The Mad Potter's owner, Meredith McCord, battled dyslexia as a child, and she discovered that art was more than just a pretty distraction — it could actually facilitate communication. But your kiddos needn't concern themselves with that: All they need to know is that they'll get to choose from hundreds of different plates, bowls, mugs, figurines, whatchamacallits and knick-knacks, and then go to town with various and sundry paintbrushes to create their very own pottery. After three or four days that involve magic and fire, your miniature Michelangelo can return to see the piece in its final form. McCord says the process gives budding artists a real sense of accomplishment. It's also a great idea for birthdays.