In ancient Egypt, a ball of old rags was a versatile and popular toy.

In ancient Egypt, a ball of old rags was a versatile and popular toy.

Now, Powell youngsters can make their own cloth balls and use them to play ancient Egyptian games in a fun, educational class for children ages 4-6.

They'll also learn about mummies and King Tut and decorate their own pair of golden Egyptian sandals with sparkly jewels.

The weekly program, which has two sessions from Jan. 24 to Feb. 21 and April 4 to May 2, is one offering in a broad range of Powell Parks and Recreation programming for children ages 1-18 that kicked off this week.

Programming for winter and spring 2013 includes classes, workshops and sports activities for local children.

A full rundown of upcoming programs and signup information can be viewed at the website

Local author Carmella Van Vleet runs the Explore Ancient Egypt program, plus Polar Bears and Penguins, an educational program about arctic wildlife.

"It's all about hands-on learning," Van Vleet said. "We usually start with a brief mini-lesson and then move into an activity, game or craft."

She also runs a writing workshop for budding fiction writers ages 9-14.

Programming for the preschool crowd includes weekly sessions to learn about shapes, colors, letters, music and more.

Offerings for young children include Munchkin & Me for children ages 1-2, which features fun movement activities set to music to build spatial and social awareness.

In Pint-Size Picassos, children ages 3-5 can paint pictures and get messy with finger paint and foam paint.

For children with energy to burn, Matt Zingery runs a range of fun physical education classes.

One of his classes is Balance and Coordination for children ages 3-5, in which participants will learn to walk on a balance beam, tumble, and throw and catch balls.

"It's a lot of fun, and it gets kids moving so they can work on their gross motor skills and their fine motor skills," Zingery said.

When the weather warms up, Zingery will run outdoor sports opportunities for children, including golf lessons for ages 3-5.

Offerings for children ages 6-10 include American Girl Dance Camp, an introduction to the basics of jazz dance and ballet.

In the Mad Scientist program for children ages 6-8, participants will complete fun, easy science experiments.

Lego Club Elementary is a hands-on class for children ages 6-11 where they can work in teams to build original Lego creations.

Physical fitness opportunities for middle-grade students include On the Mat Martial Arts, an introduction to tae kwon do.

High school students can enroll in programs to boost their grades in school, such as the ACT Turbo Workshop to prepare them for the college entrance exam.

Numerous other activities, scheduled through May, can be viewed at the website.