How to Help Prepare Your Toddler for School

So you have done your research, talked to fellow moms, attended the NPN School fair and still feel panicked about pre-school? Or maybe just wondering what will get your baby/toddler school ready? Surprisingly, the best enrichment activity is something you do every day - conversation! Speaking to your child, asking questions, responding to their statements, and using varied vocabulary, all provide a rich foundation for early literacy skills. In fact, early, frequent verbal interaction is th...

Posted on September 15, 2011 at 8:15 AM by Sara Sladoje

Circus in the Parks - One-of-a-kind Chicago fun!

NPN is proud to sponsor this year’s Circus in the Parks series. The Midnight Circus team is back to bring you a one-of-a-kind family-friendly circus experience! Money raised will go to support the Chicago Park District.  We love our Chicago parks and these performances are guaranteed to thrill and entertain. The perfect way to spend a lovely day doing something surprising in a great Chicago neighborhood.

This year is an all new show and an all new little Big Top. An purple and blue tent wi...

Posted on September 14, 2011 at 8:00 AM by Sarah Cobb

My Neighborhood: Family Fun in Ukranian Village

NPN connects families in neighborhoods across Chicago.  Get inspired to check out a new part of the city or discover something fabulous just around the corner.  This stop:  Ukranian Village with Sarah - All aboard!  And then explore our other NPN Neighborhoods

We moved to Ukrainian Village a little over 2 years ago after living in Lincoln Park for many years. My husband and I wanted a neighborhood that was quiet and family friendly for our three kids, ages 5, 3 and 1.  We certainly fou...

Posted on September 13, 2011 at 10:33 AM by Sarah Davis

CPS Better School Day Advisory Committee Update

I attended the 1st committee meeting of the Longer School Day Community Advisory Committee (henceforth called the Better School Day Community Advisory Committee) and left feeling pretty optimistic.

So where does NPN come in… The role of the advisory committee is to review the plan throughout the school year and provide feedback to help inform the full rollout for 2012/13, inform our community and gather feedback, and help identify potential challenges and suggest possible solutions. So...

Posted on September 12, 2011 at 10:00 AM by Lee Haas

Sweet Dreams NPN & ChicagoKids.com Pajama Party @ Good Night Moon the Musical

I’m not going to sugar-coat things – bedtime with my older daughter wasn’t easy!  No matter how tired she appeared, I just couldn’t convince her that sleep was a necessary part of life. We finally figured out that spending a few minutes reading with the lights turned low could do wonders. One of our favorite pre-bedtime reads was the classic Good Night Moon. Now, I’m so excited to revisit our old bedtime tradition in a whole new way by taking her to see Good Night Moon the Musical presente...

Posted on September 09, 2011 at 6:00 AM by Jay Annadurai

NPN School Fair 101 - Get Ready for Oct 15th!

School Fair season has arrived! Since the Oct. 15 School Fair is such an important event, we know there are many questions and anxieties.  We are here to help you get ready! 

The fair is set up in an expo with 120+ exhibitors.  Attendees can walk around and talk with representatives from public and private preschool and elementary schools, non-profits, and businesses with activities and services that cater to little ones. The exhibitor list is still growing so check back for updates!
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Posted on September 08, 2011 at 12:00 PM by Leslye Whittman

Playdate of the month: Cooking w/ Family & Friends

September is a transition month in Chicago indeed. 

New routines are happening everywhere, the days are shorter and cooler, and for many of our children, it’s back to school.  So why not embrace a new ritual as you settle into Fall.

Cooking with friends and family is a great experience all through life.  Why not create a new play date plan for Fall by initiating a weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly kitchen gathering for family and friends.

Ideas to get you started:

*Stay in...

Posted on September 07, 2011 at 10:46 AM by Anne Book

Are you on board with CPS Track E?

When you think of early August, you picture kids still savoring the carefree days of summer, right? Well, not this time for my child.

Kindergarten for my daughter started a little earlier than planned. We had expected Haley to attend the school she went to for preschool, but when principal discretion was taken away to do that, so were our expectations. After the first school lottery left us high and dry, we tried again. The second resulted in a few, but none that lifted my spirits. Whe...

Posted on September 06, 2011 at 8:00 AM by Elisa Drake

Q&A: How to find a great nanny

Having a Nanny is wonderful — but it can also be confusing, overwhelming, and downright scary at times. Here are some straightforward tips for for parents looking for a great nanny.

Q: What advice do you give parents looking to hire a nanny?

A: The first piece of advice I have is to first time Moms who’ve chosen to return to their careers. You must own your choices and tune into your emotions during this transition. If you are deeply conflicted about leaving your children with some...

Posted on September 05, 2011 at 10:00 AM by Ingrid Kellaghan

Hot Topic: CPS Longer School Day Advisory Committee

As many of you have recently heard, CPS plans to extend the school day beginning with the 2012/2013. (You can read more about this in the Press Release from the CPS Office of Communications.)

This topic has raised quite a bit of discussion on everything ranging from teacher contracts to student benefits. CPS is launching a Longer School Day Advisory Committee to “provide guidance about an extended day structure and the implementation strategy schools can adopt in transitioning toward a...

Posted on September 02, 2011 at 8:00 AM by Lee Haas