Meet NPN volunteer Courtney Kashima |

Did you know that NPN relies on the energy ideas, and dedication of a vast array of volunteers? Most of our volunteers are parents just like you! Please meet Courtney, local mom, NPN member and volunteer who coordinates NPN events in Bucktown/Wicker Park.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I'm an urban planner which means I'm thinking about places (what makes them great, how they can be better) all the time. I'm a small-town girl (Galesburg, IL) but have called Chicago home for the last 1...

Posted on May 26, 2016 at 12:26 PM by Amy Johnson

Over 50% Off Kidville Triple Play + Camp Sale |

Kidville is a one-stop family destination offering creative classes and birthday parties for kids, a pre-school alternative program, camps, and a state-of-the-art indoor playspace.

Kidville's developmental classes for children 0-6 years old inspire endless hours of excitement and adventure. Choose from classes in Gym, Music, Art, Dance, Enrichment, and more. Taught by Kidville’s team of play professionals, Kidville’s programs help growing minds and bodies develop physically, cognitively, s...

Posted on May 24, 2016 at 6:20 AM by Ellie Ander

I'm the IL Treasurer & my child has a 529 savings plan |



On May 29, my office celebrates 529 Day, named after Section 529 of the IRS Code that created 529 College Savings Plans. As college tuition continues to rise, it’s a good time to highlight the importance of saving for college.  


On 529 Day I can’t help but reflect on the proudest moment of my life, the day my daughter Ella was born. I was overwhelmed with joy and excitement—but as a new father I also felt the anxieties and uncert...

Posted on May 23, 2016 at 3:27 PM by Michael Frerichs

5 family-friendly Midwest vacation spots |

Photo: South Haven, Michigan


You know the saying “Midwest is best?” Well, if you ask me, the Midwest truly shines in the summermonths…the glistening lakes, wealth of greenery, and tons of unique places to relax and unwind. It’s a complete 180 from the harsh winter months that we suffer through.


That’s why we always plan a Midwestern summer family vacation. We can avoid the drama and expenses involved with an airline flight, support local businesses and keep our money in th...

Posted on May 23, 2016 at 10:53 AM by Amanda Simkin

How I deal with my toddler's meltdowns |

Photo credit: Emily/Flickr

We call them “slow motion meltdowns” in our house. I am a mom of a 20-month-old spirited boy. He wants what he wants, when he wants it. Don’t we all? My son knows how much it hurts to throw himself on the ground when I can’t catch him. So instead, he has perfected a slow-motion fall backward that ends with him crying, looking up at the sky.

When talking to other moms, including my own, the common advice seems to be: “Just leave him there, and he will come ...

Posted on May 18, 2016 at 9:25 AM by Crystal Clair

Summer camp teaches kids life skills |



Summer camp is more than just fun! A great day camp teaches children life skills in a safe, fun and loving place. A well-run day camp provides campers with a host of emotional, social and physical benefits, as well as myriad experiences and opportunities that they might otherwise not have. By forming a bridge between school years, camp allows children to continue learning and growing in new and exciting ways.

While at camp, children find themsel...

Posted on May 17, 2016 at 2:32 PM by Lani Gerszonovicz

NPN member discounts for grown-ups! |

Every week NPN receives new and relevant discounts that fit your busy parenting life-style! As a NPN member, you have full access to these discounts. So, are you searching? Check out the brand new discounts below, then login and search 100's more!

K Grace Childcare: K Grace Childcare specializes in part-time, flexible, sporadic babysitting for Chicago families.One free single babysitting placement, a $40 value. Discount promo code & details.

Universal Wellness Source: Take control of yo...

Posted on May 17, 2016 at 6:23 AM by Ellie Ander

Dreaming of a 'normal' summer vacation |


Sometimes I want a break from being ALL. THE. THINGS. 


The home nurse, the fierce advocate, the educator, the researcher of everything related to X medical condition, the "don't you dare come in our hospital room ever again and I want to talk to your supervisor NOW" quality control specialist, the accountant, the medical supply manager, the parent/child visit supervisor, the guy at the bottom of the totem pole who gives all the updates to the DCFS people who can't seem to upd...

Posted on May 16, 2016 at 8:07 AM by Julianne Neely

5 ways to prevent summer 'brain drain' |

Around this time every year, parents begin worrying about the dreaded “summer slide.” This term defines the learning loss kids experience over the summer due to the fact that they aren’t going to school every day and engaging their minds in reading, thinking and problem solving.

Many parents scoff at the notion that summer brain drain is something to take seriously, but it’s a very real threat to kids’ forward momentum. Research shows that children who don’t take part in some kind of e...

Posted on May 13, 2016 at 10:10 AM by Karen Quinn

Write for the Parent to Parent Schools Issue |

Have you received the Toddler Issue of Parent to Parent yet? If not, it should be in your mailbox soon. In the meantime, check out this pdf version. Kudus to our new managing editor, Lauren Viera, for doing such an incredible job, and for the fantastic writing from our awesome members! 

Which brings me to: writing for the September issue, which will focus on schools. We're looking for first-person, personal accounts from our members on the following school-related topics:

How you dea...

Posted on May 13, 2016 at 8:32 AM by Laura Baginski