased locally at some of Hyattsville’s many art stores.
The gift section at Pyramid Atlantic Art Center is small and many gifts are for adults. But Pyramid’s ArtFoamies will appeal to kids around our ages. ArtFoamies are reusable foam stamps. The designs are all made by different artists, and you can put them on paper goods, t-shirts, and bags. Some favorite designs include a snail, raindrops, and sushi stamp. Green Owl Works also focuses on gifts for adults, but kids might like their jewelry or stationery, or they could visit the store to shop for their parents.
While everyone loves Artist & Craftsman Supply for their large stock of art materials, the store also has a whole section for gifts and do-it-yourself projects kids our ages would like. Here are some of our gift picks.
Plus-Plus is a “STEM construction toy.” They are building blocks that look like two plus signs stuck together in different ways. The tubes are filled with these blocks and do not come with instructions, so you can build anything you want with it.
Djeco art projects include things like origami paper, scratch boards, paint cards, stickers, temporary tattoos, foam mosaics, and masks. You can give away the finished projects as gifts. The Djeco scratch boards are an awesome craft with an included tool to scratch off a coating to reveal a guided artwork, such as a full moon or sea life; these would also be good gifts for kids ages 7-9.
Copernicus Toys lab kits let you run awesome experiments with only the things inside the small boxes. Kids around nine years old will like the experiment for making slime and bouncy balls and the kit with an experiment for bioluminescence. These kinds of gifts are educational, and afterward you can play with what you’ve made.
Safari Minis are cute little rubber animals that are great for pretend play or collecting. Both older and younger kids enjoy them. Gems, minerals, fossils, crystals are also fun to collect.
The Classic Wood Schylling bow and arrow set seems very well made and would be great for kids ages 10-12.
Artist & Craftsman also sells some board games, including Ticket to Ride. And next month, HyattsKIDS will share DIY ideas using supplies from the materials side of the store.
For all ages, local classes delight
HyattsKIDS knows that sometimes the best gifts are not things, but experiences. The Hyattsville area offers many ways for children and adults to have fun while they learn something new.
ArtWorks Now offers virtual and in-person classes including Preschool ArtVenture, Portfolio Development for teens, and a range of drawing, pottery, and painting classes for adults. Register at artworksnow.org.
Local author and musician Mary Amato offers writing retreats and workshops. VIsit maryamato.com.
Parents and grandparents who want to make music with their young children can gift classes with Music Together SoHy, including bilingual classes in Spanish and English. Families can enroll at musictogethersohy.com.
In addition to its gift shop and gallery, Pyramid Atlantic offers classes for adults in printmaking, paper and book arts, and other techniques. Visit pyramidatlanticartcenter.org.
Teens and adults interested in learning ceramics, woodworking, or welding can register for classes at Material Things; register at materialthingsboh.com.
Lovers of movement and music have many options! Ballet, Tap, and All That Jazz offers classes for kids from 2.5 to 17; visit ballettapandallthatjazz.org. Bethany Jenkins offers weekend drop-in creative movement and hip hop classes for young kids; email email@example.com. Espaco Cultural Samba Trovao teaches Capoeira Angola; visit sambatrovao.com. Love Yoga offers a range of virtual and in-person classes, as well as yoga teacher training; visit love-yogastudio.com.
Riversdale Harvest Festival
By Delia Silva, age 12
Reporter Delia Silva visited the Riversdale Mansion Museum Harvest Festival on Oct. 9. The goal of this festival was to entertain and teach about both the pioneers and local indigenous people. There was a variety of activities around the area. One of the most exciting parts was the archeology tent. Here, we learned what archeology is and about the different pottery pieces that were dug up. Another thing we learned about in the archeology tent was about the different tribes. These tribes lived in the area that is now called Washington D.C., near the Potomac River, Prince George’s and Montgomery counties.
Another big attraction was the garden where they grew corn and other different types of plants that the Indigenous people grew during their period. Also, they had a kitchen where they talked about the methods that women used to cook and how the garden provided ingredients. One of the volunteers told her that it took about three months to plan the event and a whole week to set it all up. Also, she told her that they were expecting over 100 people and this event has been going on for 10 years, but they didn’t do it last year due to the pandemic. Also, the kids that she talked to said that it was really fun.
HyattsKIDS seeks art submissions
Are you a kid artist who’d like to see your artwork published in the Hyattsville Life & Times? HyattsKIDS seeks original artwork to feature in an upcoming issue. Submit photos of your work, along with your name, age, address, and the name of your school to firstname.lastname@example.org .