Posts from: December 2014

15 Reasons to LOVE NPN in 2015

You probably already know NPN is dedicated to connecting families with the resources they need to navigate parenting the city. But, you probably didn't know that 2015 marks our 35th year. That's right, some of the founding members are grandparents now! So, we're owning 35 and celebrating all year long. Check out how you can join us with the top 15 reasons to LOVE NPN in 2015 (in no particular order).


New Year Family Celebration We are kicking off 2015 with a BANG! Celebrate the New...

Posted on December 30, 2014 at 2:00 PM by Christa Reed

Where’s There’s A Will, There’s a Way Estate Planning: An Overview

As a fairly new parent, I often find myself around other new parents—at the park, doctor’s office, parties, restaurants etc.  While the conversation usually starts with “How old is your little one?” once they find out that I’m a lawyer, the conversation turns to this: “I think we need a will.”

Why? Without getting into specifics, I generally tell them, yes, you need some sort of estate plan to ensure that your children are taken care of in case the unthinkable happens.  Sometimes it is...

Posted on December 22, 2014 at 8:00 AM by Jeffrey Salas

Self Care During the Holidays

Although the holidays are a time for celebration and connection with the ones we love, they can also be a time of increased stress.  It is important to be mindful of our stress level and the potential for adding to our stress so that we can truly enjoy connecting with our loved ones and celebrate the holidays.  Our loved ones will enjoy us more too, as we are enjoying ourselves.  Here are a few suggestions for managing stress during the holidays.

Keep your routines as much as possible....

Posted on December 19, 2014 at 8:00 AM by Jennifer Gibson

Top Tips for Creating a Smooth Christmas Day

It's finally here--the day of magic, and presents, and wonderment about whether the stories from the North Pole are true. Parents have been planning for months or hurriedly putting it all together and adjusting it daily based on their kids' fantastical stories of what Santa is going to bring them. Everyone has great expectations for Christmas Day. You may be setting yourself for some breakdowns if you're not prepared. We put so much energy and high hopes into this holiday, it's hard to liv...

Posted on December 18, 2014 at 7:00 AM by Katherine McHenry

Cabin Fever Busters: Shaving Cream

For this week’s “Beating Cabin Fever” blog I have two words for you: SHAVING CREAM. Yes, that’s right, good ‘ol white, foamy shaving cream. I’m talking the cheap stuff. I was reminded of it’s simplicity and perfection when cruising Pinterest when I saw someone’s pin about Sand Foam (which is a mix of sand and shaving cream). Personally, I have issues with anything as messy as sand in my house (even when I was teaching in preschools, I dreaded the weeks when sand was in my sensory table—I c...

Posted on December 17, 2014 at 8:00 AM by Beth Cohen Dorfman

Top 5 Chicago Museum Memberships for Kids

We hear it as early as Halloween....the grandparents already asking what your kids want for the holidays when all you can think about is gaggle of toys that has already taken over your house (and the amount of toys headed your way from aunts and uncles). Yeah, in my experience there's no way to really go toy-free, nor would you want to but there are some other GREAT gifts that grandparents can purchase that don't take up anymore space on your living room floor. As a self-admitted membershi...

Posted on December 16, 2014 at 7:00 AM by Christa Reed

Play-Based Preschool: A Farmer's Market Case Study

When the grass is green and flowers are blooming in the spring at Mary Meyer School, we celebrate by hosting a farmer’s market.  Our purposeful play curriculum has led us to this special day. In early spring and before the trees are budding, our Farmer-in-Residence works with our students to discuss worms and seeds and soil and planting.

How does play fit into farming and how did we learn?

·       We read books about farming, worms, fruits and vegetables.

·       We added soil ...

Posted on December 15, 2014 at 9:00 AM by Mary Meyer School

Top 4 gifts for teachers this holiday season

We’re so busy during the holiday season, it’s sometime hard to brainstorm thoughtful gifts for the wonderful people that care for you child(ren) on a daily basis. We scoured the forums and interviewed teacher friends of our own and asked them what their favorite holiday gifts from students have been. Here's our list of the top most commonly mentioned gifts.

1. Cash. Collaborate with other families if you can. I know it sounds a little tacky and you may even think there’s not much ...

Posted on December 15, 2014 at 7:00 AM by Christa Reed

Cabin Fever Busters: Water Beads

Hi all! I’m back with another amazing, do-it-yourself indoors project to do with your kids. Now, this one has a lot of steps and it is likely that you’ll need to get the main “ingredient” but I can tell you first hand that the result is totally worthwhile.

Check out this post by Blog Me Mom on how to make these super cool Water Beads.  My kids, who are nearly eight and five and a half, LOVE these. They have a really fascinating texture, are fun to play with, non toxic and edible (thoug...

Posted on December 10, 2014 at 8:00 AM by Beth Cohen Dorfman

Discounts for you, from your friends at Neighborhood Parents Network!

Whether at home or at work, cozy up to these exclusive discounts brought to you by our wonderful NPN Discount Partners. Please login to your NPN account to gain full access to your NPN Member promo codes. 

Sarah Feezor, Realtor with Dream Town serves North Chicago neighborhoods and the North Shore. NPN Members receive $20 gift card from Building Blocks, Flirty Cupcakes, Gift Bar, or Little Beans Cafe during your complimentary 45-minute in-home consultation on preparing to sell your hom...

Posted on December 09, 2014 at 6:32 AM by Ellie Ander