New & Fun January 2019

Published as Play Room in the January 2019 Print Issue of PDX Parent

Top 5 Ice Skating Rinks

1. Brave the elements at Hillsboro’s seasonal open-air rink now through January 5 at Jerry Willey Plaza’s Winter Village. The pace is gentle, the twinkle lights are abundant, and newbie skaters large and small can hitch rides atop bright-orange bladed pushcarts.   


2. The Lloyd Center Ice Rink’s full-glass enclosure lends ice-skating spectators (aka, parents with subpar skate skills) an unobstructed view of the action from the comfort of solid ground. And a multiple-entry skating pass lets kids break for snacks and a rest.   

3. Vancouver’s Mountain View Ice Arena wins props for being warmer than your average rink — and you might even spot Tonya Harding taking a spin around the rink.   

4.  Have hockey fans in the house? Get them off the couch and onto the ice at the Winterhawks Skating Center in Beaverton, where they can practice their slapshot — and get in a little cardio, too. Pro tip: This rink gets chilly! Don’t forget gloves.   

5.  The Sherwood Ice Arena Complex delivers well-maintained ice at a lower price point, and the experienced figure skaters who regularly practice here put on an impressive show. Pro tip: Be ready for a rowdy rink!  — Erin J. Bernard

In the Know: Ice Cream + Clowns


Hey, didja hear? The Portland-based band Modest Mouse made a song for an Olive & Dingo video. Well, actually, Portland’s favorite clown duo accidentally became the stars of a Modest Mouse video when the band was looking for a balloon artist to twist shapes along to their new song, Ice Cream Party. (If you’re not a super fan, you’ll still probably know the Modest Mouse song Float On.) At first Olive was only supposed to twist balloons off-camera, but according to Dingo, once a producer spotted them in their full clown regalia it was decided that they both needed to be in the video! The slow, repetitive song becomes quite mesmerizing as you watch ice cream dripping, four duplicate Olives and a kitty balloon your kids have probably gotten from an O&D show forming before your very eyes. The whole kaleidoscope effect is fun and a little trippy — and makes us wonder exactly what’s in Modest Mouse’s ice cream? View the full video here: — Denise Castañon

Playlist: Silly Songs

On their new album Go for the Moon, Andrew & Polly deliver some infectiously funny songs with plenty of tongue-in-cheek lyrics just for moms and dads. (In fact, pretty much the whole track Mom’s Name is for parents — illustrating those awkward pre-playdate moments when you just can’t remember the name of that mom from preschool.) And the hilarious song Chair School shot to the top of my 4-year-old’s and 7-year-old’s music chart, with multiple requests from them to play the “song about chairs.” The album also features a couple of cameos from fellow LA kindie artist Mista Cookie Jar, who, as far as I am concerned, turns anything he lends his vocals to into gold. But do have to say I skipped over the dirgelike Three Chartreuse Buzzards. (Maybe that one is just for the Girl Scouts?)  — D.C.

Bookshelf: Hello 2020!

Ring in a New Year with these book picks from Kim Tano and Madeline Schier, the children’s book buyers at Portland institution Powell’s Books.

Chicken Soup with Rice by Maurice Sendak 

In this beloved classic, first published in 1962 by the Caldecott Award-winning author of Where the Wild Things Are, a young boy celebrates every year of the month with his favorite dish: chicken soup with rice. Charming illustrations and a simple rhyme perfect for learning the names of the months make this a great pick for the beginning of the New Year. Great for ages 4 and up. $7.95.

We Are Grateful Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell and Frané Lessac

The word otsaliheliga (oh-jah-LEE-hay-lee-gah) is used by members of the Cherokee Nation to express gratitude. Gratitude for the seasons, ceremonies and communities are highlighted in this bright, colorful picture book. We Are Grateful Otsaliheliga is a great way to greet a fresh year of seasons. Perfect for ages 4 and up. $17.99.

Lunar New Year by Hannah Eliot and Alina Chau

Hannah Eliot’s Celebrate the World board book series offers toddlers a first look at global holidays. This Lunar New Year installment highlights the cultural history and folklore of the Chinese New Year, with beautiful watercolor illustrations from illustrator Alina Chau. For ages 2 and up. $8.99.

Sing a Song of Seasons: A Nature Poem for Each Day of the Year by Fiona Waters, ed. and Frann Preston-Gannon

The New Year is a wonderful time to contemplate the cycle of the seasons and our natural world. This gorgeous book of poetry contains a nature poem for every day of the year. Each poem (with authors ranging from Shakespeare to Beatrix Potter to Langston Hughes and more) is fully illustrated with intricate, elegant outdoor scenes. Geared to ages 8 and up, this would also be a lovely read-aloud book for younger children. $40. 

The Year of the Rat by Grace Lin

2020 is the Year of the Rat, and what better way to ring it in than with this eponymously titled contemporary middle-grade adventure from Newbery Honor author Grace Lin (Where the Mountain Meets the Moon)? Based on the author’s own childhood, main character Pacy Lin’s adventures are a great read for ages 8 and up. $7.

Kid to Know: The New Governor 

Oregon’s fifth graders have just elected a new kid governor for the state: Raaga Mandala. Raaga, a student at Jacob Wismer Elementary School in northwest Portland, stumped on the issue of transitioning those experiencing homeless to permanent housing. Her three-pronged approach to the problem is to help kids learn about homelessness at school; spread love for people experiencing homelessness through volunteer work, and food and clothing drives; and to have kids write to legislators to urge them to improve access to affordable housing, mobile health vans and employment opportunities for the disabled. “My mom took me to a homeless shelter [served by] Chetana Foundation. They cook and serve food to the homeless every Sunday. Before going there, I used to be really scared of such places,” says Raaga. “But it made me feel good to see how happy the people at the shelter were with our food.”  In addition to cooking at homeless shelters, she’s held fundraisers that allowed her to donate $2,000 to a local shelter. Raaga’s inauguration will take place on January 8 at 10 am in the State Capitol Senate Chamber in Salem. Visit for more information about the program and to follow Raaga throughout her year as Oregon’s Kid Governor. — D.C.

Getaway: Long Beach Peninsula, Washington 

Don’t knock winter at the coast; prices are cheap, crowds are slim, and weather-neutral fun abounds. We love Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula for its enormous beaches and a strollable entertainment strip bursting with coastal quirk. Peep the eye-popping array of strange curios at Marsh’s Free Museum (Pro tip: Be sure to snap a pic with Jake the Alligator Man!), then enjoy an enormous ice cream cone in one of 60-plus flavors (try black licorice!) minus summertime lines at Scoopers Market. Book a vintage trailer, cabin, or suite at the Sou’wester Historic Lodge & Vintage Travel Trailer Resort. The lodge boasts books, games and a roaring fireplace, plus a 24-hour honor store. There’s also a Finnish sauna onsite (Pro tip: It’s clothing-optional!), and kids will love exploring Thrifty, a travel trailer turned vintage shop bursting with bygone treasures. If the weather holds, rent bikes and pedal the Lewis & Clark Discovery Trail, which offers prime year-round coastal wildlife spotting. If it rains, hit the Windless Kite Festival January 25-26 and learn to power a kite with the motion of your body or take a $5 kite-making workshop. — E.J.B.

Ask Dr. Doug 

Q:  Talk to me about hand foot and mouth disease. I’ve heard it’s going around our preschool. Can I do anything to prevent it? And what’s the best treatment?        

A:  Hand foot and mouth disease sounds awful, doesn’t it? It always reminds me of hoof and mouth disease, which is a disease cattle and sheep get; not kids. (Despite me feeling like I’m constantly herding my boys). The good news is the name is scarier than the virus. 

Hand foot and mouth disease is a common childhood illness caused by a family of viruses called enteroviruses. It tends to spread in the summer and fall, but outbreaks can happen in winter, especially in day cares. It spreads mainly by the fecal-oral route, so wash those hands with soap and water after changing diapers.

Infection with these viruses causes two different kinds of illness. Hand foot and mouth disease means kids have fever, mild sore throat, blisters in the mouth, and a rash that looks like flat red spots on the palms and soles. Often the rash clusters around knees, ankles and the diaper area as well. Based on which type of virus is circulating, I see the rash change a bit from year to year — sometimes more pink, sometimes more raised red bumps. 

These viruses can also cause a more severe sore throat with high fever, which is called herpangina. Often this goes along with a stiff neck and refusal to eat or drink. Usually there isn’t a rash. When we get a good look in the back of the throat, we can see blister-like spots next to the tonsils. 

Thankfully both resolve quickly while the body fights off the virus. Treatment is based on the symptoms — plenty of rest, fluids, and acetaminophen or ibuprofen for fever or discomfort. Getting dehydrated is more of a concern with herpangina, but keep an eye on how much your littles are drinking and peeing regardless. 

The HFMD rash is worst for three to five days, but can take weeks to fully heal. One to two weeks after infection you might notice skin on the fingers and toes peeling, and occasionally children (and adults who were infected) will have nail changes like ridging or a nail falling off. The question I get the most is, “When can they go back to day care?” As with most viruses, kids are infectious for a few days before they have symptoms, so don’t worry — they have already spread it. They can go back when they feel well enough to return and the fever has resolved. The rash does not have to be fully healed — unless you feel like taking off work for a few weeks!

PDX Parent Staff
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