Posts from: June 2016

6 sensory activities to try at home |



As human beings, we’re hard-wired from birth to explore the world through our senses. The way we receive and respond to sensory stimuli has a powerful impact on our experiences. Creating opportunities for children to explore sets them up for long-term success with essential skills including problem solving, decision making, curiosity and perseverance.

Long before they become proficient with language, young children discover through their senses. It...

Posted on June 29, 2016 at 8:24 AM

The benefits of teaching your baby sign language |

Photo credit: Donnie Ray Jones/Flickr


Baby sign language is a popular way for families to encourage language at an early age. Babies usually do not say their first word until 12 months old—a full year is a long time to guess what your child wants and/or needs! Teaching your baby sign language allows you and your baby to communicate with each other before verbal language develops.                                              

Benefits o...

Posted on June 27, 2016 at 9:25 AM by Vasilikitsa Antonopoulos

5 things moms should never say to other moms

Photo credit: defekto/Flickr

Motherhood will make you feel every single emotion possible, including some emotions you didn't even know existed. But there's nothing like the anger/annoyance of an unnecessary comment from another mother. You know, someone who is going or has gone through the very thing you're going through, but somehow feels the need to express disdain or criticize the job you're trying your best at.

So here are 5 things moms should never say to other moms:


Posted on June 23, 2016 at 12:13 PM by Lauren Plotkin

NPN exclusive: Kids' classes with Pearachute |

Pearachute is a monthly membership club that makes it easy for parents and caregivers to discover, book and drop into the best kid classes in Chicago, all at the touch of a button.

Pearachute offers flexible access to over 100 of Chicagoland’s top-rated kids’ locations, including Lil' Kickers, My Gym, Bubbles Academy, Goldfish Swim School, Little Beans Cafe, Language Stars and more. Members can choose from hundreds of classes each week right from their phone - no forms, no phone calls...

Posted on June 22, 2016 at 9:57 AM by Laura Baginski

A British expat mom on teaching kids manners

Photo credit: scribbletaylor/Flickr

With my British upbringing, I was surrounded by traditional etiquette. My sister and I were taught to listen without interrupting, learned how to eat with a cake fork, and always wrote formal thank-you notes.

In today’s busy, digital work it’s easy to forgo the handwritten approach and even to forget to show appreciation altogether. Now a mother myself, I want to be sure to teach my daughters, aged 2½ and 1 year, the value of being thankful. Like ...

Posted on June 17, 2016 at 1:05 PM by Fiona Royer

The best way to get in shape after baby |

Photo credit: Serge Melki/Flickr



You can put your newborn down for a nap without watching the monitor like it's reality TV, changing a diaper has become as second nature as throwing your hair in a top knot and you can think about something other than your little one for a full 5 minutes. Congrats, you've (sort of) gotten the hang of being a new parent!

Now it's time to devote a little time to yourself, including getting back into shape (assumi...

Posted on June 17, 2016 at 10:10 AM

Want a kinder, calmer kid? Try mindfulness. |

Photo credit: Mark Goebel/Flickr


How many times have you said to yourself “just breathe”? Do you encourage your child to do the same? Stress is not reserved solely for adults. Research within schools has shown that teaching children mindfulness leads to greater kindness, improved focus, more self-control, fewer mood difficulties, and higher academic scores and graduation rates. What’s not to love? 

Mindfulness is being aware of o...

Posted on June 15, 2016 at 9:27 AM by Paulette Janus

NPN Exclusive: Wee Care Preschool registration offer! |

For over 30 years, Wee Care Preschool has served happy families within the Lakeview and Lincoln Park neighborhoods. Providing an infant program and a traditional preschool program for children ages 3 months – 6 years, this family-owned and -operated school is small enough that individual needs are met and goals for your family achieved.

Enhancing the everyday curriculum, Wee Care Preschool includes enrichment programs such as drama, dance, pee wee sports and nutrition, music and foreign la...

Posted on June 14, 2016 at 6:11 AM by Ellie Ander

Limit screen time for a happier, healthier kid

Photo credit: Zach Frailey/Flickr

Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) changed its rules for screen time for children to meet more modern times. Much has changed since I had my first child in 2007, back when iPhones had just come out and iPads did not exist. Establishing healthy screen time boundaries has been a priority for me from the beginning.

As a health educator, I have read up on the studies about too much screen time. It can lead to attention problems, sleep di...

Posted on June 13, 2016 at 2:59 PM by Jasmine Jafferali

I feel no guilt about my kids' screen time

Photo credit: Rafiq Sarlie/Flickr

More than 30 percent of children in the United States play with mobile devices while still in diapers.

You may have seen older news reports in which the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended that children under two shouldn’t have any screen time, and older children and teens should be limited to no more than two hours of screen time a day. Just months ago, the AAP changed what it considers its “outdated” policies.

I’ve never been guilt...

Posted on June 13, 2016 at 2:38 PM by Eirene Heidelberger