Little Balls


top hiding the fact that marbles are toys — and not just decorative items displayed in glass vases — from your kids. All those marbles sitting on tabletops, and you’ve never mentioned games like Groundhog, Pyramids and Off the Wall?They’re not electronic, and they come without theme music, but marbles can still provide hours of entertainment for kids old enough not to put small objects in their mouths. Craftsman Bruce Breslow — who bravely fuses colored-glass rods over a flame — reveals the truth about marbles at the Moon Marble Company (600 East Front Street in Bonner Springs). All the marbles sold in the store are handmade, with designs such as the caterpillar fold (pretty markings mimic a caterpillar’s back), the flame, the eyeball and the alien swirl. Call 913-441-1432 for shop hours, driving directions and demonstration times.— Gina Kaufmann



The holidays mess kids up, man. All that candy for nothing and their gifts for free. Somebody needs to step in and show these kids that it’s not all cookies and cupcakes out there, lest they receive a rude awakening later in life. Harvesters Community Food Network (1811 North Topping Avenue) is just the place to coerce kids into earning their holiday take-away. While separating and boxing all those nonperishable food items, maybe some preservatives will rub off on the kids and keep them from spoiling, too. For more information, call Carol Ellison at 816-231-3173, extension 126.— Michael Vennard

Strings Attached

SAT 12/13

Pady Blackwood’s work as a puppeteer spans from television’s golden age — he was one of Howdy Doody’s human pals — to the psychedelic ’60s, when he worked with Sid and Marty Krofft. He’s still at it and will be at the strings for The Littlest Angel through December at the Puppetry Arts Institute — a kind of local headquarters for the craft. Its mission, says director Diane Houk, is “to keep puppetry alive.” The institute (11025 Winner Road in Independence) houses a research library and a gift shop and hosts hands-on workshops for kids. In addition to staging Angel every Saturday this month at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., the institute is hosting a Howdy Doody exhibit featuring Blackwood’s ever-smiling friend, though rumor has it he’s tight-lipped about any backstage shenanigans. As Houk reminds us, “Puppetry is the first exposure children have to theater.” Call 816-833-9777 for more information.— Steve Walker

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