They'll Tumble 4 U

A storytime where kids aren't told to sit down and listen.

Country Jam 2003 Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds, 164 Eastland Road in Berea 10 a.m. Saturday, September 6; $15 to $30; call 216-241-5555
Soon these kids will be dancing, singing, and jumping around the library.
Soon these kids will be dancing, singing, and jumping around the library.
THU 9/4

The tots at Borders' Toddler Tumblin' Storytime do more than just sit cross-legged on the floor while a grown-up reads books to them. They dance. They sing. They jump. And the leader of the interactive event wants the kids to dance, sing, and jump. "We really want them to get involved," says Gil Rubanenko, who runs the program. "When they're participating, they're actually getting some form of exercise." Which is appropriate, since it's held in conjunction with My Gym Children's Fitness Center (Rubanenko owns a couple of them).

If a story is about a bird, kids are instructed to flap their arms and run around. You know, like a bird. Parents are encouraged to take flight, too. "The older kids really get into it, and they even help us with the younger kids," he says. "The infants only can do as much as their parents are going to do with them."

The high-energy storytime not only entertains, it also helps kids come out of their shells, Rubanenko says. "If you find a child who is a little shy, and you can connect with him in just the right way," he explains, "you know you've done your job that day." Toddler Tumblin' Storytime takes place at 2 p.m. Thursday at Borders Books and Music (2101 Richmond Road in Beachwood). Admission is free; call 216-292-2660. -- Diane Sofranec

Children in the Corn
Lake Farmpark cuts an a-maze-ing path.

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Having gotten lost in a corn maze before, we're not so sure Castle in the Corn, which Lake Farmpark is calling its maze, is an appropriate designation. There isn't room after room of European splendor, after all. It's just row after row of corn-stalks, painstakingly cut into maddeningly complicated paths. And we don't feel like Queen Elizabeth traipsing through the three acres; we feel like Binky the mouse, hoping for a cheesy reward. Still, it's a great challenge for the little ones. Castle in the Corn is open through mid-October at Lake Farmpark (8800 Chardon Road in Kirtland). Hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $4 to $6; call 440-256-2122. -- Michael Gallucci

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